Press Play to hear this interview that was recorded as a conference call on Tuesday June 3rd at 8 p.m. SWC #057 with storyteller, Dovie Thomason – Building Young Adult Audiences.
Dovie Thomason writes…
I enjoy listening- I enjoy dialogue-I hope to learn something from every group of listeners or every chance conversation. SO-.join me/us for this podcast, which isn’t about “The Answer”, but a collaborative search for alternatives and new visions that speak to a question many of us are asking: Where are the Young Adults in our Audiences?
There is considerable conversation going on about the “graying” (I prefer silvering-) of the storytelling community. Yet, these conversations seem to deal primarily with the age of the Storytellers, not the age of the Listeners-. How can we issue an invitation and create a sense of inclusion and an appreciation for the vital role of stories at all ages, but particularly with the extraordinarily responsive and interactive and “plugged-in” 15-30 year olds (more or less-).
Overseas, particularly (in my experience) in Europe, it is not unusual to have strong representation from this age group at concerts, festivals and story clubs-but NOT because they are aspiring to become professional storytellers. It seems, rather, that the curiosity and examination of the world and alternative ways of thinking/viewing reality is drawing in these most thoughtful and critical listeners. Telling to this “audience”–I prefer to say interacting with these “listeners”– continually enriches my work and thinking and future dreams for my lifework.
In part, this is perhaps a cultural, indigenous perspective—as an elder-becoming, I think a great deal of my responsibility to these young adult members of our society. In all honesty, I think very seldom about creating a new generation of youthful tellers-but am troubled by the absence of youthful listeners, with strong critical tastes and perspectives, in the larger storytelling world.
So, I have a world of questions and thoughts I’d love to bounce around with participants on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf Podcast-hope you will listen in as a storyteller or story lover and be a part of this open-ended conversation.
(Leave a comment to continue the conversation…)
Dovie Thomason is an award-winning storyteller, recording artist and author, recognized internationally for her ability to take her listeners back to the “timeless place” that she first “visited” as a child, hearing old Indian stories from her Kiowa Apache and Lakota relatives, especially her Grandma Dovie and her Dad. From their voices, she first heard the voices of the Animal People and began to learn the lessons they had to teach her. For these were teaching stories that took the place of punishment or scolding, showing her the values that her people respect and wanted to pass on to her.
Her love of stories and culture set her on a path to listen and learn and share the stories—to give people a clearer understanding of the often misunderstood, often invisible, cultures of the First Nations of North America. The product of a “mixed” background that is urban Chicago and rural Texas, Internet and ancient teachers, elders’ teachings and university classrooms – Dovie began telling stories “publicly” while teaching literature and writing at an urban high school in Cleveland. So, she began telling those first-heard old Indian stories—stories about making choices—stories that could become a blueprint for a personal value system.
More about her…