TED PRIZE-WINNER DAVE ISAY OF STORYCORPS: Storytelling was the real winner at the announcement of the next TED Prize, awarded by the popular lecture series . The 2015 prizewinner is Dave Isay, the founder and director of StoryCorps, the national oral history project that pairs people who know each other to tell and record the stories of their lives. On March 17th, Isay will reveal his “wish” for the TED community to address.
SOCIAL CHANGE CAN BE FUN: Theatre of the Oppressed NYC demonstrates that social change work can be fun. The organization has people directly touched by a social problem create plays, and then audience members can insert themselves into the action and try different alternatives to change the course of the action. Narrative Arts’ managing director Paul VanDeCarr profiled the organization last month in the Chronicle of Philanthropy online edition.
THE NEUROSCIENCE OF STORYTELLING: Economist (and proponent of “neuroeconomics”) Paul J. Zak says that his scientific experiments “show that character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better understanding of the key points a speaker wishes to make and enable better recall of these points weeks later.” That’s from a Harvard Business Review blog post on “Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling.”
SOCIAL ISSUES IN ART: “I would never tell artists that they had to address social issues in their work, because as soon as you tell artists that they have to do something, they turn around and poop on the floor. Tell them, instead, that these questions are difficult, that the story is missing something without them, that they are another dimension, and then see what happens.” That’s a thought from poet Patricia Lockwood, just one member of a stellar lineup of filmmakers, musicians, playwrights and others convened by the New York Times for a panel discussion on social issues in art.