Applicants Sought for The Hearth Community Storytelling Project
A Pilot Program Seeking to Strengthen Local Communities through Personal Storytelling
The Hearth Community Storytelling Project
In partnership with The Ford Institute for Community Building and with support from The Oregon Community Foundation, The Hearth is offering an eight-month pilot training program to assist other small and mid-size communities in developing their own local community storytelling programs. The training program begins with a three-day workshop March 19-21, 2015 and ends with a closing workshop November 6-8, 2015; both workshops will take place in Ashland, Oregon. Between the spring and fall workshops, participants will gather online for training, troubleshooting, and discussion and receive individual coaching with The Hearth founder, Mark Yaconelli. Participants who complete the program will:
*Learn how to create transformative community events that deepen relationships within a local community.
*Gain practical steps for producing their own local community-storytelling program including how to recruit volunteers, prepare storytellers, create an audience, relate to non-profits, and fundraise.
*Understand how to cultivate support from local businesses for community events.
*Deepen understanding of the art and craft of storytelling.
*Learn how to work with local musicians in a way that strengthens community.
*Become inspired to design creative programs grounded in personal storytelling.
*Develop coaching skills for helping others organize and present personal stories.
*Deepen individual skills as a personal storyteller.
*Learn how to inspire and organize a greater commitment to community service.
What is The Hearth?
The Hearth is a non-profit organization in Southern Oregon that creates community events that employ personal stories, song, and service to strengthen local community. At each Hearth gathering, six community members (receptionists, business owners, teachers, laborers, etc.) are invited to share a true story, told first-person, in ten minutes, in front of a live audience. Stories are focused on a particular theme (Wilderness, Bully Stories, Love Hurts, Crime and Punishment, etc.) and are interspersed with live music performed by local musicians. Each event asks for a $5 donation, and all proceeds from a Hearth night are given directly toward the support of a local non-profit. These non-profit service agencies and the community problems they address are highlighted at each Hearth gathering and audience members are encouraged to get involved.
How does a community benefit from a Hearth event?
*Storytellers receive understanding, encouragement, and support as their story is received and celebrated by their neighbors.
*The community cultivates greater compassion and connection as they hear the wide variety of experiences and struggles their neighbors have encountered.
*Youth are exposed to a variety of local stories from adults who serve as guideposts for overcoming their own struggles and pursuing their own passions.
*Local musicians receive exposure and use their gifts to strengthen community.
*Non-profits receive funds, volunteers, and a platform for communicating their mission to the larger community.
*The local audience enjoys a shared experience of story, music, and service and cultivates a greater sense of place.
Qualifications and Application Process
Entrance into the certificate program is by application and interview. All applicants must apply as a team from the same community (minimum of two and maximum of three people). Selected teams will be invited to be interviewed. Each team that applies will be asked to have one individual prepare a ten minute story. Teams must also be able to pay a $500 (total fee) for the training. This fee will cover all housing, meals, and training expenses for the entire team. To be considered for The Hearth Community Storytelling Project, each applying group must have (combining all skills and experiences within the group) the following qualifications:
*Experience in teaching, social service, or comparable community work.
*Experience in storytelling, public speaking, or community performance.
*Experience in event organizing, production or management.
All applying teams must be able to attend training workshops March 19-21, 2015 and November 6-8, 2015 in Ashland, Oregon.
To apply, or for inquiries and questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.