Our Current Fix: Story Swap

Shoes

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

This quote comes from one of our favorite stories: Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. These words came to mind upon our discovery of a super cool project out of Aspen, Colorado called Story Swap. Imagine a program that promotes the proverbial walking in another man’s shoes through storytelling and visual art.

What is Story Swap?

Brought to us by the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Story Swap is an innovative educational program that uses storytelling, creative writing, and the visual arts to generate understanding between various groups of diverse individuals.

Each participant is asked to tell their partner an important story from their life that, in some way, represents who they are.  The partner is then asked to recreate the storyteller’s narrative and write the story as though it were their own.  In some incarnations of this program, there is a visual art aspect to the project, whereby the participants create a visual expression to accompany the story. By swapping stories, participants walk in one another’s shoes, therefore building compassion through authentic engagement with one another.

Check out some of the archived story swaps!

Though we haven’t seen record of any recent story swaps taking place, we hope that the project continues or that maybe you decide to do your own story swap! Think about it: you could do some form of this with your neighbor who you’ve always wanted to know more about, or a co-worker, a new friend or someone who frequents your favorite coffee shop. Stories are powerful, people and we would LOVE to hear about how you’re sharing them!

Our Current Fix: Story City

Story city

We are stoked about our newest storytelling discovery: Story City–a storytelling event out of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota!

What is it?

Story City promotes the oral tradition, self-expression and stories of the cities we love through live memoir.
Each event has a different theme, and storytellers have up to 7 minutes to recount an unscripted tale inspired by the theme live on stage.

Who started it?

Jemma Brown and Lara Avery started Story City as an ode to the metropolis they love and the people from all over the world who inhabit it.

Interested in hearing some of the tales from Story City?  Check out their podcast!

Or maybe you are a Minneapolis or St. Paul local and want to spill.

Our Current Fix: The Story Project

story project

If there is one thing we believe with all of our hearts here at Oral Fixation, it is that stories are powerful. Thus, it is always a great joy to discover projects that show us this in a radical way. We are pretty excited to tell you about one of our latest obsessions, The Story Project

Based in Los Angeles, California, The Story Project is committed to developing and implementing after-school programs that bolster reading and writing skills, critical thinking, strengthen the collaborative process, and promote imagination. As a nonprofit organization, they are committed to building a stronger society by strengthening these skills in students. The Story Project’s pool of mentors, all accomplished and working artists, generously volunteer their time and talent to be part of the programs’ legacy. Read more

Last Show of Season 2 and We’re Goin’ Old School!

Old School 1

/ōld/ /sko͞ol/

To cap off a rockin’ Season 2, we’re going Old School! We are excited to see what you guys bring to the table for this one: think boom boxes, lunch boxes, Ford Pintos, homemade prom dresses, necking after math class, The Jimi Hendrix Experience on vinyl, chalkboards, time-out, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the first time you saw Woody Allen fall in love with Diane Keaton on screen. Take it back, way back.

What Does it Mean?

1. A term used, usually approvingly, to refer to someone or something that is old-fashioned or traditional.

2. Anything that is from an earlier era and looked upon with high regard or respect. Can be used to refer to music, clothing, language, or anything really.

3. From back in the day

We want your stories of antiquity, from a time before iPhones and hybrid cars. Tell us about a moment you can’t seem to forget from the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. Do you recall an embarrassing or life-changing instant from high school or middle-school–something that changed your life forever? What about something that happened recently that reminded you of your age and made you feel old fangled?

We are OBSESSED with your stories and this your last chance to submit for Season 2, so what are you waiting for?!

Need a throwback for a little inspiration? Check out one of our favorite clips from Grease:

We Want to Hear Your Story. For real. You have until this Friday April 26th at 5 PM to send them in!

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Erin McKnight

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Erin, a writer who thinks the jasmine flower beautiful, will take the Oral Fixation stage on Tuesday! 

Erin McKnight is the publisher of Queen’s Ferry Press, an independent press publishing collections of literary fiction. Erin’s own writing has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and W.W. Norton’s The Best Creative Nonfiction.  She also reviews poetry and fiction titles. Erin lives in Plano with her husband and daughter. Read more

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Joel Page

Joel Page

He speaks his second language better than he understands it and will take the Oral Fixation stage for the first time next Tuesday. 

Joel Page is a lawyer and a writer, with a smattering of published short fiction. He works as a public defender, writing appeals for prisoners who cannot afford their own representation. He lives in Dallas with his wife Peggy and his cats Woodward and Bernstein. Read more

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Kenneth Farnsworth

Kenneth Farnsworth Photo

Our very own Oral Fixation lighting/sound designer and technician is taking the stage! 

Kenneth Farnsworth is a freelance lighting designer and technician. He moved to Dallas in 2009
to start working while finishing school at UNT. His real passion is grilling and smoking meats in his backyard. He lives with his wife in East Dallas and they have two wonderful dogs. Read more

Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Erin Burdette

Erin Burdette dos

Actress, writer, mother and newcomer to the Oral Fixation stage.

Erin Ryan Burdette earned her BFA in Theater (SMU) and MFA at UCSD’s Professional Actor Training Program. As freelance writer, she has written for The Dallas Morning News, various magazines, and literary journals. She is the recipient of the Wall Street Journal Prize for Literary Excellence. Read more

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