What a great trip! My buddy Wendy Griffiths-Bender, one of our region’s most gifted librarians and my first tandem-telling partner, joined me on this adventure. It was Wendy’s first foray to a storytelling conference, and she came home utterly charmed with a much deeper understanding of this work we tellers do: Build Community!
While this event was a boon to those of us who are professional tellers, my favorite encounters were with folks who tell stories “in the trenches.” The children’s librarians, the preschool teachers, the classroom teachers–These are the folks who keep this gift flowing into the lives and hearts of families in each of our communities.
And it is the charge of more experienced tellers to support that work! Those of us who have been doing storytelling for some time want and need to nurture new tellers in all settings. The National Storytelling Network (NSN) has recently adopted a new motto: “We grow storytellers!”
And in our region of California, The Mother Lode, NSN has taken a giant step forward to help plant those seeds. Here in the Pacific Region of NSN (CA, OR, WA, AL & HI) we have decided to open a new California State region that includes counties in the Sierra Foothills. We will join the already six designated areas for California, making ours California Area #7. Our initial outreach will be to connect with librarians, story time tellers, day-care providers, early childhood education folks, museum and park docents, environmental education folks and professional tellers who live and work on California’s Mother Lode in Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties.
And our first Sierra Region NSN liaison will be yours truly. (I got nothing else to do, right?). I’m going to be reaching out to all of these constituencies in the next few months so that I can assess where we are and where we’d like to go. I hope that you’ll help with these efforts! If you are a teller or you’ve been longing to learn more, please contact me. This work is for new people who want to learn more about the art of storytelling and all of us old standards who love getting our tales out of the barn!
Come join in and wag your tales!