By Ellen Munds
Do you know where you were on Saturday, Aug. 13, 1988? I do. I was at the First Annual Hoosier Storytelling Festival on the grounds at Conner Prairie. This was the first event produced by Stories, Inc.—now known as Storytelling Arts of Indiana. The featured storytellers were Carol Birch, Len Cabral, Syd Lieberman, Jim May and Celestine Bloomfield. Mayor Bill Hudnut told the first ghost story on Saturday night.
THIRTY years later, we have experienced enormous changes. We now present more than 150 programs and events every year that entertain, educate and inspire thousands of people. Some of our favorites include:
- Telling stories at the bedside of patients in a local children’s hospital every week
- Creating a space for elders to share their stories with the As I Recall Storytelling guild at the Glendale and the Hancock County Public Library
- Increasing the cultural literacy of children by sending storytellers to 15 summer day camps in Marion County
- Encouraging kids of all ages to tell whoppers at the Annual Liar’s Contest during the Indiana State Fair
With the help of our partners, we have expanded programming to include the If These Walls Could Tell series with Indiana Landmarks, Ghost Stories at Crown Hill Cemetery with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories Series with the Indiana Historical Society and Jabberwocky in collaboration with IndyFringe.
We have a home for our office and our performance season at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, and we have grown our endowment to $117,000. I believe this calls for a celebration. So please CELEBRATE this milestone with us by making an online donation to our endowment and help secure the future of Storytelling Arts of Indiana.