Storytelling meets Humanities, Elements Within–Part 3 of 7 – countdown to The Big Why

This is the third of seven parts on disciplines/elements of Humanities that can be found in the Art of Storytelling. This is also a countdown to virtual “The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities” on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 9:00am-10:30am MDT.

Storytelling meets Humanities, Elements Within:

  • Part 1 – Archaeology – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Communication/Interpretation – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Cultural Studies – TODAY
  • Part 4 – Folklore/Folklife
  • Part 5 – History
  • Part 6 – Languages/Linguistics
  • Part 7 – Philosophy/Ethics

Cultural Studies is discovering how people find what it means to be human through art, literature, beliefs, and much more throughout the world. As such, cultural studies tend to build the need of social justice and equality.

By the 1960s, the world was more aware of itself in what was called “globalization.” More cultures, than ever before, were exposed to each other. Besides transportation and technology that made interactions easier, many social and civil rights movements occurred during this time. You can read more about this globalization within this book available online called “Lines of Narrative: Psychosocial Perspectives” and edited by Molly Andrews (Professor of Political Psychology) Amal Treacher, Shelley Day Sclater, and Corinne Squire in 2000.

A more recent article in 2015 called “The Science of Storytelling: Perspectives from Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and the Humanities” labeled the 1990s as the “Decade of the Brain” of when more research and funding focused on mapping the brain and how it was affected by several factors including storytelling, films, and literature. Art naturally comes about from cultural views and expressions.

Although referencing literature rather than oral storytelling, Paul B. Armstrong, author of “How Literature Plays with the Brain,” said that neuroscience had the ability to share how “art changes human experience as it reorders our perceptions and engages our emotions.”

Storytellers must choose what they will NOT say when performing more so than what they ACTUALLY say. Storytellers do not have the time, nor the inclination, to reveal every fact or detail depending on if the story is based on true events or are fantasy-based yet informed by cultural views. Thus, story structure and word choice is how storytellers mold and present themes and cultures to other people.

There is a culture wheel image that is lovely at this article published through Medium. How many parts of culture do you find yourself, as a storyteller, telling about? Geography affects culture the most, though boundaries and lines are drawn and re-drawn every day. Sometimes, those lines feel nonexistent due to the Internet. Yet, after Geography, comes the beliefs, which can mean from a spiritual/religious standpoint to how people feel about sexuality or gender issues.

Most importantly, as we see with current events today, we have ethnicity and how we treat each other. During the Civil War, a new constitution was written for the Confederate States Constitution had strong language on the superiority of the white race. This was effective from March 11, 1861 until the end of the Civil War. Many would say that this feeling has been beneath our society even today. Why are there white supremacy groups today? What drives them?

Now, think of what drives the people that go on peaceful marches and talk of Black Lives Matter. What drives them?

Understanding how these ideas are formed create the story of our society. How do we have that “happily ever after” with feelings that are either constant or evolving?

Storytellers often choose one or more perspective in telling a story. The more perspectives shared, the greater the view and understanding no matter the disagreements or agreements.

So take a look at the many cultures that you participate in–whether by birth or what you have chosen along the way–and discover creative ways of thinking by learning from your culture as well as cultures around you.

We will be doing this 7-part Blog Series on Storytelling and connections with the Humanities as a countdown to our next adventure--join us on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 9:00am-10:30am MDT from your computer- The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. Our panelists, as pictured above, are: Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed, Sheila Arnold, Darci Tucker, and Brian “Fox” Ellis. We are grateful to funding from Utah Humanities.

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.


Dreaming and Doing (Day 4–A-Z Blog Challenge)

7643768808_4b80d307aa_bEnjoy all of these A-Z Blog Challenge posts. Versión en Español se puede encontrar a continuación o haga clic aquí para ir allí. Haga clic en mí para saltar a la parte española. Also look forward to the Story Crossroads crowdsourcing campaign May 1, 2015.

“D” is for Dreaming and Doing.

Dreams start with a little idea that wants to get bigger.  The longer you dream, the bigger that dream has a chance to grow and turn into something even more fantastic.  But dreams do not stop there.  It must become reality to survive. Some people open their eyes and the dream is lost.  Some people linger with the ideas, then later on the dream withers.  Some people become those dreams by doing what is necessary to make them reality.

