Story Gatherings | Nashville, Tennessee

The Greatest Gift a Story Can Give

Kellyn Robison
Written by Kellyn Robison

The Greatest Gift a Story Can Give

Who will you shake hands and become friends with at STORY 2016?

It’s hard to believe that it’s only about six weeks away. Our team has been working around the clock on your behalf to make sure that this year will be the best STORY experience yet. With the cost of registration going up by $100 in a couple of weeks, there are a lot of really amazing people snagging tickets. I’ve been blown away by the caliber of folks who are registering.

As incredible as our presenter lineup is, I can tell you that the list of those who will be sitting in the seats and conversing in the hallways is just as impressive. If you join us, you’ll be shaking hands with and becoming friends with some incredibly creative people. More on that soon.
In the meantime, here are 10 links to some art, stories, and creativity that has been inspiring us this week…

  • For starters, if you’re feeling creatively burnt-out this Monday morning, our friends at Darling Magazine have 3 good tips for you on how to overcome it.
  • We loved this story about 100 homeless individuals documenting their lives with disposable cameras. This quote from one of the leaders in the project really stood out to me: “We want to give them the satisfaction and joy that comes with creating art.” Is there someone you can do that for this week?
  • If you spent countless hours on a painting, only to dip that painting (frame and all), in a bucket of paint, would that be dumb, or cool? We say “cool”.
  • An artist in Germany ditched the paint and uses sticky canvas and sand to create mind-blowing art. Seriously, it’s incredible.
  • Would you dare to question who you really are? That’s what Momondo is asking in this pretty killer video titled, “The DNA Journey”. If your job includes marketing a product, service, or even an idea, allow this powerful piece to serve as a crash-course in the power of stories. Watch and learn (and maybe shed a tear).
  • Galleries aren’t the only place where artists are being visually innovative. Check out these optical illusions on streets that make drivers slow down for crosswalks.
  • According to a STORY survey earlier this year, almost half of our conference attendees are involved in marketing. We aren’t the only ones who always talk about the powerful intersection of advertising and storytelling—AdWeek says that it’s time to “Kill Advertising as We Know it and Start Building Storyworlds”. What’s a ‘storyworld’? Check out this article from a storyteller who spent last year completing a feature film, and came back into the advertising industry not only feeling energized, but recognizing this is the most exciting time in history to be a storyteller.
  • We’ve been playing with a lot of ideas that include doors lately. If you’ve seen our website, or the short film we made about our theme for STORY this year, then you’ll understand why.This short film inspired us this week. It asks some meaningful questions about social media and explores how online platforms mediate identity.
  • The musical “Hamilton” may have taken the world by storm over the last year, and won 11 Tony Awards, but we loved this video of Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a “Hamilton Mix-tape” at the White House Poetry Jam in…wait for it…2009!
  • If Lin-Manuel Miranda at the White House isn’t your jam, check out this incredible video of what these two guys do with two cellos, inspired by a similar era.

leave you this week with some inspiring words from writer, Jeff Goins:

“I think the greatest gift a story can give is to make you not feel so alone in this world.”

Since agreeing to direct STORY, I’ve had a lot conversations with many of you across the country who as creatives, feel misunderstood and alone. These words, which echo that sentiment, came into my inbox recently from an artist named Cortney West, based in Chicago:

“I love attending STORY because it ignites the creative fire in me that society sometimes dims. I feel, as creatives, sometimes we hold back from being our true selves out of fear of being shamed, rejected, or that people just won’t get it. Every year I leave STORY feeling completely fed. Freed from the chains of ordinary life and I’m reminded we are anything but ordinary. At STORY I have found my people. People who, like me, want to creatively tell our own stories through the art of self expression, magic, and imagination.”

If you relate to Cortney’s words at all, let STORY be a place to belong. We’re in this thing together. And not only does STORY serve as a reminder that you are not alone, it empowers each of us to pass that gift of belonging on to others who feel alone through the stories that we tell. Because that’s one of the greatest gifts a story can give.

Kellyn Robison
Kellyn Robison

VP of Everything at Istoria Collective.