|Julia Reichert,Steven Bognar
Visit the project
“When we started, we weren’t really sure how the city was doing. But luckily for the project and for the community, a corner was turning as we hit the streets. People were taking risks, opening new businesses, forming groups, and we caught the wave.”
Julia Reichert, Producer and Director, in DaytonMostMetro.com
Once a thriving manufacturing hub, Dayton, Ohio has been in decline since the 1970s. As factory jobs moved overseas and work dried up, the city lost nearly half of its population. Dayton was hit hard by the 2008 recession, but the city has recently enjoyed a renaissance. A team of Dayton radio producers and filmmakers set out to capture local stories of hope and resilience, as part of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR)’s Localore initiative. Their project Reinvention Stories reveals the spirit that took Dayton—once called the “Fastest-Dying City in America” by Forbes—to the “Most Affordable” and “Happiest City to Work In,” in 2012.
Reinvention Stories follows seven Dayton residents, many of whom lost manufacturing or construction jobs. All of the protagonists—hoping to rebuild their own lives along with the city’s—have started small businesses. Reinvention Stories tracks them over the course of a year. Viewers can watch the stories in any order, and an interactive map of the town provides additional context. Dozens of pins reveal stories about Dayton’s history of invention, as well as community projects and cultural events. The map also opens the project to public participation; Dayton residents can submit their own story to Reinvention Stories and have it appear as a node on the map.