Community Story Strategies


About

Community Story Strategies offers media and storytelling services to enhance community building efforts. We collaborate with non-profits, museums, schools, and health centres to design and deliver customized projects. Integrating media arts and community organizing, we help groups make and share personal stories that send a powerful message.

Thoughts About Art and Community

Digital Storytelling Services When people first hear the term ‘digital storytelling,’ they are excited about the digital aspects; they soon learn the key to a successful workshop is the story. Trained facilitators assist groups through oral storytelling, script writing, voice recording, story boarding, and video editing. By the end of the workshop, all participants have completed their own digital story. Community Engagement Projects Community Story Strategies has developed a model of digital storytelling as a community-building tool that integrates self-representation, education, advocacy and collective engagement. We believe that using media and storytelling in longer-term projects provides a greater impact on individual storytellers and their communities. Community Story Collective Community Story Collective provides artistic residencies to support the integration of arts-based learning. Organizational benefits of investing in the process of making art include: a deeper understanding of the work you do; new tools and resources; and new possibilities for creating personal and community change. An arts residency may use digital storytelling with other arts to create a larger-themed project. Artist residencies have potential as single- or multi-year projects.

Activities

Digital Storytelling is our core practice at Community Story Strategies. A digital story is a two to five minute multi-media narrative that uses photos, video clips, art, and sound to share a personal life story. A digital story workshop takes 24-32 hours, usually over 3 to 5 days. The digital storytelling workshop begins with an oral storytelling circle. Up to 10 participants may share their stories with each other. People find comfort and strength in shared experiences; they learn and make connections across differences. Once they’ve told their story in the circle, participants begin working on a concise script. With facilitator support, each participant finds the essence of his or her particular story. The next phase focuses on visual and audio components of a digital story. Each person records their story in their own voice. Then, like a director, each participant creates a storyboard, planning the visual and audio elements. Participants gather existing materials from their lives, such as family photos, artwork or music. They also have the opportunity to create original content. We provide lessons to teach participants how to use the video-editing software. Our teaching style allows for varying levels of literacy, language proficiency and comfort with technology. Participants work on their videos individually and receive support and feedback from facilitators and peers. The workshop ends with a collective screening of the completed stories.