Tag Archives: World Storytelling Day-Minnesota

World Storytelling Day 2017 – Local plans

World Storytelling Day has been around so long now that it has earned the right to be characterized as a “tradition.”  It began in Sweden in the  early 1990’s and has since spread to nations around the world, a world now connected by Ratatosk, the Scandinavian storytelling web.

A WSD post in 2016 describes more about the history of World Storytelling Day and the local expansion of the living tradition. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/world-storytelling-day-2016/)  The international theme for the World Storytelling Day 2017, celebrated round the world on May 20, is “Transformation.”

Again this year local storyteller and educator Larry Johnson is heading up plans for World Storytelling Day in this community.  The gathering will explore the ways in which stories transform education.  Four storytellers will share their reflections on the theme at a grand public event on Tuesday, March 21, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Landmark Center, 75 West 5th Street in downtown St. Paul 

Beverly Cottman, former high school science teacher, will share African and African American Stories that celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the African Diaspora.

Maren Hinderlie has traveled the world as a storyteller for theatrical, educational, religious events and festivals.  She has just returned from telling stories in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Larry Johnson will share his storytelling skills, particularly as they shape his recent publication, Sixty-One, his personal story told as a powerful challenge to embrace peace, end war and face the health concerns of the nation’s veterans.

Kubisa S Muzenence is a respected human rights advocate, founder of Let Africa Live, a nonprofit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The evening will also showcase the winners of the 2017 Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers Peace Essay Contest for high school juniors and seniors.

There is no charge for the evening; donations will be appreciated by the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.

Reception and information tables open at 6:00 pm.  The program of storytelling will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Updates and any changes are posted of Facebook.

World Storytelling Day spotlights strong women & heroines

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die,

we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.

Sue Monk Kidd,  The Secret Life of Bees

The world awaits the convergence of two joyful events. Sunday, March 20, 2016 marks not only the promise of spring but celebration of the time-honored custom of storytelling. On this special day the people come together to celebrate both the Spring Equinox and World Storytelling Day.

The global theme for World Storytelling Day 2016 is “Strong Women and Heroines.” The vision for World Storytelling Day is that, during those 24 hours, everyone will tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible.  Minnesota’s celebration includes a grand event based on the “Strong Women and Heroines” theme.

As any Prairie Home fan knows, in Minnesota all of the women are strong; a select few of these strong women will share their stories in a very public venue to celebrate World Storytelling Day. The public event is set for Tuesday, March 22, 7:00 p.m. at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul.  (www.landmarkcenter.org)

As of this writing these “heroines” have agreed to share their stories:

  • Judy Brooks, Director of Community programming at Landmark Center.
  • Peggy Flanagan, State Representative, District 46A (St. Louis Park) and Director of the    Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota.
  • Catrina Huynh-Weiss, Writer/Producer/Performing Artist; Immigrant to U.S. after the 1975 Fall of Saigon.
  • Rose McGee, Author/Social Justice Activist; Creator of Sweet Potato Comfort Pie Initiative
  • Renee Weeks/Wynn, Augsburg College Student; Kawase Fellow at Hiroshima Peace Institute, August 2015
  • Elaine Wynne, Therapist/Activist; Founder of Veteran Resilience Project
  • Chante Wolf, Persian Gulf Veteran for Peace; Writer/Artist/Activist with Women Veterans

The event will raise support for Veteran Resilience Project (wwwresiliencemn.org) Suggested donation$10.

For more information contact Larry Johnson, 612 737 3904 or larryjvfp@gmail.com

 

 

World Storytelling Day 2015 – The power of stories shared & stories still untold

 

Until you experience a storyteller who can take to you to worlds away, bring you back changed, you don’t know the power of Storytelling. Until you listen, totally focused on the words making movies in your head, you don’t understand the need for stories. When you are breathing the same air, in a huge group that is laughing in harmony, you can know the joy created in story. When your thoughts are those of peace, gifted to you in story, you can feel your heart beat with understanding. We all need the power, joy, laughter, harmony and peace given through Stories. Kathleen Mavournin, Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association

In the summer 2014 issue of Yes! Magazine, Editor Sarah Van Gelder asks the question “What’s Your Story?” as an introduction to an issue related to stories and storytelling. “If you want to understand people”, she writes, “ask for their stories. Listen long enough, and you learn not only the events of their lives, but their sources of meaning, what they value, what they most want.”

Van Gelder quotes the iconic George Gerbner, who wrote, “We experience the world through stories. Whoever tells the stories of a culture defines the terms, the agenda, and the common issues we face.”   In this unique issue of Yes! the essayists tell stories that remind the reader that “new voices are being heard, and….their stories are transforming our culture” – from a culture based on corporate greed, violence and the partisan impasse to a world in which the voices of the people can make a difference.

Each year, on March 20, the voices of the people and of the ages are heard on World Storytelling Day. The date is set to concur with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the first day of autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere. The idea is for people around the globe to share and listen throughout the 24 hour day to stories in different languages and different settings.

World Storytelling Day has its roots in the Scandinavian nations that reached across borders to share stories in the early 1990’s. Begun in Sweden, the Scandinavian storytelling web network spread to Norway, Denmark, Finland and Estonia. The idea caught on and spread to Canada and other nations around the world so that today World Storytelling Day  is indeed a global celebration.

Clearly, the history of storytelling is as old as humankind. Before there was written communication people had to rely on the memory of the storyteller to pass on the experiences, the ideas, the wisdom, the skills of people. Stories were told to explain confusing events, including disasters that shaped a people’s heritage. Stories may be myths, legends, fairy tales, trickster stories, fables, ghost tales, hero stories, adventures – any oral rendition of the common themes that build community and define humanity.

The theme for World Storytelling Day 2015 is “Wishes.” Storytellers will explore the inclusive theme from their own perspectives and with their own listeners. In this community, one collaboration has already come together to share “Seven Stories I Wish They’d Tell about the War in Vietnam.”

The evening features storytellers/musicians, most of whom are veterans: Dick Foley, Gerald Ganann, Catrina Huynh-Weiss, Steve McKeown, Gary Melom, George Mische, and Chante Wolf. The presenters will share the stories that continue to be ignored or intentionally omitted – stories of the Gulf of Tonkin, Kent State, My Lai, draft card burning, Dr. King’s Vietnam speech, the Fulbright hearings, the impact of the war on the Vietnamese people, rape in Vietnam, homeless veterans and the scourge of Agent Orange.

The free and open event is set for World Storytelling Day, March 20, 2015, 7:00 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth United Church, 1658 Lincoln in St. Paul. Sponsors include Macalester Plymouth United Church Peacemakers and Making Meaning of Vietnam; Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 has endorsed the program.   Questions: Contact Larry Johnson 612 747 3904 or larryjvfp@gmail.com. Johnson was a founder and early supporter of World Storytelling Day in the U.S.