The University of Findlay has teamed with Dave Morrow, founder of the Humans of Findlay Facebook page, to publish an insightful book featuring UF students, faculty, staff and others from the community at large.
The book will serve as an extension of Morrow’s pictorial project, which began in 2014 and was inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York (HONY) project. Morrow, a retired teacher and natural introvert, thought that a localized version would be a great way to meet people, so he began photographing individuals in black and white. Descriptions of the subjects, along with their mantras and advice about living, accompany the online posts. Healthcare workers, business owners, musicians, children and more have been featured.
As of July 29, the Humans of Findlay Facebook page, which can be found here, had 8,281 likes. It receives an average of 12,000 visits per day.
Creating a book was also Morrow’s idea. He conceived of it after participating in Duke University’s documentary studies program that taught the art of storytelling. He then recruited the Hancock Historical Museum, which is also collaborating with him.
Serving on a facilitation committee are Christine Denecker, Ph.D., chair of The University of Findlay’s English Department; UF alumna and local designer Lindsy Reindel; and Sarah Sisser, executive director of the Hancock Historical Museum. A total of 150 black and white photographs will be published, along with biographical information that will tell individuals’ stories. This preservation method will help to capture a brief time in Findlay’s history through the eyes of its people and through the sympathetic lens of one of its residents.
“A book like this is important because there is something extraordinary in every ordinary life,” said Denecker. “It’s also important to capture as much as we can of our history because things are changing so rapidly. We don’t want to risk it being lost of forgotten. We want to capture the moment.
Organizers hope to publish a hardcover version of “Humans of Findlay: A Community Snapshot” in November, and are raising funds to do so. Donations can be made to the Hancock Historical Museum.