January 15, 2014 | Category: Blog | Author:

Notes and quotes on storytelling

“The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and we need to learn how to tell the truth more effectively. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new ways and marketed so that it sells. It must be embedded in an experience that connects with people’s dreams and desires, that resonates with the symbols and myths they find meaningful.”

— Stephen Duncombe, Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy


“In communities of color, a lot of work is done in recovering one’s own personal, family, and community history. There’s a saying that, in order to be effective at organizing, first you need to know who you are and where you came from.”

— A former grantmaker and a former interviewer with Densho, which preserves the testimonies of Japanese-Americans incarcerated during World War II


“It is often said that foundations contribute two assets to social change—money and knowledge. But too many foundations fail to capture and share a critical part of what they know: the stories that explain what they do, why they do it, what they learn, and what difference it all makes. Every foundation sits on a treasure trove of stories that represent its values, its goals, and its impact.”

— Joanne Edgar, “Foundations Should Start Hiring Storytellers,” Chronicle of Philanthropy, 11/23/06


“In a society compelled to act quickly and ‘solve the problem,’ dialogue is an increasingly critical dimension of public process.”

— Pam Korza, Barbara Schaffer Bacon and Andrea Assaf, in Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy. © 2005 Americans for the Arts