Last week, a group of us went to London based conference, The Story. The first thing you need to know is that this event does not to teach you about the methodology of storytelling. Instead, the one day event is a celebration of everything that is wonderful about stories. In fact the aim of the conference is to simply entertain the audience like any great story, whether that be laugh, cry, or simply inform. Guest speakers were invited to share personal experiences through various forms including song, music, film and even sound effects and with a total of 14 storytellers this year, all from different backgrounds and industries, there was no shortage of inspirational anecdotes to take away. Below are summaries of a couple of our favourite speakers.
Ministry of Stories
First on the bill was Ben from Ministry of Stories. He told us about some of the incredible work his non-profit organisation are doing to help improve the literacy skills of inner city kids in East London. The charity was established to mentor young writers and inspire them to change their lives through creative writing. Ben referred to one project called ‘Share More Air,’ whereby the kids were encouraged to write song lyrics and local musicians and artists worked with them to transform the lyrics into songs, and eventually an album called Share More Air. The charity is supported by a host of dedicated volunteers and most importantly by its little sister, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies store (the front shop of the charity) where you can buy Ear Wax, Snot and various other supplies to keep monsters happy – definitely worth checking out.
Another standout speaker from the conference was performance artist, Bryony Kimmings. Bryony shared some of her concerns on the change in children’s attitudes over time. Whilst doing some research, she learned that these days, fame is the single most important trait that young girls aspire to be, and they idolize the likes of flesh baring pop stars such as Lady Gaga. Bryony become so concerned with the lack of role models for young girls that she decided to take matters into her own hands and create a popstar with the help of her 10 year old niece, Taylor. Taylor was tasked with dreaming up the popstar, whilst Bryony’s job was to become her. The result was popstar come paleontologist, Catherine Bennett . A popstar created by a child, for children. Catherine Bennett likes to sing about animals, science and dance like a child. To make the dream a reality, Bryony pulled in her talented friends to create a music video, just like a real popstar. Bryony has also been touring schools as Catherine Bennett in order to raise awareness and become the preferred role model amongst kids.
This blog was written by Colette Chalmers, Media Planner.