Community Storytelling Circles: Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People
“We are here doing personal storytelling to gather little bits of wisdom from our neighbors. We all have gems to offer the world. An everyday person is an artist and a community member. It’s the sweet spot of understanding that living every day brings about love, collaboration, community, and stories.” - Community Storytelling Circle Facilitator
Listen and share real stories in guided space
This conversation series highlights the stories of ordinary people living extraordinary lives from within our community. At these events, we create space to listen to wisdom from our neighbors and connect by sharing real moments from our own lives in guided small groups. Story circle gatherings build community resilience, strengthen identity, and correct collective amnesia about who we are together in this home-place of the South Sound.
We feature guest narrators and partners who bring to light new perspectives of who we are in the South Sound. Narrator's stories come in many formats: a brief interview, audio or visual media piece, poetry, podcast, or other artistry. Participants collectively listen to the narrator's story and respond by sharing their own stories in facilitated small group conversations. Window Seat Media supports a talented and diverse group of community facilitators who offer their skills in community facilitation at these events. We want this to be a low-barrier offering that serves as a point of entry into our organization's community of multimedia storytellers, artists, activists, and organizers. The purpose of storytelling circles is to create opportunities for community dialogue and civic engagement where folks feel a sense of belonging and connection.
Community Storytelling Circles should create possibilities for
- Stories featuring historically underrepresented and silenced voices
- Spaces for collective self-reflection, remembering history, connecting through our shared humanity, across differences, and imagining future possibilities for change
- Engagement with ourselves, each other, and the world around us
- Arts and humanities activities that center the needs and strengths of the South Sound.
Example event flow
Storytelling circles last about an hour and a half. Below is a sample gathering flow. We like to hold time loosely to allow the wisdom of stories to guide the conversation.
- (5 min) Opening & Community Agreements
- (30 min) Engage with story & narrator
- (30 min) Facilitated small group listening and story-sharing
- (10 min) Large group reflection
- (5 min) Closing
Want to partner with us for our next community storytelling circle? Want to invite us to do community storytelling with your organization or group? Email: email@example.com.