When we gather at festivals, conferences, or other events, we experience a kind of storytelling family reunion.
Then everyone goes home.
Nowadays we have the Internet to be updated by our fellow "brothers and sisters" in storytelling. . . .and sometimes that is where it ends.
Or could we do something more?
Storytelling organizations could create Story Sisters much like the Sister Cities or Town Twinning established through government or municipal levels. We could encourage growth and advocacy in the art.
How could such relations be forged?
- Involve Local People and Determine Purpose
- Discover Group with Similar Goals and Make Introductions
- Collaborate and Share Results
A collaboration of any kind always starts with an individual. You. Someone has to envision the partnership.
Then you find another individual in your vicinity. Most likely this would be another storyteller.
Add another individual. And add another individual.
If you have a storytelling club or guild in the area, then it would make sense to involve them. A guild could be a sister to another guild.
Feel free to expand the outreach with other pro-story people. Consider businessmen, educators, librarians, retirees, and youth.
Think about groups such as rotary clubs, churches, hospitals, schools, local government, and anyone else who could be excited to be with storytellers.
When I used to be with the Brigham Young University Storytelling Club, we called other clubs that we collaborated with as "cousin clubs". Performing art groups made sense to join efforts such as Y Juggle, the juggling club on campus. We combined skills to create the program "Once Upon a Juggler". The first and last stories of the session merged storytelling with juggling. Then, we rotated from storyteller to juggler to storyteller throughout the night.
Local collaborations are plentiful.
Chat about the purpose of gathering. What is the desire to connect with other people, groups, or organizations outside the area?
Hopefully, you are thinking beyond monetary reasons. Perhaps there are services or expertise that could be exchanged. Maybe you could create a youth program to teach leadership through story-based methods. Do you need volunteers to run storytelling festivals or events?
Whatever it may be, have everyone in agreement before moving onto the next step.
Discover Group with Similar Goals and Make Introductions
If the group you wish to meet has a website, then read their mission statement or objectives to see if they match the ones that your local group agreed on.
The Internet makes this possible as well as an invention that has been around for a while: the telephone.
For international calls, consider using a service like Skype to save money.
There is something about hearing someone's voice that is more inviting than simply sending an email request.
Some people are fearful of contacting someone from another part of the country or the world, though one only needs to remember that these people could love stories as much as you. . .if not more.
Some national groups to consider for collaborations or guidance:
- National Storytelling Network
- International Storytelling Center
- Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada
- Society for Storytelling
- Federation for European Storytelling (FEST)
- Australian Storytelling Guild
- Storytelling Association (Singapore)
- Zamaleo ACT
- And the list could go on and on
Once the relationship is established, then have each group's leader send the other group's leader an official letter to ask to work together. Be sure to share a general overview of your group, especially if this is the first time to be in contact. You may want to add promotional items like pins, pens, or anything else as a friendship gift.
Collaborate and Share Results
Decide on a project or at least determine a tentative time-line of when certain results would take place.
Did you want to have a Multi-Art event?
Would you like an elementary school class to interview senior citizens for stories?
Do you want Rotary club members to contact their international chapters for a storytelling event with broadcast abilities?
The ideas are endless.
Though, let the world know about them.
Share the project updates through websites, blogs, Facebook groups, Twitter, or any other social media tools.
You may find that spreading the word intensifies support. You could expand the scope you have for the next project or collaboration.
You would experience these storytelling reunions and efforts time after time.
Story Sisters could last for generations.
Now that is a storytelling family reunion!
Until we tell again,
Tel: (801) 870-5799
How-To Blog: http://storytellingadventures.blogspot.com/Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com/
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