Cap’s Off to You!–Salt Lake City Arts Council and Celebrating Story

The Salt Lake City Arts Council has helped more than once…including a combination of spoken storytelling with visual and culinary arts from around the world. Then, in 2020, we had big plans to send professional story artists to the Glendale Library, the Blind Center, and two schools in Salt Lake City. Covid-19 happened…and we had to adjust. At least Story Crossroads Spectacular could provide virtual field trips. We wanted to do more. The grant from Salt Lake City Arts Council was the answer. We are thrilled to still work with youth at the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City with proper distancing. 

Flashing back to 2016, we had the privilege of introducing storytelling to 25 youth with “Around the World: The Tellable, Edible Art Project” with collaboration of the Glendale Community Center and Bad Dog Arts including our presenters: Storytellers Janine Nishiguchi and Jan C. Smith, Visual Artist Kirsten Schiel, and Culinary Artist Elizabeth Montoya. The youth were a little shy as storytelling was not an art usually offered. Rather than focusing on individual stories, the facilitators had it be group storytelling that still expressed the structure of story and how engaging the whole experience can be.

Now we look forward to 20 youth with Story Camp led by Storytellers Cherie Davis and Ginger Parkinson. It will be different. We cannot have the youth gather up in a tight circle like before. Instead? We are using hula hoops as a visual reminder to space out for proper distancing. Masks are the new form of camp t-shirts. The fun will be the same.

All these storytelling ventures are possible because of the Salt Lake City Arts Council. They have their own festival every year.

Normally, the Living Traditions Festival takes place immediately after Story Crossroads. We are mid-May Wednesday with outreaches kick off the Monday before and on through Thursday. Living Traditions takes over the Friday through Sunday afterwards. We both spotlight multicultural art.

Due to the dancing and singing cultural groups, Living Traditions was postponed to 2021.

This is from the Salt Lake City Arts Council website:

Approximately 30,000 people participate in the Living Traditions Festival each year, including students, families, performers, exhibiting artists, volunteers and attendees. More than 70 different cultural groups are represented each year—from Bosnian stuffed pitas and West African samosas to Chinese dragon dancing and Scottish bagpipes. The sights and flavors of the Festival cannot be found at any other cultural event in Utah.

The Living Traditions Festival is dedicated to preserving Utah’s diverse cultural landscape, by supporting the varied artistic traditions and cultural perspectives that create and sustain a strong and vibrant community. We achieve this mission by collaborating with folk and traditional artists and community members in sharing languages, food, art, dance and educational activities. Through the presentation of both historical and contemporary customs, Living Traditions aims to facilitate thoughtful conversations about the unique qualities of various cultures, and the similarities of the human experience, while creating bonds among community members.

Besides this remarkable festival, the Salt Lake City Arts Council offers grants, has the Finch Lane Gallery, the Public Art Program, the Twilight Concert Series, and plenty of outreaches in the community.

So toss, tip, or take off your cap to the Salt Lake City Arts Council!

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups.

See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

And…Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

Why Story Crossroads Loves National Storytelling Network (You Could, too!)–Part 1 of 5

This is the first of five parts on benefits to take advantage of as a member of the National Storytelling Network. Story Crossroads is proud to be an organization member of NSN.

Awesomeness Revealed:

  • Part 1 – Borrow NSN’s nonprofit status for grants–as individual or organization – TODAY
  • Part 2 – Research through Greenwood’s World Folklore and Folklife Database for free
  • Part 3 – Delve into NSN’s Accreditation Program
  • Part 4 – Benefit from in-state tuition for Storytelling Masters (with virtual options)
  • Part 5 – Participate in special interest groups – education, organizations, healing, leadership/producing

You like being paid. You like being paid as a performing artist. In fact, you love receiving money.

Yes, I made some assumptions there. It’s fine whether or not all of that is true.

