trueville-logo-copyUPDATE 5/4: We’ve completed the interviews and are seeking funding to finish the transcriptions and stage the play! More news soon!

TrueVille is Big Blue Door’s new 2017 story collection and oral history initiative. TrueVille asks the people of the Charlottesville area to share some of the stories of their lives. We want to get to know our neighbors’ histories, so we can understand better the history we all are making together. TrueVille will interview people from many parts of our community, and we’ll begin by interviewing police officers and others working for law enforcement agencies.

TrueVille: Law Enforcement Interviews

The TrueVille Project’s interview format is a non-confrontational, open-ended, guided process that helps interview subjects find and share what’s interesting, important, and moving to them, the histories they’ve lived and the larger history they are part of:

  • Who was someone who influenced you?
  • What was an experience in your life that changed you?
  • Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
  • What made you become a police officer?
  • Tell me about a good day.
  • Anything you’re proud of lately in work or in life?
  • Do you have a favorite TV show or song about law enforcement, even if it’s silly?

Under the leadership of project manager Melissa Wender we’re interviewing police officers and others working in law enforcement. Participants are welcome to talk about their work, but they don’t have to. Our goal is to showcase the people behind the job: those who wear the badge, write the parking tickets, or answer the phones. The format is inspired by the oral histories of the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, the lifelong work of Chicago writer and radio host Studs Terkel, the more recent StoryCorps model of interviews, and Big Blue Door’s own true stories tradition.

For more about our interview process and some examples of how it works, please go here.

What Happens Next

The interviews will be transcribed and, if money permits, the originals will also be stored in a permanent audio format.

Then we’ll put together a monolog-based script and oversee the production of a 1-hour play to be staged locally. The show will tie together parts of all the interviews into a fun, interesting, and moving evening.  Our show won’t pretend to give you insight into what it’s like to be a police officer; but we will give you an insight into what a few police officers are like. This law enforcement edition and future editions of TrueVille are about common ground, demystification, and understanding.

How Can I Help?

People often ask us how they can help with Big Blue Door projects and programming. For TrueVille we want to do something that we feel is important for the community, and we need your contacts and resources to do it!

We need volunteers to be interviewed!
Do you or someone you know work for a local law enforcement agency? People have become naturally suspicious of interviews so just getting the word out that we’re trustworthy would be a big help. Would you or they like to be interviewed? Email us at and let us know!

We need donations!
We’ll have a fundraising campaign in a couple of weeks. If you can afford to donate, that would be amazing! If you can’t afford to donate, you can still help us get the word out about the program and the fundraising!

UPDATE: Our GoFundMe campaign has begun! Click here or on the image below to donate!


Questions? Suggestions? Email!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s