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Creative Integration Strategies: Strengthening Community Through Digital Storytelling
Fulbright Scholar research project
Tallinn, Estonia  2023-2024

“Mapping Your Journey" was a community-based project where I worked with the Estonian Refugee Council (ERC) in developing a creative storytelling project that focused on the refugee narrative through creative writing. The project, in its first iteration, is a website that includes a facilitator toolkit, student writing, and a collective visual-text video. This project is in collaboration with Katja Novak, a Ukrainian poet based in Tallinn, Estonia.

Creative writing can bring communities together. It can define who we are and who we want to become. It can encourage us to live in the present by observing the here and now. through writing, our lived experience becomes undeniable, our ideas and thoughts live in and are shared through the written word.

The goal of this project is to bring high school students from different backgrounds together in a shared creative and expressive process to find common ground and to encourage a stronger community. This themed workshop "Mapping Your Journey to School" encourages participants to begin with observation, witnessing an event, remembering a series of moments that resonate and that moves students to translate into words. Precise description makes ideas feel real, vivid and memorable. 

This project contains a toolkit, a collection of writing prompts that are designed to support a single workshop or multiple 60-minute writing workshops.

The project website can be accessed here or with the QR code below. 

"Mapping Your Journey" composite video with poetic excerpts from workshop participants. 2024


"Mapping Your Journey" workshop participants at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Tallinn, Estonia. 2023

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Created in collaboration with Katja Novak. Special thank you to the Estonian Refugee Council, Vabaduse Kool, Tõnismäe Riigigümnaasium, the Ukrainian Cultural Center, and Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia. Andrea Wollensak gratefully acknowledges financial support for this educational toolkit by the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy Tallinn, Estonia. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Fulbright Program, the Government of the United States, or the U.S. Embassy, Tallinn.

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