Workshop Descriptions

(included with full conference registration)

All workshops are subject to change, based on unforeseen circumstances.  Workshops are 90 minutes. Intensives are 3 hours.


Come On In – Welcoming and Understanding Stories of Other Cultures

Noa Baum
(Programming & Content Development)
Explore assumptions we make about “the other” using a model that cultivates curiosity and openness. Through Noa’s unique perspective as a Jewish/Israeli immigrant working to bridge cultural divides, gain tools to include many voices in your storytelling and increase cross-cultural understanding.


STORYography Cards: Turning Your Creative Ideas into Solid Marketing Success (Intensive)

Robin Blakely
(Professional & Career Development)
You CAN make a solid living from your talent.  Learn how to navigate between your initial creative concept and the marketing of your talent-driven brand.  Creative Center of America’s CEO, a member of Forbes Coaches Council, shares a game-like process to help plot the best business story for your brand. Seriously fun and rewarding brainstorming!


Acknowledging All Our Voices: Listening to America's Immigration/Migration Stories

Milbre Burch
(Performance & Delivery)
America is a nation of immigrants from its very first human inhabitants. We must strive to welcome everyone’s stories at the table of inclusive community. Using interactive exercises to draw out personal and family stories about our individual origins, our forebears and our intentional communities, learn ways to uncover, share and champion diverse narratives. Come and tell the seed-stories of who you are. (intensive)


Story Play

Karen Chace 
(Performance & Delivery)
Strengthen your story landscape and characters! Learn innovative activities in voice, gesture, and body language. Improve your story work, and assist storytellers, teaching artists and educators who work with students and/or wish to create a storytelling troupe. Come ready to learn, move, and play!


Who Gets to Tell Stories?: Rethinking Dichotomies in (Im)migration

Ada Cheng
(Programming & Content Development)
Rethink false dichotomies in language, concepts, and frameworks for immigration/migration, such as voluntary/forced migration, internal/external migration, migration vs. immigration, migration vs. trafficking, and migration vs. slavery of various forms. Review the scholarly research and brainstorm ways to address these issues as storytellers or organizers for storytelling events.


Transforming the Lives of San Francisco Housing Authority Residents

Sue Dichter & Ben Tucker
(Programming & Content Development)
San Francisco’s Housing Authority sites are home for Russian and Chinese seniors and younger disabled residents who share a familiarity with trauma.  As years of building neglect is addressed, residents are being forced to temporarily relocate, reliving past trauma.  Learn how we are helping them share their stories - nurturing resiliency and building bridges across ethnic groups to create more supportive communities.


Imagineering: Creating Stories Quickly

Eldrena Douma
(Programming & Content Development)
Learn techniques for engaging your participants in creating a story that has never been told, written or read, using simple techniques and inexpensive props.  These imagination techniques have proven successful (and fun!) in teaching creative thinking, storytelling and writing to students    


An Informal Discussion with Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture Curator

Rex Ellis
(Professional & Career Development)
Spend some time talking with Dr. Rex Ellis about the important new museum in our nation’s capital.  Learn how this NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence Awardee is making a difference there through storytelling.


Grant Professionals Panel

hosted by Tim Ereneta (w/members of the Grants Professional Association, Heartland Chapter)
(Professional & Career Development)
Gain an overview of the fundamentals and best practices for developing and preparing grant applications. Learn where and how to identify grant sources. Discover trends funders are looking to support. This panel features experienced grant writers in the areas of social services, arts, and education.


Asian American Storytelling Panel: Invisible No More!

Eth-Noh-Tec & Panel (w/Karin Amano, Alton Takiyama Chung, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, Motoko, Anne Shimojima, Nancy Wang, Brenda Wong-Aoki)
(Performance & Delivery)
Asian immigrant and migrant journeys were wrought with challenges of new languages, culture, geography, and the rages of bigotry and racism. Violence and insidious laws passed to keep America ‘white’ haunt successive generations, continuing to feed misperceptions about Asian Americans.  But, our immigration and migration stories are also filled with triumph, persistence, survival, joy, wisdom and enlightenment!  These stories need to be heard. (panel)


Hearing Each Other's Voices: Spiritual and Interfaith Storytelling

Pam Faro
(Programming & Content Development)
 Consider the spiritual power of storytelling, explore the deep riches of intentionally sharing stories across faith traditions, be provoked and inspired by hearing stories from ‘the other,’ and identify stories you can tell for ‘interfaith storytelling.’ It can help heal brokenness, connect communities, feed the spirit – and be loads of fun, too! (intensive)


Laughter, Breath, Joy: Communal Communication

Lyn Ford
(Professional & Career Development)
Shared laughter can create and strengthen human connections. “Solo” laughter can energize and comfortably relax body and mind.  Through laughter, we openly and empathically communicate and bond, without cultural boundaries. Prepare yourself to share yourself, and to relax when the stories are over, through breath awareness and playful laughter you can joyfully replicate.


Story Treasures: Bringing Ancient Tales to Life for Modern Listeners

Heather Forest
(Performance & Delivery)
Through demonstration, discussion, and playful theatre activities, build practical skills in selecting, researching and bringing ancient narratives to life for modern audiences.  Explore story sequencing, verbal improvisation, compositional forms, evocative description, and ways to develop dramatic dialogue.  Examine how ancient stories preserve and transmit cultural values, how universal, metaphorical themes emerge in classic tales, and how ancient tales transcend borders and can reflect the commonality of human experience. (intensive)


Researching and Telling the Stories of African American Migration from the South

Mary J. Grant & Vickie Slaughter
(Programming & Content Development)
This highly interactive workshop will engage you in dramatic interpretations and role-playing of the history of the African American migration from the South.  Experience African American history beyond the frequently told slave stories - through music, song and stories.


In Ghostly Japan: Ogres, Demons and Jealous Spirits

(Performance & Delivery)
What knowledge would help American storytellers better understand and appreciate Japanese ghost stories, and tell them with authenticity and respect?  Through performance, lecture and hands-on work, gain a deeper appreciation of the religious, cultural and historical factors that form the supernatural and spiritual realms of ancient Japan.


Voices from Two Renaissances: A Discussion based on Oral Histories

Sarah Beth Nelson
(Programming & Content Development)
Based on oral history interviews with Georgia storytellers, learn characteristics of the reality storytelling movement, especially compared with festival storytelling.  Both movements have Southern roots tied to family, front porch storytelling.  Discuss what differentiates (or doesn’t) reality storytelling from other types of personal storytelling, as well as what brings all of us to these movements.


Let’s Talk about Money

Laura Packer (w/Sean Buvala, Robin Bady, Priscilla Howe)
(Professional & Career Development)
Money: We all need it; many of us have a complicated relationship with it and don't know how to talk about it. Let’s discuss what to charge, when or if to give work away, perceived value, regional differences, how to negotiate your fees and why storytellers deserve to be appropriately paid. (panel)


Hidden Memory: My Family History Project and What I've Learned

Anne Shimojima
(Performance & Delivery)
Over the last ten years, Anne has developed her family history project of oral history interviews, a photobook, a DVD with slide shows for different generations, historical documents, and a performance piece. Through her latest discoveries and tips, learn how you can preserve memories for your own family and give the gift of your family’s story.


Capturing the "Story" Behind the Facts
Judy Sima
Do you want to tell stories of your ancestors but don’t know where to begin? Has an overwhelming amount of information prevented you from telling stories of historical figures? Are you looking for inspiring oral or written projects for your students? In this practical, highly interactive workshop you’ll learn how to move away from the “facts” to create memorable stories that bring the past to life whether in the classroom or on the stage.


Dispatches from the Other Kingdom: Illness Narratives as Hero's Journeys

Joseph Sobol
(Programming & Content Development)
Life-threatening illness can seem like a sudden exile from the familiar landscape of the self.  The patterns mapped by Campbell in Hero With a Thousand Faces illuminate the perilous path of separation, transformation, and return. Drawing on years of research with cancer patients’ stories, be guided into the wilderness of “the kingdom of the ill,” to experience the congruence between personal and family illness narratives and traditional stories and myth.


Generative Organizational Story: Opening the Borders between Us and Them

Tom Sparough
(Programming & Content Development)
A generative story lives on after it has been told.  It serves as a metaphor to teach, inspire, warn or commend.  It gives a safe space and can open the border gates between us and them. Explore the sharing of generative stories in organizational settings. Learn the importance of small group processing for management and staff.  Prepare to generate a new future with your organization.


Voices Uncensored: The Radical Act of Community Storytelling

Penelope Starr
(Programming & Content Development)
True democratic community storytelling gives a voice to everyone, no matter where they came from or how they got there. Foster understanding and acceptance by providing an uncensored venue for life stories from diverse populations. Learn the benefits of creating and sustaining a storytelling series. Leave with useful tools to organize your own community event.


You Don't Have to be Jewish…to Tell Jewish Stories

Susan Stone
(Programming & Content Development)
Gain insight into Jewish oral tradition and different genres of Jewish stories.  Learn how/where to research and to understand the story as if an insider. Come and practice a tale to “put in your pocket.”


A Storytelling System to Easily Capture and Preserve Your Cultural Heritage

Anne Tezon (w/Joseph Matovu, Maureen Anunwa, Corey Sorio, Karen Cox)
(Programming & Content Development)
Join a native Ugandan, a Nigerian, a Filipino and the American descendant of Eastern Europeans. Learn how these Americans captured the stories of their immigration and migration experiences to leave as a written history for their descendants.