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Organization name: International Storytelling Center
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GG-266368-19

International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN 37659-1239)
Kiran Sirah (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
Freedom Stories: Unearthing the African American Heritage of Appalachia

Implementation of a series of public discussions and an accompanying podcast and website that engage professional storytellers with humanities scholars to explore the history of African Americans in Appalachia.

Building on a successful record of providing innovative public programs and serving as a clearinghouse for storytelling and educational resources, the International Storytelling Center’s project will achieve a deeper public appreciation of the history and cultural heritage of African American communities in Appalachia. The project will bring together professional storytellers, humanities scholars, community experts, and audiences for a series of bridge-building, forward-looking planning sessions, public discussions and resource development initiatives. Products to be developed include a podcast series and multi-media toolkit prepared by humanities scholars, which will support the development of similar project featuring collaboration and dialogue between storytellers and scholars across the U.S. The Center will complete the project in partnership with the National Association of Black Storytellers, Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, and other organizations.

Project fields:
African American History; African American Studies; Folklore and Folklife

Program:
Humanities Discussions

Division:
Public Programs

Totals:
$200,000 (approved)
$200,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2019 – 8/31/2021


ZH-252872-17

International Storytelling Center (Jonesborough, TN 37659-1239)
Kiran Sirah (Project Director: May 2016 to present)
Leveraging the Power of Storytelling

A full-time project coordinator to focus on education and outreach programs and the engagement of two to three master storytellers for the applicant’s annual National Storytelling Festival, and to support the digitization of educational products, as well as a planning conference each year focusing on engaging economically disadvantaged communities, communities of color, and youth.

As the International Storytelling Center’s National Storytelling Festival nears its 50th anniversary, we seek to engage in an impactful NEH Humanities Access project to commemorate this important milestone and ensure its sustainability. It is our goal to launch a five-year endowment-building project in 2016 which will culminate in an International Year of the Story during the 50th anniversary of the National Storytelling Festival. The project will celebrate the festival’s rich history, by broadly publicizing the festival’s important accomplishments over five decades, and ensure its bright future, by expanding our outreach efforts and focus on serving youth, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged populations, while encouraging investment in the festival and our outreach efforts’ sustainability through a term-endowment campaign.

Project fields:
Folklore and Folklife

Program:
Humanities Access Grants

Division:
Challenge Grants

Totals (matching):
$100,000 (offered)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2016 – 9/30/2021