It is with an immense sense of excitement, gratitude and humility, that we announce the receipt of a $10,000 gift from the Heineman Foundation to help fund three Story Squad storytellers’ continued work to establish a Folktale Storytelling Digital Library (FSDL) that will provide public and school librarians, teachers, and the general public with access to folktale storytelling from around the world. Our goal is to create over 35 video storytelling performances that will reside on Youtube and be available, eventually, through an FSDL database and web portal. The Heineman funds will also help us reach out to try to establish a senior storytelling troupe, either in Chapel Hill (with our connection to Carol Woods Retirement Community) or in Raleigh (through the City of Raleigh, Community Engagement Division). We are very grateful for the support of the Heineman Foundation and will do our utmost to steward their investment wisely and to maximum benefit.
Story Squad continued its annual tradition of offering a free and open-to-the-public Winter Storytelling event on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in Wilson Library. Sponsored by the Friends of the UNC Library, the event featured six storytellers and two musicians performing a delightful array of stories and songs for “children of all ages.” And we DID have children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to senior citizens. The stories came from all over the world (United States, New Zealand, Czech Republic, and Scandinavia), and the musicians enlivened traditional holiday favorites. As always, this event brings a wonderful sense of community to the campus, as people unite to hear stories that “warm the heart.” We even had a fire on the stage (well, a picture of one, as you can see in program here. The stories were preceded by 30 minutes of candy, cookies, and hot chocolate, so how could it possibly go wrong, and we were even blessed with a cold evening to make our theme more enticing. “It’s the first time I’ve been and brought my children,” said one mother, “but we all loved it, and we hope to be back next year.”