This program announcement describes “Unboxed,” the Denver Public Library’s LGBTQ Intergenerational Online Digital Storytelling Project. Held during 2020-2021, during the pandemic, “Unboxed” brought together older adults identifying at LGBTQ+ with teen-agers who also identified as LGBTQ+. The program was organized collaboratively with StoryCenter. Two facilitators from the Center, both identifying as LGBTQ, facilitated the 10-week series. the program used many of the features of the Lifetime Arts Creative Aging program model.
According to Amy DelPo, developer of “Unboxed” and Manager of Older Adult Services at the Denver Public Library, participants learned about the power and the techniques of storytelling, while also having the opportunity to shape and tell their own stories. For some of them, the program offered a first-time opportunity to discuss the challenges of being LGBTQ+. For both generations the exchange was valuable, especially learning how the experience of being LGBTQ+ has changed, and not changed, over time.
“Unboxed” complemented other activities offered by the Library for LGBTQ+ families and adults. It was the only offering specifically involving older LGBTQ+ adults. As such, it offers an instructive model for other libraries and cultural institutions.