I have had many dreams.  Not all dreams have made it to the reality part because there was no “do.”  It is never the size of the dream that is daunting and too much.  If little to no time is dedicated, it is only natural that the dream will die.  Or become dormant.  A dream can still grow when worked on later.

That is how it has felt with Story Crossroads.  At the first Story Crossroads Community Planning Meeting, we had 28 civic, education, arts and storytelling leaders attended and shared input on June 3, 2014.  I had everyone fill out four different post-its to stick to four different poster-sized papers stuck onto the walls based on their reactions to the vision of Story Crossroads and what organization they represent (or answered as an individual if not associated with any particular group).  These four areas were:  Needs, Wants, Beliefs, and Emotions.  When people filled out the answers for themselves, they had to place the post-its to the right category.

Here is a sampling of those answers that represent what most people wrote—


  • Process to extract stories, ways to document and record stories with audio and film
  • Forum for communication, bridging generations and segregated community groups
  • Funding, Money and Sponsors
  • Buy-in from the community organizations, libraries and schools, senior centers and clubs
  • Cultural competency and cultural sensitivity when working with other cultures globally


  • Ability to sustain every year
  • A center where this can happen along with cross disciplinary discussions with a focus on excellence
  • Engage all ages—connect generations—and engage all cultures


  • We have the talent, the focus and the means to create a world conference.
  • Story is part of human nature and needs to be embraced. Telling stories can make them memorable, enjoyable and repeatable
  • Everyone has a story and by sharing we enrich each other.


  • Excited and elated
  • Overwhelmed
  • “Wow! How Groovy!”

We could have done the above activity and stopped there.  Yet, even the act of everyone standing up from their chairs and placing the post-its onto the large posters moved the dream forward.

Our talks of “what ifs” could transform from that “overwhelmed” emotion and on to the “excited” side.

David NovakHere is what I shared in a blog post named “Mythical Storytelling Network: Dreams of Reality” on the concept of “what ifs”:

Our dream ideas as storytellers to further the art in the minds of the general public are often hindered by our working within the boundaries—whether drawn by us or others.  We look at current situations and censor ideas purely from what we think is true or unchangeable.  Sometimes people dare to see something more.

Then came newfangled Brain Trust Sessions at the 2008 National Storytelling Conference.

One session in particular broadened my mind to think of possibilities I may never have discovered otherwise.  With Brain Trust facilitator/National Storyteller David Novak as well as some conference attendees, the premise was given:

  1.  The answer “No” did not exist
  2. The answer “Yes” was always followed by “If”

Once those “Yes” answers are created, then work on them.  Pick up the telephone and call someone.  Write that email to make a connection.  Do something.  For if you do not, then the dream will lay dormant and never reach its potential.

While at the Utah Early Childhood Education Conference, the author Richard Paul Evans said, “Take risky action….Dream, then do it!  Promise to think of at least one “what if” today.”

Well, Mr. Evans.  I do that.

I want to be a dreamer and a doer.  How about you?

We appreciate Steve Evans granting permission to use the picture he took of the ladies from Ethiopia.  You can find all of his images here:  We also love the inspiration of David Novak also pictured here.  Learn more about David at

Aquí lo tiene.
7643768808_4b80d307aa_bSoñando y haciendo

Rogamos disculpen esta traducción al español que hemos utilizado un software de traducción. Estamos en proceso de hacer que las personas ayudar a traducir estos A-Z Blog Desafío puestos, así como todas las demás entradas del blog.

Sueños comenzar con una pequeña idea de que quiere obtener más grande.  El tiempo que le sueño, el sueño más grande que tenga una oportunidad de crecer y convertirse en algo aún más fantástico.  Pero los sueños no se detienen.  Debe convertirse en realidad para sobrevivir. Algunas personas abran los ojos y el sueño se pierde.  Algunas personas permanecen con las ideas, después el sueño se apaga.  Algunas personas se convierten en esos sueños, haciendo lo que es necesario para hacer realidad.

He tenido muchos sueños.  No todos los sueños han llegado a la realidad porque no hubo un “no.”  nunca es el tamaño del sueño que es ingente y demasiado.  Si poco tiempo dedicado, no es sino natural que el sueño va a morir.  O inactivos.  Un sueño todavía puede crecer cuando trabajó con ellos más tarde.

