Memoir Project

Having lived through most of the decades of the twentieth century, seniors have seen and participated in sweeping changes in history, technology, culture, communities and the arts, and are in a unique and powerful position to offer their memories and interpretations of those changes. GrubStreet seeks to honor the voices of these seniors and help refine them so that current and future generations can learn from them.

The Memoir Project leads writing workshops for seniors and provides training to a corps of instructors and coaches, who share their expertise with participants. The program has three main goals: to teach students the basics of effective storytelling and help them shape lived experiences into vivid and memorable prose, to document their lives and preserve their insights for future generations and their families, and to give seniors a meaningful artistic experience that adds value and purpose to their lives.

Launched in 2006 in collaboration with the City of Boston, the Memoir Project has reached hundreds of seniors in the Boston area and the history-rich island of Nantucket as well. GrubStreet is proud to be teaching seniors the craft of writing and to help them create narratives with lasting value. By collecting and preserving the stories of elderly citizens, we intend to document the living history of Boston and, by doing so, provide a greater understanding of the city's past and present for all its residents. The Memoir Project has published five anthologies, Born Before Plastic, My Legacy Is Simply This, Sometimes They Sang With Us, Little Grey Island, and Streets of Echoes, and stories from the collections have been integrated into Boston public school curricula.  

Memoir Project images

About our Memoir Project Partner, the City of Boston Elderly Commission

The mission of the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly is to enhance the quality of life for Boston's senior citizens through planning, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of services to the elderly in an efficient and effective manner. These activities are provided in conjunction with various federal, state, and city agencies, along with neighborhood service providers and senior citizen groups. The Commission, as Boston's Area Agency on Aging and Council On Aging, promotes the active involvement of seniors in the life and health of their neighborhoods.

Acknowledgements

GrubStreet and the City of Boston express our deep gratitude to the Calderwood Foundation and the Llewelynn Foundation for their generous support of this program.