Now…did you know that you can borrow another entity’s nonprofit status called a sponsorship program? The National Storytelling Network, being nonprofit, offers dues-paying members the opportunity to borrow that status called Sponsored Member Program.

Why would you want to borrow nonprofit status? Why wouldn’t you want it! There are so many grants and funding possibilities when you are linked to another nonprofit. You still have control over the performance or research storytelling project. You will be the one to complete the final report to the organization awarding you the grant.

Once upon a time, Story Crossroads was an idea rather than an entity. During the first couple years, we had to borrow nonprofit status. We did not want to be in that limbo world forever and always planned to be our own nonprofit. Thus…since April 7, 2017, we became a full-fledged 501(c)(3) nonprofit that took what seemed forever to earn along with sending in 200+ pages to the IRS (26-page application, tons of pages for supplemental to the application, the rest as examples of our impact with the community). There is a hefty price–financially and time-wise–in the beginning to receive that nonprofit status. Many people and organizations avoid even getting to that status.

Crazy enough, our nonprofit status was approved on December 8, 2018 but it backdates to when your organization became “official” through the state. For us, that would be the state of Utah.

Whether you are an individual or organization, make sure you have a business license. It is only $10/year in Utah though can vary from state to state.

As a reward for that hard work, qualified nonprofits do not have to pay taxes and have the simplest reporting each year called 990-EZ, which is nicknamed the “postcard” because it is that short in information to send back. You can also purchase most supplies being tax exempt. Perhaps this motivates you to become nonprofit. Yet, in the meantime, borrow!

Never plan on being nonprofit? No problem. Continue in that sponsored membership program as long as you are diligent in your final reports to those grants and continue to have authorization through the National Storytelling Network.

By the way, this has nothing to do with the sponsored membership program, but there is something wonderful housed under the umbrella of the National Storytelling Network due to the efforts of Artists Standing Strong Together – see on Facebook or go to the website. It is the Storyteller Relief Fund that helps any story artist that is having a hard time during COVID-19. You can donate or apply to this fund.

So, are you a dues-paying member of the National Storytelling Network?

Were you one but accidentally forgot to renew? First time to storytelling?

Today is that time. Go here for the opportunity to be connected and be part of the National Storytelling Network.

Want to discover more beyond this 5-part Blog Series? Check out the the next Story Crossroads adventure on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 9:00am-10:30am MDT from your computer- The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities.

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

Cap’s Off to You!–Clever Octopus – and Celebrating Story


Clever Octopus collageFeaturing:  Clever Octopus

Provider of Mini Grant for Story-Related Crafts

As soon as I heard the name “Clever Octopus,” I knew it was an organization that Story Crossroads needed to partner with in some way.  So far, Clever Octopus is the one and only creative reuse center in Utah.  Do you have anything that could be turned into art? Donate there.  Want any art materials?  Paints, wood, canvas, scrapbook materials, and the unique items that you didn’t even know you needed…you will find it there.  You also find the most glorious prices with items being many times 70% or more off than found in retail stores.  Mainly teachers, who often pay out-of-pocket to make learning even more fun and art-centered, know of Clever Octopus and word is spreading fast.  Many of the Clever Octopus staff are Change Leaders, a special program taught through the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. I reached out to the people of Clever Octopus and said, “Can we meet?  Can I get a tour?”  I met with Jen Lopez, the Founder and pictured in the Clever Octopus collage picture above holding up the yarn (and sells out fast).  She also met my 4 1/2-year-old daughter.  That’s a story….

I meant to have someone watch my daughter while I met with Jen.  My daughter is the one in the picture on the bottom right.  Can you tell by that smile that she has a lot of energy?  She is my ultra-happy child, and she is the same one that I attempt to train on how to be a good audience member or how to wait with patience while mom tries to talk to other people about Story Crossroads.

