Share a Story - Change the World
I have a project idea that I'm brainstorming on how to take it from dream to reality. If you have any comments or questions you think might help me put a finished plan together please feel free to let me hear from you.
I'm working on organizing one day storytelling festivals that feature tellers who are local or native to whatever city I'm able to hold the event in. I want the artists who perform at these shows to be either just starting their storytelling journey or be someone who has been telling but hasn't performed at a festival yet. I plan to pay a small honorarium plus $X per one-way mile for travel. I have certain cities in mind that where I'd like to hold these shows.
When I read your discussion topic, Steve Otto and the Chicken Festival popped into my mind. I just checked, he's not a member here. Using the search box, I put in Chicken Festival and found what may help you. Aside from a posting that mentions eating chicken at a festival, you'll mainly find a YouTube video of the Chicken Festival -- no longer online -- and this interview of Steve posted by Brother Wolf. You don't need to buy the interview as it's transcribed there complete with Steve's site where you may contact him. Along the way the Chicken Festival info also was mentioned on Tim Ereneta's discussion of an (un)conference which may have ideas for you.
Another idea is dependent on how organized a state or region is. Here in Michigan, for example, we have no statewide organization, but we have MI Story for both an online listing of events and organizations. I went to the National Storytelling Network site and find Georgia, where you are, goes for both individual groups and the regional group, Southern Order of Storytellers.
Are those cities you have in mind in Georgia? If so, be sure to check those last 2 links. If it includes other states, prowl that same NSN page as Georgia is only 1 of the many states with their information listed.
Those are some starting points. Don't forget the group here, Storytelling Presenters. Some people might not check the Forum, but possibly have opted to get notices for anything posted in the group if they are members there. Remember reading any group's posts is open to all, but you have to join the group to post there.
Good luck. Sounds like an excellent idea.
How will you curate? By theme, or by time limit?
Depending on distance, you could rehearse and coach the tellers... so that one person (you, presumably) has an artistic vision to shape the arc of the event, set the order of tellers, and know what the show will be like. (This would help with marketing).For me personally, a "come one and all and get 30 minutes on stage," is hard to market. Who is the audience? Music festivals rarely promote themselves as a chance to hear "local musicians." I know many do, but under the umbrella of a bluegrass festival, or a blues festival, or a reggae festival, or a folk festival.
I know this flies in the face of 40 years of storytelling festivals which continue to promote "come hear storytelling!"
But I think for your "one day festivals" format, a particular theme could work well (ghost stories, family stories, mountain stories, love stories, fairy tales, tall tales)... those who love storytelling will come to all of them, but you'll be able to market and target audiences better.
Another thought for an alternative model:
Dan Yashinsky of Toronto told me that the Toronto Storytelling Festival encourages local guilds to set up their own shows as part of the Festival. The Festival is multi-day, multi-venue. This gives the local storytellers a chance not only for stage time, but to get experience in producing their own events. All the events are publicized as part of the larger Festival. (True, it's not possible to attend all events at the Festival: times overlap at sites spread out across a large metro area... )