Inter-generational storytelling class on the Coastside

I’m very excited about a class I am teaching in Half Moon Bay next week. In this Inter-generational Storytelling Class, Coastside Children’s Programs kids and Coastside Adult Day Health Center seniors will join together to develop a collaborative oral story. They will then make it come alive visually through creating a mural.

Storytelling is a multicultural way of communicating that I am interested in bringing back into our culture. Stories have been told for centuries by storytellers of India who would create story tapestries that they would travel with from town to town to share their tales.

Another example is kamishibai, which dates back to the 12th century, when Buddhist monks traveled Asia with pictures to enhance their stories and lectures. The modern version of this developed in downtown Tokyo during the Great Depression, when thousands of people were suddenly looking for work. Between the 1930s and 1950s in Japan, it was common to see kamishibai storytellers in parks, fields, or on street corners – wherever children gathered. It’s estimated there were once 50,000 kamishibai storytellers in Japan. Unfortunately, as television and movies began to lure children indoors, these storytellers gradually disappeared.

This storytelling project will integrate various kinds of creativity and collaboration, from speaking, and sharing, building on each others input, to painting, and sharing a canvas. The mural that the artists in the class create can be displayed and used for retelling the story in the community. Hopefully we will find a great place to display it.

IMy goal is for this is the first in a series of storytelling workshops because we all have many stories in us to create and share no matter what age we are. It will be exciting to explore this vehicle further through creating sculptures, photography, video, and movement.