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Grounding Storytelling in the Real

Page history last edited by bgblogging 13 years, 7 months ago



   "We must begin by asking, why must we exist today? Because we have a building is not enough. Because we have a history and awards and a reputation is not enough.

    What is it in the world—in an external world—that mandates the flourishing of the arts in our communities today?

    On the one hand, this invites groups to be value specific about what we do. Indeed, every arts organization needs to be able to answer three questions:


  • What is the value my organization brings to my community?
  • Harder; What is the value my organization alone brings or brings better than anyone else? Second rate or duplicated value will not stand for long in this economy.
  • Hardest: How would my community be damaged if we closed our doors and went away tomorrow?


   Even these questions can be a trap, filtering our communities through our organizations. Too often we try to serve orchestras and forget that we are really called to serve

   symphonic music; we try to fix theatre companies without the larger lens of examining the connection between dramatic art and our communities. Perhaps the better sequence

   of questions—and the scarier set—would be:


  • What is the value of dance for my community?
  • What is the value dance alone has or that dance fulfills better than anything else?
  • How would my community be damaged if it were abandoned by dance tomorrow?
  • And how might my organization be optimally structured, poised and focused to be my community's best conduit to dance?—a question that invites us not to jettison all we do, but to keep what is most central and viable, to expand to embrace the new possibilities we may not have seen, and to discard past behaviors that do not and will not serve us in the future."



                                                             Ben Cameron  "The Arts As Family Photographs"  



Before we embark on planning a storytelling project and as we move through the storytelling, it is important to keep in mind:





   Are we willing to HEAR the story, or are we trying to tell it? 



   Are we truly interested in ALL perspectives? How do we invite all voices?



    What do we mean by PARTICIPATION and ENGAGEMENT?



  How do we ALL become listeners and participants in the process?




  How do we balance the past with the present and future?






   How do we help people tell their stories fully?








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