About Us

Loved Locations Lost. Using memories and stories, we are recreating places that no longer exist.  Places that were important to us.  We are creating a series of stories for radio and an online map where you’ll be able to add your own memories through text, photos, sound, whatever.  Over the coming months, this blog will follow our adventures.  We hope you enjoy them.

Place + Memory is a project of Big Shed Audio (Shea Shackelford and Jennifer Deer), being incubated with NPR’s Weekend Edition during Summer 2009. The project is part of the Maker’s Quest 2.0, a project of the Association of Independents in Radio, with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Place + Memory Project Staff


Shea Shackelford,  Project Producer

Shea is an independent audio producer based in Washington, DC, where he produces documentary work for public radio and the web.  He is the proud co-founder of Big Shed Audio & the Big Shed Audio Documentary Podcast.

Shea is also the Media Coordinator at the Latin American Youth Center’s Art + Media House; a regular producer-in-residence at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies; and a project-design consultant working with educators, organizations and artists.

For years, Shea dreamt of doing a story about the Venz Family Rabbit Hutch Restaurant.  That idea was the inspiration for this project … it’s nice to have dreams come true.


Jennifer Deer, Co-Producer

Jennifer is the co-founder of Big Shed Audio and the Big Shed Audio Documentary Podcast. As this project involves collaboration, road-tripping, much insanity and good humor, and most importantly–pie, she is very glad to be along for the ride.

katina parker

Katina Parker, Social Networking Guru

Prior to creating New Orleans: A Labor of Love, Katina Parker worked as a creative director. Her body of work encompassed filmmaking, photography, and graphic/web design for clients like Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Saul Williams.

Previously, Parker worked as a Media Strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Parker received her M.F.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California and her B.A. in Speech Communications from Wake Forest University.


Selena Simmons-Duffin, Project Assistant

Many places have been fixed in Selena’s memory: Cleveland, the land of her youth; East Africa, the region of her quarter-life adventure crisis; Maine, the state of her first training in radio at the Salt Institute; DC, the capitol of America. This last place is the one she now calls home. She’s thrilled to be a part of the Place + Memory team.


Sarah Jessee, Project Assistant

Sarah just left many memories behind in one of the places she loves most: the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. After delving into radio documentary at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Sarah Jessee got involved with the Place + Memory project when she volunteered to transcribe an exhaustive description of the Rabbit Hutch restaurant’s menu…and found herself strangely enticed by the prospect of rabbit barbeque. In documenting places that no longer exist, Sarah’s also thinking about places she has yet to discover (namely: the perfect Masters program in Oral History)

7 responses to “About Us

  1. Best wishes with your work. This topic is important to me. There are a couple places in my life that I consider magical — places that “no longer exist,” where my youth and my mother’s youth intersect. I always wonder who will preserve that specialness of place if I can’t figure out how to.

  2. this is beyond amazing! katrina and rita did a number on my life but we still standin’!!! bless you for this.

  3. Linda Mudry/Billie Spaight

    My sister and I are working on memories of summers spent at a little cottage in Mastic Beach, Long Island. Our “adventures” were a contrast to our life in Manhattan during the rest of the year. The area does not have the trees, fields of wild flowers, little local store or post office anymore. But they exist in our memories. Really excited about this project.

  4. Your project looks very interesting. The study of local history is hugely important. How far back in time are you going? What sort of responses have you had in terms of people sharing their memories with you?
    I look forward to following the project!

  5. Thanks, Kathryn. We’re looking for places that still exist in first person memory. I mean … we’re not policing that sort of thing, but are target is the places we still remember (i.e. places that folks who are still alive can remember). We’re so glad you found us!

    shea + jen

  6. This is very exciting.
    Please check out my blog at:

    Place and memory are often positively associated, but what about those places that are inescapable and cannot be severed from our past?
    I’d love to talk more to you guys about this project.


  7. I love this project (sadly I can’t participate, not being from the US!). I’m glad that there are projects out there like yours that explore the importance of place and just how much our identities are tied up with it, how it gives us and our narratives a very important, formative point of reference, how it shapes our life stories– and how disoriented we can become when they disappear. As someone who has always felt a very strong sense of connection to places since childhood this is a topic very close to my heart.
    I hope this doesn’t sound like an egregious and shameless plug for my blog, but I’ve just started a blog collection of projects, writings, websites etc. relating to memory, place and identity. I’ll be adding your site soon, and feel free to drop by if you like.

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