Learning at the International Storytelling Center

International Storytelling Center

International Storytelling Center

Do you ever consciously consider how stories shape our everyday relationships, work, and future? I’m not talking about fudging the facts, but rather taking conscious inventory of the words and interpretations we use to create and communicate the meaning behind the incidents and accidents of our lives. I recently had the chance to ponder these ideas in the beautiful town of Jonesborough, Tennessee while attending the September 2018 Beth Horner workshop at the International Storytelling Center, Stories to Create Positive Change Inside & Outside Your Institution. Beth Horner has worked not only as a storyteller on stage, but also as a creative storyteller working on institutional change in places like NASA and policy change in communities like her hometown of Columbia, Missouri.

It was an eye-opening experience to experiment with ways of storytelling that create internal change in communities and institutions. This work seems important not only in the current political climate, but also in the work that nonprofits are doing internally and externally to make change and achieve ambitious goals. How do the stories that you use positively or negatively affect the outcome of your work?

Resources for a deeper dive into the transformative power of storytelling:

  • Explore The International Storytelling Center

  • The Pipeline Blues: Crafting an Historical Story

    Beth Horner’s step-by-step guide for using storytelling and music to galvanize the local fight to keep Columbia from piping its wastewater directly into the Missouri River.

  • From Ideas.TED.com, The two kinds of stories we tell about ourselves

    An exploration of how personal narrative can be shaped to help us live with more meaning and purpose.  

    Author Emily Esfahani Smith has an MA in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She writes about cultures, relationships and psychology for the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, the New York Times and other publications.

  • From The Guardian, Afrofuturism: reimagining science and the future from a black perspective

    By examining ‘race as a technology’, panelists discussed how Afrofuturism reclaims ownership over black identity with visioning storytelling in art, culture and political resistance.  Author Steven W Thrasher is a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University. He contributed to the recently published book The Unfinished Queer Agenda After Marriage Equality and was formerly writer-at-large for Guardian US.

  • Jason Silva’s monologue CAN WE CHANGE THE PAST?

    Jason Silva is a TV personality, storyteller, filmmaker. Jason is perhaps best known for hosting 5 seasons of the Emmy-nominated series Brain Games, on the National Geographic Channel.


    Storytelling games purchased at the International Storytelling Center

1.  Rememory : pull three cards that use objects, places, and adjectives to help you find a memory to share with other players.  2.  The Storymatic : card-based game with inspiration for discussion, storytelling, or art making.  3.  Magic & Fairy-Tale Dice : roll the dice and create a story. These were a favorite among the team, if for nothing but the feel alone.  4.  Conversation Dice : 30 wooden dice with word prompts on each side. This is a versatile conversation tool that could be used in many ways.

1. Rememory: pull three cards that use objects, places, and adjectives to help you find a memory to share with other players.

2. The Storymatic: card-based game with inspiration for discussion, storytelling, or art making.

3. Magic & Fairy-Tale Dice: roll the dice and create a story. These were a favorite among the team, if for nothing but the feel alone.

4. Conversation Dice: 30 wooden dice with word prompts on each side. This is a versatile conversation tool that could be used in many ways.

POSTED BY PATRICIA BERRY • Month 00, 2018