Odyssey Storytelling is wandering around Tucson looking for your stories.
A few months ago we (the board of StoryArts Group, which includes me) decided that 2nd Saturdays Downtown would be a great place to find storytellers. Our plan was mostly unformed but evolved with a little bit of luck and a bit of organizing.
First off was to ask Julie Ray if we could transform her Burrito Files Cart into the Story Cart. Julie had finished her project where she did a whimsical and interesting interview process with people in downtown Tucson. I knew the custom made cart was gathering dust in her yard so I asked if we could revive it and she was happy to see it get a new life.
Next up was paint and signage so no one would confuse us with an ice cream cart (but of course, some people still do). With a little help from the Tucson Pima Arts Council in the form of a GOS grant we were able to buy a portable PA system. We loaded it up, along with the digital camera, and we were good to go.
In addition to 2nd Saturdays, we’ve taken the cart to Tucson Meet Yourself and here you can see Adam and me in front of the Tucson Children’s Museum. We hope to do more events in the future. Our objective is to find diverse tellers, young and old, to share their personal stories on a variety of themes.
People can be shy at first to talk in front of a camera and many people just walk on by but the ones that stop and talk with us are pretty amazing! We’ve heard about a New Year’s Eve escape on a boat from Cuba 20 years ago to a wife’s tragic death from cancer to college pranks.
Kids can be remarkable storytellers. At the Children’s Museum for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we were amazed by the insight and knowledge of one 7 year old girl and delighted when a 5 year old sang We Shall Overcome for us while her very proud father looked on.
Odyssey Storytelling is a program of StoryArts Group, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer run arts organization. We can use some help getting more videos online so please contact me if you have some experience and would like to be involved in story capturing.