Everyone has a story to tell. Regardless of who we are, we have a narrative that lives within us. We have narratives that we create, find, and discover. However, the story spaces that we have to share those stories are limited in our fast paced world. We rarely take time to listen to each other. The StoryBox asks us to contribute our stories — the ones we find, create, or have lived — and share them with others. It is a reminder that we need to celebrate the stories we tell and the tales around us. This global sharing is something that we can all do. It is something we need to do. I invite you to share your story as well. We are listening!
In 1995, I met Livia from Brazil who said to me, "I wish there was a way we could share our stories, but there are too many miles between us." At that time, I was working as, "the first full time high school storytelling teacher in the country" and had a troupe of teen tellers called, Voices of Illusion. We decided to "erase" the miles to find a way to share our stories creating The StoryBox. Together, we decorated a large box filling it with stories from our community then shipping it to Brazil. The news was growing and before the Storybox arrived in Brazil, Paula, from Argentina, asked to receive it as well. Under Livia’s direction in Brazil as a Story Ambassador, stories were collected and sent to Argentina. Meg from Boston who worked with Alzheimer’s patients also wanted the Storybox and had it sent to her as well. The StoryBox continues to travel today.
As the Academic Storyteller in Residence for the Multicultural Center at The Ohio State University, I organized over 50 StoryBoxes, mostly local, to be launched around the world in summer 2009. Many agreed to host their own StoryBoxes as Story Ambassadors. In June, the StoryBoxes were collected at the at The Ohio State Universtiy Storytelling Festival. All StoryBoxes were shipped all over the world, arriving at a new place every three weeks returning to the original site one year later. Each place that the StoryBox arrived celebrated the stories in the StoryBox and the events around the StoryBox. This model is now being requested in other town, cities, and countries.
Anyone can contribute to the StoryBox. Contributions have included: three hour long DVDs, newspapers, full length play scripts, Mp3s, CDs, handwritten and typed stories, and stories written by an entire first grade class and so much more. We do not edit stories; they are read by hundreds and perhaps thousands of people all over the world. People often comment via e-mail. They do not have to be professional storytellers, writers, they simply have a story to share. Anyone who wants to be considered as a Story Ambassador and host or to have a StoryBox sent to them can also apply by submitting our request form. If selected, the StoryBox will come to you. Come join in the StoryBox experience. We invite your stories to travel around the world and back again.
Kevin Cordi is an internationally known storyteller whose work has been commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Newsweek, and Highlights for Children.(He is projected to earn a Ph.D. in storytelling and process drama at OSU in June 2009.) To find out more about Kevin Cordi visit his web site www.KevinCordi.com.