We’re all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.–Jimmy Neil Smith
The Certificate in the Art of Community Storytelling
This is a practical, transformative program for persons who seek to deepen their skills in the art of community storytelling. The program is ideal for non-profit staff, business leaders, government officials, teachers, ministers, social justice activists, and anyone invested in strengthening the well-being of organizations and communities. The Certificate in the Art of Community Storytelling offers a mixture of experiential exercises, individual skill-building, practical teaching, online discussion groups, one-on-one coaching, and written and online resources. Individuals who complete the certification course will:
- Learn how to create transformative events that deepen relationships within a local community or organization
- Explore a variety of storytelling practices that promote individual growth and community health
- Learn how to create a variety of public story sharing platforms
- Gain concrete skills for community storytelling including story recruitment, event promotion, audience building, public participation, and fundraising
- Develop the use of personal storytelling for speaking, teaching, and facilitation
- Increase skills for coaching groups and individuals in crafting personal stories
- Discover methods for creating deeper awareness and trust with marginalized populations
- Learn how to apply storytelling techniques to promote positive social and environmental action
In partnership with The Ford Institute for Community Building and with support from The Oregon Community Foundation, The Hearth is offering an eight-month certification program to assist community and organizational leaders in learning a variety of skills, techniques, and processes for producing community storytelling programs. The training program begins with a three-day workshop in spring of 2018 and ends with a closing workshop in the fall of 2018; 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.
What is The Hearth?
The Hearth is a non-profit organization that uses transformational storytelling to help communities and organizations deepen trust, celebrate individual courage, address social problems, and strengthen group identity and purpose. The Hearth has produced a number of events and projects designed to bring people together to raise awareness, encourage healing, and inspire action around difficult social issues. A sampling of recent projects include:
- Working with The Mexican American Center in Austin, Texas to give voice to the suffering of undocumented people.
- Creating a platform for people in North Wales to hear the stories of refugees after the Brexit vote.
- Recording and presenting stories of kindness and generosity to promote healing after a shooting at Umpqua Community College.
- Partnering with the State of Oregon to help small towns address racial differences.
- Leading evening story sharing at The Wild Goose Festival.
The Hearth has produced public events in Oregon, North Carolina, Texas, California, and the United Kingdom– raising awareness of hundreds of social and environmental issues. In the process, The Hearth has raised funds and volunteers for countless non-profits within the United States and United Kingdom. In addition to producing events, The Hearth has led numerous workshops and retreats for community leaders, religious workers, and community and environmental activists across the United States and United Kingdom. Through all of our work we’ve helped hundreds of people experience compassion, public acceptance, personal empowerment, and the pure joy of neighborliness by providing safe and transformative spaces for people to share their journey with others.
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. Teams must be able to pay a $600 (for first two members, additional team members are $400 per person). This fee includes all training resources and supplies. Housing, travel, and meals are not included. To be accepted into The Certificate in the Art of Community Storytelling, 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, 2018 (date TBA) and November 2018 (date TBA) in Ashland, Oregon.
To apply, or for inquiries and questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.