Despite being a couple hours before their huge Warehouse Sale, Jen had one of her people transform my daughter into a helper.  My daughter got to roll up bits of fabric  and was proud to show me her accomplishments. Without Jen’s quick thinking and kindness, my daughter would have been constantly distracted by the bins and bins of sparkly, crinkly, whirly, and clumpy bits of potential art project materials.

Jen shared their hope for more space and a larger building as the Warehouse was brimming and beyond with all the donations from people.  They always had something to sort and price to be ready for the droves of people who come to purchase the items. She talked about the creation of Mini Grants of $50 or so that people or organizations can apply for and put towards making something inspiring or plain fun.  She said my timing was amazing for the online application was to be available within a week.

The same day the application was available, we applied.  We wanted to have wooden blocks and paints to make Story Blocks.  Each family would get three blocks.  They could create four characters (two on each side of the block) and two scenes (again, two on each side of the block).  Then, the family can create stories depending on what side they face out and position them. We are excited to have these for our “We All Have Stories” Family Marketplace launching at the 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival on May 15, 2019.

My boys aged 9 and 11 helped wheel out the huge bin of wooden blocks and paints.  We even found some felt scrapbook embellishments with lizards, frogs, castles, fish, and more that would work perfect as finger puppets.

Coming up is the Birthday Party of Clever Octopus.  They will turn two years old on April 20, 2019 and are holding the OctoPalooza on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 7:00pm-11:00pm at 12 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, UT  84101. This celebrates their accomplishments while being a FUNdraiser. You can learn more here:

Besides the Birthday Party, they have regular art workshops for a nominal fee plus they have the Octopod.  What is that exactly?  This is what they say about it on their website:  The Octopod mobile outreach vehicle is a fully equipped mobile classroom, stocked with a plethora of materials for creative exploration and staffed by Clever Octopus’ artists. The Octopod will host classes throughout the Salt Lake Valley and beyond when it visits schools, adult care facilities, residential treatment centers, community outreach programs, community festivals, and private events.

Now you want to REALLY connect with them?  Story Crossroads is pleased to receive their help through the Mini Grant with other adventures with Clever Octopus on the brink…or briny sea.

So toss, tip, or take off your cap to Clever Octopus!

We also have year-round events such as the monthly house concerts and the 4th Annual Story Crossroads Festival that will be on May 15, 2019.

Fueling Finances & Filming (Day 6–A-Z Blog Challenge)

__R_0966Enjoy 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.

“F” is for Fueling Finances & Filming.

Some dreams take money to get them going.  It would be glorious if ideas could be dreamt and then—POOF!—the finances were made available to see those ideas come about.  Dreams are always about work and oftentimes convincing others to work in your favor, too.

Steps To Be Smart About Fueling Those Finances:

  1. Create A Budget
  2. Ask For Guidance
  3. Apply, Apply, Apply
  4. Mark Up The Calendar With Deadlines (And Meet Them)
  5. Re-look At Budget
  6. Film

Create A Budget

Wrap your head around what is needed to launch that idea.  Every.   Little.  Thing.  It is better to recognize what would be needed in the ideal situation than to base the budget on the minimum amount and be confined to a barely-made-it or not-quite-there-and-purely-backed-by-personal-finances amount.  You do not have to be perfect this first time through in working out the budget.

Ask For Guidance

Use all the methods of communication—calling, emailing, texting, and—GASP—talking to people in-person.  I did all of these when preparing for Story Crossroads.  With my first rough draft of a budget in hand, I contacted people to compare what their expenses were in similar situations.  For example, as the first Story Crossroads event was a 2-day main stage event, I asked for the Expense Reports for many successful 1-3-day storytelling festivals.  I was grateful for the help from the Weber State University Storytelling Festival, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the Cache Valley Storytelling Festival, and the La Crosse Storytelling Festival.  Then I made some calls to other non-storytelling events for an idea on budget numbers like the Summerfest International and the Living Traditions Festival.  Some of these people talked with me for hours.  I would have been thrilled with five minutes.  This only proved to me how wonderful a world we live in.

