In response to the firestorms that ravaged much of the North Bay region in October 2017, the Museum of Sonoma County developed two projects under the banner of The Fire Project.
The Fire Project is about memory, expression and our shared experience of the firestorms of 2017. These projects are designed to benefit the Sonoma County community in the spirit of restoration and healing.
The Fire Collection:
Preserving our Stories
The creation of a permanent historical record of one of the most important and pivotal events in Sonoma County history is of great importance to our community. With this in mind, we are collecting related objects, photographs, recordings and other documentation that is representative of the firestorms of 2017. From the materials collected, the museum will develop a permanent collection and will curate exhibitions to commemorate our shared experience. To submit, click here.
The Fire Wall:
Sharing our Experience
The Fire Wall is an online searchable display and digital repository of the community’s creative reflections and personal stories of the 2017 wildfires and their aftermath. The Fire Wall is designed to be inclusive, broad in scope, and empowering to all who participate and experience it. We invite you to visit The Fire Wall and submit your own creative reflection by clicking here.
Thank you to the following for their generous support of the Fire Project:
The Codding Foundation
DPI – Digital Print Imaging
The Engine is Red
First Interstate Contractors
Eric and Debbie Green
Steven and Angela Gelber
Lawrence and Jacqueline Simons
October 6, 2018 – January 27, 2019
From the Fire: A Community Reflects and Rebuilds commemorated the anniversary of the October 2017 firestorms. In the exhibition, we examined the fires from personal, historical, and environmental perspectives, as well as highlighted art’s power as a healing tool and creative outlet.
O, the Oprah Magazine, August 2018 issue
The Press Democrat, May 10, 2018
Atlas Obscura, February 14, 2018
ABC News, February , 2018
Since November, people who lost everything in the October wildfires have been giving Gregory Roberts ash from their homes in plastic bags, mason jars and Tupperware containers. The Sonoma Ash Project created over 150 individually handmade ceramic objects as an offering of physical remembrance to those who have lost their homes in the tragic wildfires our community experienced in October 2017.
The Ash Project had multiple goals to achieve. One of the most important was to present homeowners and community members with a creative object made from the material left behind; acknowledging the loss they have felt. A second was to provide the community of participants with an opportunity for a shared commemoration of the fires. When the fires displaced families from their home, they also tore through long-standing community bonds.
The Museum of Sonoma County was proud to be a fiscal sponsor for the Sonoma Ash Project
Thank you to the following for their generous support of the Sonoma Ash Project:
Church of the Incarnation
Community Resources & Links
The Sonoma County Community Memory Map serves to provide a central place where people can share photographs and stories of the places that we lost. The intention is to create a patchwork of community remembrance of spaces and aims to reconstruct a digital collective memory. Residents and visitors alike can share their recollections of the places we no longer have by uploading photographs to the interactive map. The photographs must be linked to a specific address and have a brief caption. We invite all photographs but encourage submission of those which capture moments that took place before structures were destroyed. The Sonoma County Community Memory Map was created with the support of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
List of ongoing resources for creatives affected by the fires