Storyteller Harper Stone at the Highland Games 2012

Storyteller Harper Stone at the Highland Games 2012

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The Bellingham Storytellers Guild is dedicated to building community through the preservation, perpetuation, and celebration of storytelling of all cultures and to nurture, sustain, and develop the storytelling community of tellers, audiences, and enthusiasts in Northwest Washington.

We partner with a variety of organizations to help further their respective messages through the powerful means of storytelling. Among our partners are Bellingham Public Library, Whatcom Land Trust, Sustainable Connections Food and Farming, Whatcom County Agricultural Preservation Committee, Whatcom Farm Friends, Bertrand Watershed Improvement District,  Broadway Park Centennial, Tenmile Creek Watershed Restoration Project, Catholic Community Services, The Urban Long House, and the Bellingham Compassion Movement.

The Guild meets regularly one hour prior to our Third Friday Storytelling Event at the Fairhaven Library.

We are enjoying an upsurge in the number of tellers that we now have coming to third Friday and that is a great and wonderful thing. With as many new folks coming on board it is time again to reiterate the guidelines we set down by our board a number of years ago. These are not meant to make anybody feel that they can’t tell however we also have a responsibility to our patrons to offer stories that are appropriate to our family audience and give them a level of quality of performance. We also have a responsibility to each other to allow everyone who is prepared to share a chance to do so. That said, here goes:

1) The third Friday concerts are free to the public as such there is no compensation to performers.

These performances further the mission statement of the Guild to bring awareness and education

about storytelling and performance to the community. The library provides the space for free to the Guild.

2) Performers should come with stories prepared ahead of time.

(It is not considered professional or respectful to the audience to announce to them that you didn’t prepare anything so your are             going to “wing it”)

3) Stories should fit into a 10 minute time frame so everybody gets a chance to tell.

4) Be aware of your audience, respond to their needs. Young children don’t do well with longer stories.

5) New performance material means that a story has some polish but has not been performed in public as yet.

If you want to try out raw new material and get feedback come to the Guild Meeting at 6:00 and there will be people there to

offer coaching.

 

We do not want to appear exclusive or in any way dampen anyone’s enthusiasm to tell stories, however we have had some very bad and embarrassing experiences that have been damaging to the reputation of the Guild and to storytelling in general so we do not do open mics. We do want people to perform and polish their skills so we operate under the following guideline.

6) The third Friday schedule is often full a month ahead so people that we do not know, we have not seen perform, or have not come with a recommendation from others who are recognized in the storytelling community are asked to come to the general meeting and perform for the guild. If you wish you may then sign up for the  Third Friday Concert on the following month.

7)There are no drugs, alcohol, or other controlled substances allowed on the library properties. Anyone violating this ordinance will be asked to leave the premises. The library is a no smoking area.