Then I talked with the United Way people.  The ones out in Utah have a couple grant facilities.  These facilities house databases that they recommend people check at least once a month for grants that apply to you.  One lady did even more for me and gave me a list over two pages of Foundations who matched what Story Crossroads promotes.

Finally, I read the online handbook published by the Producers and Organizers Special Interest Group of the National Storytelling Network.

Apply, Apply, Apply

Being aware of grants meant that I had plenty of work in applying.  Too bad glancing at a grant application was enough to transmit the information from my brain to those questions.  But no, my brain requires shuffling things up and smooshing things together—hoping beyond hope that everything turns out coherent and exciting enough for a grant committee to read.

No matter what questions are asked on a grant application or request or proposal for money…do not beg.  Be confident in the words written or spoken.  Say what the dream is and let those people become committed to it.  Besides, begging takes up the precious space when there are word count limitations.

Mark Up The Calendar With Deadlines (And Meet Them)

These deadlines are more than grant application deadlines.  You need to determine deadlines when working out the Marketing Campaign.  Yes, I did just capitalize “Marketing Campaign” because it is that important.  Some people dream the ideas and then throw in marketing as an after-thought.  Ridiculous.  Fueling any kind of finances always merges with marketing.

For Story Crossroads, we had the following order:

  1.  Create Story Crossroads Facebook page (  then promote it
  2. Develop Story Crossroads website ( then tell people about it
  3. Make Story Crossroads tri-fold and then distribute them through booths, events, networking
  4. Participate in A-Z Blogging Challenge (hmmm, so far so good)
  5. Schedule Filming Day for Story Crossroads
  6. Launch Crowdsourcing Campaign month after A-Z Blogging Challenge
  7. Approach Businesses to sponsor Story Crossroads, especially as Crowdsourcing Campaign done the month before would prove the wise decision to sponsor what the community supports
  8. And on, and on, and on

Notice how all these things developed build on each other?  Also see how things items—once developed—do not get noticed purely for existing.  So create those deadlines on promoting which parts when besides the obvious grant application deadlines.

Re-look At Budget

After all these adventures in applying and marketing, did you find out anything to adjust your original budget in any way?  You did?  Then make those changes and know that there will always be the buffering of the budget.


So you might wonder why “Film” has its own category when I already mentioned “Schedule Filming Day for Story Crossroads” under the deadlines part.  Filming is that important.  And I notice that events or organizations rarely put this in their budgeting.

Most of the time, if filming is thought of at all, it is always 10 or more years when traditions and routines have already been established for the event or organization.  A lying hippo will not be so inclined to move if it will be perfectly fine feeding off the grass in the waters within its jaws.  That is why it must be part of the plan from the beginning.  Then filming is part of the traditions and routines.

For Story Crossroads, we are having a Filming Day today (how appropriate).  Oh, am I excited!  We have a full filming schedule starting from 6:00pm-11:00pm with the help of Film Crew Coordinator Sterling Elliott, Brigham Young University Film Student along with two other BYU Film Students.  As the Viridian Event Center is where the April 15-16, 2016 event will take place, we are filming at the Viridian.  Each hour of filming will capture different parts to transform into many promotional video clips.  Some of these video clips will be shown during the Crowdsourcing Campaign starting May 1, 2015.  Some of these video clips will be shown during the Marketing Blitz as we approach the April 2016 dates.  As we will have access to all the raw footage, five hours of film from three cameras will last us for a while.

What You Might Have Noticed

Much time and money go into fueling finances.  Go into this expecting to spend some of your own money.  Go into this expecting it will be hard.  Also expect that as you apply and plan and prepare that somehow all will work out—even with a few bumps or failures along the way—because you dedicated money and time to make it happen.

So why are you still here reading?  Go and move things along!

