by By Elaine Voci, Ph.D. Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®
Celebrants sometimes wonder how to grow their practice; they may be overlooking opportunities that lie in plain sight. One such example can be found among the other storytellers in their area. As Celebrants we share a love of storytelling with these folks and we can join organizations that provide opportunities for storytelling and not only spread the word of what we do, but also enjoy sharing stories with others that help sharpen our storytelling skills.
Indianapolis has one such incredible story to tell. It began, as all good stories do, with a dream. 28 years ago, three people wanted to give the citizens of Indianapolis the gift of stories. And those three people formed a movement that brought together countless individuals who donated time, talent and resources. Because they believed so passionately in their dream, the organization they founded, Storytelling Arts of Indiana, began with one annual event, the Hoosier Storytelling Festival. Now there are monthly programs, and a total of 150 programs and events every year,that entertain, educate and inspire thousands; three of my personal favorites include:
- Helping families at a local children’s hospital take their mind off the pain and distress with weekly storytelling.
- Creating a place for elders to share their ageless wisdom in an ongoing program, the “As I Recall” Storytelling Guild, which meets at the Glendale and the Hancock County Public Library.
- Encouraging kids (of all ages) to tell whoppers at the Annual Liar’s Contest on the opening night of the Indiana State Fair each summer.
Why not explore your own community and discover where storytellers gather, and see if there are local organizations that promote storytelling? You may find that your shared interest and skills can be of service to them, and that you can help grow your business organically by simply sharing stories at various community events. Your involvement brings with it free advertising, and lets you piggyback on the marketing and promotional efforts being made for scheduled storytelling events; an added bonus is the new friendship and alliances you will make by engaging in one of the things we all love to do: to tell stories that matter, stores that are meaningful, and stories that inspire the human heart.