Welcome to the digital Story Dome!

Note: The Museum campus—Lightcatcher galleries and Old City Hall—reopens at 25% capacity on Thurs., March 4 as part of Phase 2 of the governor’s Healthy Washington–Roadmap to Recovery plan. We look forward to having you visit the physical Story Dome in the Lightcatcher if you visit our campus. You can also record a story from the comfort of your home!

Story Dome is a physical structure—a colorful, geodesic recording booth—located in the lobby of the Lightcatcher building. During our closure, we launched Story Dome digitally to collect stories about peoples’ experiences during the quarantine. Now that we are reopened, we have opened the physical Story Dome in the Lightcatcher to collect stories based on visitors’ experiences viewing the artworks in our exhibition, Conversations Between Collections: The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whatcom Museum. The artworks in this exhibition allow for fresh perspectives around investigations of place and identity that emphasize the preservation and celebration of storytelling.

While we hope you will visit our exhibition and stop in the physical Story Dome to record your thoughts, we also offer the chance to engage digitally. You can watch virtual gallery tours of the exhibition before recording your story. See part 1 and part 2 of the virtual tours led by Curator of Art Amy Chaloupka. 

After watching the tours, we invite you to record a short story, recite a poem, sing a song, or share your spoken words reflecting on one of the questions below. The Story Dome prompts are easy to follow and only takes 3 minutes or less to complete. For more info scroll down the page to our FAQs.

Share a story answering one of the following prompts:
  • How do you think the works in Conversations Between Collections present ideas of personal identity? What colors, ideas, or images do these artists use that relate to your own identity?
  • Many works in Conversations Between Collections are landscape paintings. What does your internal landscape look like? Paint a picture of this landscape in words.
  • The artists in Conversations Between Collections tell various stories through their artworks. Tell a story about being stuck in place. How has your sense of place shifted over the past few months?

Click the “Start Here” button to fill out the form and tell your story!

Listen to our featured story below.

We’ll be rotating our featured story every couple of weeks. To listen to more Story Dome recordings visit our SoundCloud station.


How do I record my audio response?

Click on the link above to get started. The prompts are easy to follow and guide you through a few pages collecting basic information and permission to record.

How much time does the recording take?

The prompts and recording process only takes 3 minutes or less to complete. 

Is there a time limit on my recording?

Yes, there is a 3 minute maximum recording limit.

Do I need any special equipment?

No, just a digital device such as a laptop, phone, or tablet. Make sure your device’s microphone is turned on.

What types of stories can I submit?

You can share a real-life story, a made-up story, a song, a poem, a limerick, spoken word, an interview–any way you’d like to tell your story is welcome, just remember it has to be three minutes or less.

Will I receive a copy of my recording?

If you provide your email in the prompts, an audio file will be emailed to you directly. Check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an email soon after submitting your recording. Send us an email if you experience problems or have not received your recording.

How will my recording be used?

We will compile a selection of recordings to share on this page, so check back in a couple of weeks. The Museum will also feature a curated selection of stories at audio listening stations in our galleries once we re-open.

About Story Dome

Inspired by StoryCorps, the Whatcom Museum’s Story Dome is tied to the current exhibition Conversations Between Collections, which features three masterworks from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in conversation with works from our permanent collection.

Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges.

Art Bridges Logo with purple curve