We appreciate Steve Evans granting permission to use the picture he took of the Parliament Building in Oslo, Norway.  You can find all of his images here:

Aquí lo tiene.
__R_0966Las finanzas combustible y Rodaje

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.

Algunos sueños son para acceder a ellos.  Sería magnífico si las ideas puede ser soñado y, a continuación, POOF! -las finanzas se pusieron a disposición de ver esas ideas.  Los sueños son siempre sobre el trabajo y a menudo convencer a otros de que trabajar en su favor.

Pasos para ser inteligentes acerca de alimentar las finanzas:

  1.  Crear un presupuesto
  2. Solicitar Orientación
  3. Aplicar, aplicar, Aplicar
  4. Marcar el calendario con los plazos (y cumplir con ellos)
  5. Re-mirar Presupuesto
  6. Película

Crear un presupuesto

Envolver la cabeza todo lo que se necesita para ejecutar la idea.  Cada.   Poco.  Cosa.  Es mejor reconocer lo que se requiere en la situación ideal de base para el presupuesto de la cantidad mínima y debe limitarse a un poco de ello o no-muy-no-y-puramente de copia por personal de las finanzas.  Usted no tiene que ser perfecta la primera vez en el presupuesto.

Solicitar Orientación

Utilizar todos los medios de comunicación, correo electrónico, mensajes de texto, e-GASP-hablando con la gente en persona.  Yo hice todo de estos cuando se preparan para Historia encrucijada.  Con mi primer borrador de un presupuesto en la mano, me he puesto en contacto con las personas a comparar lo que sus gastos se encontraban en situaciones similares.  Por ejemplo, como la primera historia fue una encrucijada 2-día escenario principal evento, he pedido informes de gastos para muchos éxito 1-3-narración día festivales.  Yo estaba agradecido por la ayuda de la Weber State University Festival del cuento, el Festival del cuento Timpanogos Caves quedan, la Caché Valle Festival del cuento, y el Festival del cuento La Crosse.  A continuación, hice algunas llamadas a otros no-narración de acontecimientos una idea de números del presupuesto como el Summerfest Internacional y las Tradiciones Vivas Festival.  Algunas de estas personas ha hablado conmigo durante horas.  Me hubiera encantado con cinco minutos.  Esto sólo ha sido para mí lo maravilloso un mundo en el que vivimos.

Luego Hablé con el pueblo.  El que fuera en Utah, un par otorgar las facilidades.  Estas instalaciones las bases de datos que se les recomiendo a la gente controlar al menos una vez al mes para las subvenciones que se le aplican.  Una señora hizo aún más para mí y me dio una lista de dos páginas de las Fundaciones que lo cruce promueve.

Por último, he leído el manual en línea publicada por los productores y los organizadores Grupo de Interés Especial de la National Storytelling Network.

 Aplicar, Aplicar, Aplicar

Ser consciente de las subvenciones que tuve mucho trabajo en la aplicación.  Muy mal echar un vistazo a su solicitud de subvención fue suficiente para transmitir la información desde mi cerebro a estas preguntas.  Pero no, mi cerebro requiere mezclar las cosas y cosas juntos smooshing de esperanza más allá de toda esperanza que todo salga lo suficientemente coherente y emocionante de la donación comité a leer.

No importa lo que se pregunta sobre una solicitud de subvención o solicitud o propuesta de dinero…no mendigar.  Tener confianza en las palabras escritas o habladas.  Decir lo que el sueño es y deje que las personas se comprometan con ella.  Además, la mendicidad se ocupa del valioso espacio cuando hay limitaciones word count.

Marcar el calendario con los plazos (y cumplir con ellos)

Estos plazos son más que conceder plazos de aplicación.  Es necesario determinar los plazos en la elaboración de la campaña de marketing.  Sí, lo hice sólo mayúscula “Campaña de Marketing” porque es tan importante.  Algunos sueñan las ideas y, a continuación, tira en la comercialización como una idea de último momento.  Ridículo.  Cualquier tipo de combustible las finanzas siempre se fusiona con la comercialización.

Historia de encrucijada, hemos tenido el siguiente orden:

  1.  Crear historia Encrucijada página de Facebook ( y, a continuación,  promoción
  2. Desarrollar Historia Encrucijada sitio web ( y, a continuación, informar a la gente sobre ello
  3. Hacer historia Encrucijada tri-fold y luego distribuirlos a través de cabinas, eventos, networking
  4. Participar en A-Z Blog Desafío (ajá, hasta ahora todo va bien)
  5. Calendario de filmación Día Historia Encrucijada
  6. Crowdsourcing Lanzamiento Campaña mes después A-Z Blog Desafío
  7. Enfoque las empresas a patrocinar Historia Cruce de caminos, especialmente como Crowdsourcing Campaña realizada el mes anterior puede ser la sabia decisión de patrocinar lo que la comunidad apoya
  8. Y en, y en, y en

Observe cómo todas estas cosas desarrolladas generan entre sí?  Ver cómo las cosas también elementos de una vez desarrollado de no darse a conocer exclusivamente para los actuales.  Por tanto, crear los plazos en la promoción que las piezas cuando además de los evidentes conceder plazos de aplicación.

Re-mirar Presupuesto

Después de todas estas aventuras para la aplicación y comercialización, no se ve nada para ajustar el presupuesto original de alguna forma?  Que hiciste?  A continuación, realice los cambios y saber que siempre habrá el almacenamiento en búfer del presupuesto.


Por lo que me pregunto por qué “película” tiene su propia categoría cuando ya he mencionado “programa Día de filmación Historia Crossroads” en los plazos establecidos.  El rodaje es tan importante.  Y me doy cuenta de que los eventos o las organizaciones rara vez poner esto en sus presupuestos.

La mayoría del tiempo, si el rodaje se pensaba en todo, siempre es de 10 o más años cuando las tradiciones y rutinas ya han sido establecidos para el evento o la organización.  Hipopótamo de mentira no se sienten inclinados a pasar si se va perfectamente bien alimentando la hierba en las aguas de sus fauces.  Esta es la razón por la que debe ser parte del plan desde el principio.  A continuación, el rodaje se forman parte de las tradiciones y costumbres.

Historia de encrucijada, que se trata de un rodaje hoy día (qué apropiado).  Oh, estoy emocionado!  Tenemos un plan de rodaje a partir de 18:00-23:00 con la ayuda del equipo de filmación Coordinador Sterling Elliott, de la Universidad Brigham Young Estudiante de Cine junto con otros dos en los estudiantes de cine.  En el Viridian Centro de Eventos es el lugar donde el 15 abril -16, 2016 evento se llevará a cabo, estamos filmando en el Viridian.  Cada hora de filmación, capturar distintas partes de transformar en muchos vídeos promocionales.  Algunos de estos vídeos se mostrarán durante el Crowdsourcing Campaña a partir del 1 de mayo de 2015.  Algunos de estos clips de vídeo se mostrará durante la comercialización Blitz en momentos en que nos acercamos al 2016 Abril fechas.  Como tenemos acceso a toda la materia prima metraje, cinco horas de película de tres cámaras nos va a durar por un tiempo.

Lo que quizás haya observado

Mucho tiempo y dinero en alimentar las finanzas.  Entrar en esta esperando para pasar un rato de su propio dinero.  En esta espera será difícil.  También es de esperar que como se aplica y planificar y preparar todo lo que, de alguna manera trabajar incluso con algunos baches o fracasos en el camino, ya que le había dedicado tiempo y dinero para hacer que suceda.

Por lo tanto, ¿por qué estás aquí?  Ir y mover las cosas.

Agradecemos Steve Evans conceder el permiso para utilizar la foto tomó del Edificio del Parlamento de Oslo, Noruega. Usted puede encontrar todas las imágenes aquí: