CoronaCoaster local video series now live; volunteers welcome for new episodes

The first five episodes of CoronaCoaster — a community video project aimed at capturing local experiences of living through the ups and downs of the coronavirus pandemic — are now live for public viewing.

CoronaCoaster randomly pairs intergenerational teams of two “co-stars” to share their individual stories in 10-minute Zoom episodes. The co-stars decide what to share and how to share it, while two producers work behind the scenes to record the episodes and upload video files for editing. Editors takes the recordings and work their magic to extract highlights and reduce teach episode to approximately 10 minutes.

After review, all videos are uploaded to the Edmonds Historical Museum CoronaCoaster series website and the  Edmonds Historical Museum’s CoronaCoaster playlist on YouTube. All co-stars, producers and editors are volunteers from the community who have signed up via the Edmonds Waterfront Center.

“We’d like to congratulate these brave early souls who entered into unknown territory – well done!” said project organizer Karen Barnes.

Here’s a quick summary of the first five episodes:

Gary Haakenson (former Edmonds Mayor and current board chair of the Edmonds Waterfront Center) and Jacob Sawyer (a senior at Edmonds- Woodway High School and co-chair of the Edmonds Youth Commission) discuss when the pandemic first started to feel “real.”  (Link here)

UW Bothell professor Arnie Lund and UW Bothell student Chase Keffeler exchange different perspectives on the sudden transition from in-person college classes to online teaching and learning. (Link here)

Edmonds College international student Osas Airuoyo and Program Coordinator Janey McCaulley, who works for a professional association in downtown Seattle, discuss switching to virtual classes and online working. (Link here)

Longtime Edmonds resident Maureen “Mo” Galbreath and high school junior Preston Yao discuss their personal experiences and thoughts regarding the pandemic’s worldwide impact. (Link here)

High school student Maxine and long-time Edmonds resident Donna share how they keep in contact with family members, their experience of changes in downtown Edmonds and thoughts about the post-pandemic future. (Link here)

The project team put in many hours, and included in addition Program Coordinator and Producer Michelle Burke; Editors Isaiah Reitan, Kristina Rothe and Gaby Molina, Producer and Program Manager Karen Barnes, and Co-Star and Producer Chase Keffeler.

“It’s been fascinating to see the connection the co-stars — who were previously complete strangers to each other — developed in such a short period of time. They start sharing experiences and, before you know it, it’s like they’ve known each other for years,” Barnes said.

“It’s so interesting to listen to these stories — each person brings a unique and intriguing perspective,” Burke added. “I look forward to sharing the additional episodes we are working on.”

While Zoom is not necessarily the ideal format for video quality, “we felt it was a great fit based on its ease of use, wide availability and on its iconic representation of 2020,” said Editor Kristina Rothe.

“We are thrilled to add these videos to our local history portfolio – we do not want to forget the enormous impact of this point in time,” said Edmonds Historical Museum Director Katie Kelly. “Our sincere thanks to all who volunteer to share their stories!”

As interest in the project grows, the team is seeking additional volunteers in all roles. If you are interested in becoming a co-star, producer or editor (or all three), contact

Organizations supporting this effort include the Edmonds Historical Museum, the Edmonds Waterfront Center, Edmonds Rotary, the Edmonds Diversity Commission and the My Neighborhood News Network.


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