In collaboration with the Strangers Project, the center has converted a 3,000 sq. ft vacant retail space into an immersive gallery exhibiting thousands of anonymous hand-written and deeply moving, beautiful, candid, and amazing personal stories about love, loss, joy, fear, and life.
The concept of the Strangers Project is beautifully simple.
- Each story is shared on the spur-of-the-moment.
- Every story is handwritten on the spot.
- Everyone gets one sheet of paper to share their story. The story can be any true experience or feeling from their life.
It’s up to each person as how they interact with the immersive gallery at Westfield World Trade Center. Some visitors first like to read a selection of the thousands of anonymous stories exhibited, while others like to begin by writing and sharing their own story. The gallery has been designed in a way that lets each person decide how they want to interact and experience the stories.
As a place where the Lower Manhattan community gathers and as one of New York City’s largest and busiest transportation hubs connecting 13 subway lines and the PATH train, Westfield World Trade Center is truly a place where New Yorkers from all walks of life cross-paths every day, all carrying their personal stories.
In the first three weeks of the Strangers Project being at the center, over 1,200 personal stories were spontaneously written and shared by visitors. By hosting the project, Westfield has enhanced the visitor experience in a truly compelling way, providing a platform and opportunity for guests of all ages and from all backgrounds to reflect, rejoice, heal, and connect through words.
Many of those who have visited the gallery in person or on social media have commented how the gallery is helping deepen the sense of community, providing a powerful reminder of how connected and wonderfully human we really are, and quite literally improving the days of all who visit. That is a sense of feeling we are immensely proud to foster and promote.
The Strangers Project is at Westfield World Trade Center until July 31, and is open noon – 7:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday.