Storytelling Arts of Indiana: Keeping Tradition Alive

Storytelling Arts of Indiana is an Indianapolis based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the art and history of Indiana storytelling. The group was founded by three passionate story tellers in 1987, who came together out of their shared love for the art of listening to and telling stories.

They made it their mission to spread the art and joy of storytelling throughout the Indianapolis community with the goal to make it an every day part of life for many Hoosiers. In 1988 they held their first annual Hoosier Storytelling Festival, joining the community of Indianapolis events that were helping to form the city’s art scene make up. The festival, which takes place in early Autumn, lasts for four days in the heart of downtown Indianapolis on the lawn of Military Park. With activities for families and Indianapolis kids, the festival drew hundreds of attendees.

Over two decades so far, Storytelling Arts of Indiana has brought dozens of storytellers from all walks of life to audiences all over the state.  However, due to the economic crisis being felt all over the nation and by Indianapolis businesses, the organization has been forced to cancel its annual festival this year. On their website, they explain how the festival eats up almost all of the funds given to them by both the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. In an attempt to weather the crisis, the group is putting the 22nd annual storytelling festival on hiatus, but only until the economy levels out once more.

They also offer workshops that may last for a couple of hours or an entire weekend, and can cover anything from improving imagery and adding interesting characters in a story to gaining experience telling specific types of stories. Shows will typically feature local artists performing original works that have gained local recognition.

With several storytellers on staff and working as volunteers, Storytelling Arts of Indiana provides tools for fun learning activities for children, or hiring a storyteller for a private party performance. They certainly offer a different kind of performing arts in Indianapolis.

In addition to special events, the group keeps itself busy from week to week, with appointments all over the state. They do weekly performances at the Riley Hospital for Children, hold monthly storytelling guild meetings at the Glendale Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library, offer summer performances in Indianapolis parks in coordination with Indy Parks and Recreation, and work with teachers in special seminars and the classroom to implements storytelling as a tool for education in Indianapolis schools.

In fact, the resources that Storytelling Arts of Indiana have for teachers are impressively extensive. An entire section of their section of their website is dedicated to online resources for teachers to use in the classroom for grades one through ten. Storytelling Arts of Indiana also gives tips for teachers on storytelling, ideas for games and interactive activities, and has innovative attention for new ideas to be introduced in the classroom through multi-cultural storytelling.  Indianapolis education has been enriched by the art of storytelling over the past twenty years from the work of Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

To learn how to support the work of this wonderful arts organization that is committed to bettering the people it interacts with, log onto their website. They accepts donations, which are tax deductible, or time as a volunteer at any of their various events around the circle city and beyond. Remember the magic of stories told to you as a child and how your imagination seemed infinite; keep that tradition alive by supporting Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

Storytelling Arts of Indiana
PO Box 20743
Indianapolis, IN 46220