Year One: the Narrative Collaboratory

During its first year, the Narrative Collaboratory was run out of the Pluribus Project. The Pluribus Project Narrative Collaboratory was a platform for generating and propagating new narratives of citizen voice and efficacy, coupled with the tools of power and action that others can use. We proceeded from the premise that in American life today the dominant overarching narrative says that the system is so broken and the game so rigged that there is no point in participating in democracy. Our goal was to displace that narrative. Our method was to support experiments in narrative-making that can add up to a counter-narrative of citizen power, along with the tools for exercising such power.

We issued an open call for proposals that creatively and effectively spread narratives of citizen power, and received more than 230 proposals in response. After extensive consultation and analysis, we supported eight projects with grants to each in the amount of $25,000. The Narrative Collaboratory also developed partnerships to support creative ventures that generate narratives of citizen power and accompanying tools.