Eso es lo que se ha sentido con Historia encrucijada.  En la primera historia Encrucijada Comunidad Reunión de Planificación, tuvimos 28 cívica, la educación, las artes y la narración los líderes participaron y compartieron el 3 de junio de 2014.  Yo tenía todos llenar cuatro diferentes post-its de atenerse a cuatro diferentes tamaño cartel de papeles pegados en las paredes de sus reacciones a la visión de la Historia y qué organización Encrucijada que representan (o respondieron como un individuo si no asociados a ningún grupo en particular).  Estas cuatro áreas fueron:  necesidades, deseos, creencias y emociones.  Cuando la gente llena de las respuestas por sí mismos, tenían que colocar el post-its para la categoría adecuada.

He aquí una muestra de las respuestas que representan lo que la mayoría de la gente escribe-


  • Proceso para extraer historias, formas de documentar y registrar historias con audio y película
  • Foro para la comunicación, salvar las generaciones y grupos de la comunidad separados
  • Financiación, dinero y Patrocinadores
  • Con el interés de las organizaciones de la comunidad, las escuelas y las bibliotecas, centros de jubilados y clubes
  • Competencia Cultural y la sensibilidad cultural cuando se trabaja con otras culturas en todo el mundo


  • Capacidad de mantener cada año
  • Un centro donde esto puede ocurrir junto con transversal las conversaciones con un enfoque en la excelencia
  • Involucrar a todas las edades de las generaciones de todas las culturas y entablar


  • Tenemos el talento, el enfoque y la manera de crear una conferencia mundial.
  • Historia es parte de la naturaleza del ser humano y debe ser aceptado. Contar historias puede hacer que sea inolvidable, agradable y repetibles
  • Todos tenemos una historia, por el compartir nos enriquece mutuamente.


  • Emocionado y eufórico
  • Abrumado
  • “Wow! Cómo Groovy! “.

Podríamos haber hecho la actividad anterior y se detuvo allí.  Sin embargo, incluso el acto de pie de sus sillas y se coloca el post-its en los grandes carteles se trasladó el sueño.

Nuestras conversaciones de “qué ifs” podría transformar a esa “agobiado” emoción y a la “entusiasmado” lado.

David NovakEsto es lo que he compartido en un artículo de un blog llamado “Red Narración Mítica: los sueños de la realidad” en el concepto de “qué ifs”:

Nuestro sueño ideas como narradores de seguir el arte en la mente del público en general se ve afectada frecuentemente por nuestro trabajo dentro de las fronteras, ya sea por nosotros o los demás.  Nos fijamos en las situaciones actuales y censurar ideas puramente de lo que creemos que es verdadero o inmutable.  A veces las personas se atreven a ver algo más.

Luego vinieron inventos Brain Trust en la narrativa Nacional 2008 Conferencia.

Una sesión en particular amplió mi mente a pensar en las posibilidades que quizá nunca han descubierto lo contrario.  Con Brain Trust facilitador/Narrador Nacional David Novak, así como algunos asistentes a la conferencia, la premisa era:

  1.  La respuesta es “No” no existe
  2. La respuesta es “Sí” fue siempre seguido por “si”

Una vez que los “Sí”, las respuestas son creados, entonces trabajar con ellos.  Levantar el teléfono y llamar a alguien.  Escribir el correo electrónico para realizar una conexión.  Hacer algo.  Porque si no lo haces, entonces el sueño se han estado inactivos y nunca alcanzan su potencial.

Mientras que en el Utah Conferencia Educación para la Primera Infancia, el autor Richard Paul Evans dijo, “toma acción arriesgada… .Sueño, entonces no lo dude.  Promesa de pensar en por lo menos un ” ¿qué pasaría si?” hoy en día”.

Así, el Sr. Evans.  Tengo que hacer.

Yo quiero ser un soñador y un hacedor.  ¿Qué hay acerca de usted?

Agradecemos Steve Evans conceder el permiso para utilizar la foto que tomó de las damas de Etiopía. Usted puede encontrar todas las imágenes aquí: También nos encanta la inspiración de David Novak también se muestra en la imagen. Conozca más acerca de David en