By Ellen H. Munds
Storytelling Arts of Indiana
My earliest memory of my grandfather was that he was old. All he liked to talk about was “the good old days,” and I was not interested. I would tune him out. Many years later, I certainly regret that decision. He died just as I received my Master’s in Library Science.
It was my work as a librarian that drew me to the art of storytelling. At first my interest was purely to introduce children to world folktales and fairy tales. Then I heard my first professional storyteller and my world turned upside down. I began travelling to storytelling festivals in the Midwest. Listening to stories became my passion, and along the way I began learning history not taught in the history books or not remembered, cultures and customs unbeknownst to me and the universal truths shared in a well-told family story.
My world turned upside again with the founding of Storytelling Arts of Indiana in 1987 as Stories, Inc. With the help of many individuals especially Bob Sander and Nancy Barton, we’ve been able to create places for people to listen and share stories. These places include the signature storytelling series at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, Ghost Stories at Crown Hill Cemetery, the As I Recall Storytelling guilds at the Glendale Library and Hancock County Public Library, Jabberwocky at IndyFringe, storytelling at a local children’s hospital, 15 day camps throughout Marion County and so much more.
We also are expanding our reach throughout the state. Most recently, we took the T.C. Steele story to Fort Wayne, Evansville, Brookville and Brown County. The If These Walls Could Tell stories have been told in Fort Wayne, Gary, Elkhart, Wabash and next spring in Fowler. Next summer, we plan to expand programming to include Pokagon State Park as well as McCormick’s Creek State Park.
We have offered Teacher’s Workshops and classroom residencies in the Carmel Clay Schools as well as Hamilton Southeastern Schools. Next year we plan to work with IPS. We also are reaching the business community through our workshop, The Story of Your Business and the Business of Your Story.
All this is possible because of individuals like you who appreciate the art and use of storytelling in everyday life – in the entertainment realm, in the classroom, in the business world, and around the kitchen table. Please help us continue these activities by making a donation today online. There is still so much to accomplish….