Story Crossroads: The Newsletter (Premiere issue transitioning from The Rachel Response)

Published: Fri, 06/05/15

Story Crossroads: The Newsletter
I have a story.  You have a story.  We all have stories.

Premiere Issue - June 2015
What to Expect
Know the traditions for each newsletter.
Steve Evans picture
Some of you originally signed up for "The Rachel Response: Storytelling Adventures" newsletter.  Now Rachel Hedman embarks on the largest adventure of all:  Story Crossroads.  You will still receive the tips and games though now with local to global trends of storytelling.  So it is like the newsletter has upgraded.

Some traditions include:
*  Latest News of Story Crossroads
*  Cap's Off to You! (people profiles who use story)
*  Story Video (created or loved by us)
*  Story
*  Story Game (inspired by different cultures)

About Story Crossroads
What is Story Crossroads?
Steve Evans picture
Story Crossroads is a free grassroots event that features 50 professional story artists as well as over 80 community members telling for the main stage event.  Youth, community, and seniors will be taught through free storytelling residencies at libraries, schools, and other venues by certified story-teachers in preparation for this celebration.  Bilingual and cultural performers combine arts to bring the stories forward for the audience.  Enjoy stories told with ancient technique while simultaneously enjoying newfangled approaches to these traditions.  The 1st Story Crossroads launches April 15-16, 2016 at the Viridian Events Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Then, with an invitation extended across all borders, World Story Crossroads launches 2022.  

Latest News

Old Capitol Arts & Living History Festival
Grand Stories Project
Only because of Ken Crossley from EngAGE Utah did we learn that 82,000 children in Utah are raised by grandparents.  Think of the stories these families have that are waiting to be told.  For 19 years, the Old Capitol Arts & Living History Festival has connected to the community members of Fillmore, Utah and beyond.  Yet, never has storytelling been formally offered than this upcoming September 11-12, 2015 (entire event September 9-12).  

The three storytelling components will be:
1.  Professional storytellers and music concerts that celebrate Utah's heritage
2.  Grand Stories intergenerational storytelling where grandparent and grandchild tandem tell together
3.  Family history video interviews, 30-minute free sessions that can be saved on flashdrive for participants

Translation Services Covered

We are pleased that the Utah Humanities is one of our funders for Story Crossroads and will cover the Translation Services ($1,910) so that we may have Spanish and ASL options.

Youth Tellers Galore

We will feature 80 community tellers with many being youth tellers.  Four school districts are participating at some level with Story Crossroads.  Jordan and Canyons School Districts already have Story Weavers programs and these districts are rescheduling when that happens for them to merge and work with Story Crossroads.  The Murray Storytelling Festival is also changing their time for their event (involves Murray School District, City of Murray, Murray Library) to coincide with our launch in April.  The Granite School District will offer storytelling through their rotating arts teachers.  We are working on the Salt Lake School District through individual teachers of that districts are interested.  Besides the Salt Lake County area, the City of St. George will cover shuttle costs so we can have some of their youth tellers perform for Story Crossroads.  As many youth tellers perform for the Weber State University Storytelling Festival, a few will be selected to perform for Story Crossroads.

Cap's Off to You
Celebrating your way of using story

Featuring:  Jennifer Rawlins

Mother, Hobby Hay Farmer, & Performing Artist from WA

Jennifer Rawlins Facebook page
I can still picture the bright yellow jester garb that Jennifer Rawlins wore for the Quill and the Sword (Medieval History Club) during those Brigham Young University days.  The BYU Storytelling Club and the Quill and the Sword had struck a deal:   we would tell stories in exchange for eating the 12-course meal and borrowing garb to match the time period.  Jennifer did not have to borrow garb.  She was part of both clubs and already had the skills in her hands to sew and the skills in her mouth to tell.  

We graduated from BYU, had families, and developed our creative spirits elsewhere.  Then late Thursday on June 4, 2015, we touched base.  Enjoy the past, present, and future influences of storytelling in Jennifer’s life by clicking here for more.

Story Video of the Month
We are being selfish this month only because we are at the final days of the Story Crossroads crowdsourcing campaign.  The deadline is Friday, June 5, 2015 by midnight (MST).  Though our ideal goal is to raise $15,000, we did reach our minimum goal of $1,000.  Anything more we can raise before the deadline will help more people discover their stories and share them with others.  Go directly to the campaign here:

This video was created by Etched in Stone Productions headed by Sterling Elliott and assisted by Alex Aguila and Westin Cross.
If you or someone you know has a story video that you want us to see, then let us know about it and email us a link to it.  Who knows?  Perhaps we will be inspired to invite you to one of our Story Crossroads event?   Remember that our launch is April 15-16, 2016 at the Viridian Events Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Widow who Gathered Sticks, image created by Joanna Huffaker
The Widow who Gathered Sticks, from Maasai tribe
A wealthy woman wished to belong. She had riches enough to have anything in life…except children. The woman sought a healer and learned about a certain sycamore tree. She plucked 12 fruit and placed them in earthenware. The 12 fruits transformed into boys and girls in the morning, satisfying the woman’s desire to have more children than her sister-in-law who was the Chieftain’s wife. The woman displayed her kids at every opportunity. One day the youngest child refused to be paraded about. The wealthy woman slapped her. During that night all 12 children returned to the tree. The wealthy woman stomped to that tree and commanded the children to come down. The fruit only glared with such intensity that the woman ran home.
Meanwhile, a poor widow woman gathered sticks and wondered aloud what would happen when she was no longer able to gather. God heard and sent a messenger to ask, “Would you like a husband or would you like children?” Though she knew a husband could care for her, she wished to care for children. The messenger took the widow to the sycamore tree. The wind blew and 12 fruits fell to the ground and automatically transformed into the children. They ran to the widow and embraced her.
Artwork by Joanna Huffaker
Customs and Traditions of Note with the Maasai:
*  "It takes one day to destroy a house; to build a new house will take months and perhaps years.  If we abandon our way of life to construct a new one, it will take thousands of years," Maasai belief
*  Elongated earlobes by women and men are respected and admired
*  Tending cattle is how they live, though spare time can be filled with beading headdresses, gourds, or other items
*  Warriors are celebrated and there are rigorous and dangerous rituals and ceremonies still enacted today for boys
*  Women and children keep their heads shaved while the men wear their hair in long braids dyed with red clay
Story Game of the Month

Story Sticks
Geared for Ages 8+ though younger can with assistance from adults

Take at least 12 Popsicle sticks and write one noun (person, place, or thing) per stick.  For example, you might have “tree” on one stick and then “cattle” on another and then “old woman” on another.  Mix the sticks and one person gathers one stick at a time.  The other person tells the story.  Whenever the gatherer places down a stick, the storyteller must include it somehow.  Group and partner games can also be played with different rules.  People can take turns adding a line to the story based on what is written on the drawn stick.

Explore the Story Crossroads website
Most pictures are taken by Steve Evans, our official photographer.  He is a photojournalist that travels the world.  He generously granted Story Crossroads permission to use his pictures.  You can find all of his images here:
Utah Storytelling Guild
Until we tell again,

Story Crossroads

(801) 870-5799

PO Box 274
West Jordan, UT  84084