Changing story at a time.

Patrice, a regular Timpanogos Storytelling Festival attendee, has fibromyalgia; and pain, fatigue, and mental fog are her daily lot. She writes, "Some days my biggest goal is to get just one thing accomplished before I crash for the night. Days, weeks, months, and even years are sometimes a hazy blur for me. Ocasionally an event or special occasion will pierce the haze and rescue me from my disorder, if only for an hour or two. These are cherished moments. Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is one of those grand events. For three days each year I take off work and head for the hills. I am transported away from the limitations of my existence with the stories that are told. Laughter fills my body with endorphins that drive away the pain. My brain is supercharged with the influx of new ideas. My soul is refreshed like the proverbial desert travaler who stumbles into an oasis. Your efforts bring a measure of healing into my life, carrying me emotionally through another hard year."

From his earliest childhood years, Nathan's family and teachers struggled to communicate with him. Autism made it difficult for Nathan to connect with others, even those closest to him,in a meaningful way. An aide always sat by his side in school in an effort to help him focus. Then Nathan was introduced to the art of storytelling through weekly school performances sponsored by Timpanogos Storytelling's outreach program. When the student body was invited to participate in a school wide storytelling festival, Nathan stepped forward. He told a beautiful story before an assembly of 500 children during the day, and again to an audience of 65 in the evening. He was connected to the audience, he was funny, he was relaxed, and he finished as the winner for his grade. Afterwards, Nathan's parents said, "This was the first time we ever got to see our son from behind the wall of autism."

  • Story touches people of all ages. It opens the eyes of children to the wonders of the world of ideas. It inspires youth to make their own contributions in life. It gives adults fresh perspective, insight, understanding, and respite from the cares of the world.
  • Story is an essential element of our humanity. The sharing of story strengthens the social fabric that holds communities and nations together. It removes barriers. It reaches across cultural differences and engages our shared, deeply held values. It strengthens our core human asset -- the ability to connect with each other and to be moved to action.
  • All great art has its foundation in meaningful story, and stories presented through multiple art forms make the deepest and most lasting impressions on the human soul.
  • Storytelling increases our human, social, and creative capital. It nurtures, protects, and sparks the creativity and innovation we need every citizen to command. It brings us together in a spirit of understanding, sharing, and generosity.
  • Everyone has an important story that is worthy of being preserved and shared. The most valuable lessons in life are best communicated through story. Story binds generations together.

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