the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

Sunday, August 10, 2008

massmouth = what to do next...
3 meetings a year with
3 workshops + a performance in
3 thirds of the state - each
third finds us a space or two - one for workshops /meeting and one for performance. meeting space must have wifi. Performance place must have some buzz and be in evening - lottery for performers ? Preference given to those who meet.
workshop ideas:
GET DIGITAL -learn to record yourself at home and in performance - sharing sound files etc. 5 minute stories by lottery
GET VIDEO - how to create and upload video to youtube we could record 3 minutes stories by lottery - “ equipment you need” hand out - digital cameras and sound
GO LIVE workshop on some aspect of live performance coaching / interactive and master level.
other ideas:
Discounts to LANES members?
Should we charge for workshops? If so, how much? Something affordable -
Workshops $20 each or $50 for the whole day?
Meeting =$0/ no cost?
Performing = $30 in tix ( @ $6 each) you pay or bring 5 audience members.

5 minutes for each teller and 1.5 hours max performance-
(= up to 18 performers ) Workshop presenters get honorarium ?

We'll need to keep records once we charge money?
Set up as a dba? or a nonprofit ? Or skip the entire money issue?
Look for cable access stations, libraries, schools for the meetings and then cafés and the like for the performances.
Possible 3rds:
OCT 2008 Worcester/Central MA
JAN 2008 Greater Boston (from Natick to Salem to Quincy )
JULY 2008 Holyoke/Western MA

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Friday, June 13, 2008 massmouth SURVEY RESULTS
(note: when Norah and I had this idea ,we were thinking if people in Boston might like to do some work together and our idea expanded to all of Mass., but we neglected to change one or two of the questions (not posted here) to reflect that. Our apologies.)
Some comments from the survey:

1. I'd like to have a list of recommended CD duplication companies. I have 3 publications but one is on cassette. I need to get it on CD
2. Staying in greater touch with the community
3. Support others on the journey while growing my own skills and knowledge.
4. I'd enjoy getting to become part of a smaller, more regular group. I've been to STF several times and enjoyed it, but since I'm kinda shy I'd love to have a chance to get to know a smaller gathering of folks on a more intimate basis...especially to begin creating my own stories (as opposed to learning and telling folktales). thanks for asking.
5. join other tellers to mouth off, jaw, joke, ideas, share my brilliant insights find work and to leave feeling like part of a community.
6. Think about what we can do to turn around our national politics and environmental disaster
7. Offer workshops and chances for people to try new ideas
8. take storytelling it to another level
9. coaching groups
10. Publishing a Book of Folk Tales/ Personal Tales from MA Tellers

I have often thought that we would benefit by using our group to support Mass. Advocates for the Arts efforts, (MAASH) which lobby legislators to fund cultural facilities, artists, the MCC and more. In my dream world, storytellers hire educational research groups to conduct scientific studies of how students immersed in storytelling perform academically vs. kids without story. On another front, storytellers still have not found a way to use our group leverage to buy health insurance/disability/liability. As our members have grown, so is the need for professional cross-training via other artists outside our discipline, my belief being that all arts correspond. Many of us have been at this trade as professionals for a long time. The group's focus still has a "beginner" feeling. I also think that children's librarians are the most important group link out there. They love and value and pay for our work. Thanks so much for doing this survey. I really appreciate your time and energy.

I would like to see more Storytelling for Grownups groups in Greater Boston and Western MA. There are many venues for children but not a heck of a lot for adults. I began the first "Storytelling for Grownups" in Medford, MA that Laura Packer now hosts and there does not seem to be any others.... I would love to see more storytelling for Grownup events in Western, MA.
Let me know what happens. I would like to see something develop outside of Boston.
I thought this was a Massachusetts group?
You guys Rock! I am there for all of it! Lets make it happen.
Revive the awareness of the value of story in every day life , Part of the rhythm of living Thanks

Some other Questions:
1. Are you a working storyteller? And a member of a group that supports your work as a performer?
25% said working on it
35% said I make my living talking
32% said my job uses story
92% said they are Lanes members
10% said they were past LANES member
14% said they were a guild member
14 % ad hoc
71% said they are working storytellers

Question 2
I am interested in joining others, live and in person to:
Work on my craft 80%
Learn about recording 36.4%
Learn about video 35%
Leaning about posting blogs and videos on the internet 48%
Expand performing opportunities 65%

Question 3
Are you willing to meet in a central location?
A café 95.7%
A club 95.0%
A tavern 95.0%
A restaurant 95.5%
A library 95.8%
A school 95.2%
A museum 100%

Question 4
Are you able to join a phone conference?
38% yes
60% sometimes
8% never

Question 5
Are you able to meet regularly?
38% said bi monthly
80% said not weekly
45% 4x a year

Question 6
What can you bring or share with the group?
100% various performing, musical and mentoring skills
95.7 said they could offer a location
35% said video, sound and or recording equipment
First f2f at Toscis - my sketchy report - please fill in.

Tony Toledo's fab theme of MONEY brought out some GREAT stories!
Absolutely magical and fun. Toscaninis supported us and we will be there next month.
Also, the Cambridge Chronicle and TAB were there. Catelin Gallagher, a writer from Central Square sat through the whole magillah - from set up to break down.

One woman who sat in to listen said as we were leaving "Thank you. I am visiting and not from here, so I cannot join you - but what you did was wonderful. This is how people used to entertain themselves, grow and learn and be together."
- Wow. She really got it!
We looked at the outline posted here ( see above) and agreed to work towards a meeting and performance in Central MA in OCT. People liked the idea of going to where people are - perhaps performing around apple picking and apple orchards? Hope to link up with Katie Green and other folks in Worcester area. the dozen or so peeps who met - Michael A \Stu M\ Andrea L\James Mc\ Doria H\ Elsa Z\ Brother Blue\ Ruth H\ Penny P\ Michael\ please add to this?
That is the beauty of this web 2.0. stuff. I do not have to be central or singular - you all can chime in - add and amend as needed.
Ciao for now,

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Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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