Space requirement - medium size rooms , festival settings, conference venues.
Group size - 5 to 35 participants per group.
Length - 1 to 2 hours
While doing an art activity with friends, I came to the story stick process organically. Since then, I have shared the experience through a variety of workshops with individuals and groups, always keeping the core intention: to explore our personal life story.
Using a colourful array of yarn, string, and textures this workshop invites you to wrap a stick to visually reflect your memories, feelings, and stories of your life. The stick can become a natural emotional processing tool as each yarn represents an aspect of your experience or story.
In collaboration with participants, I create a supportive environment to explore creative expression and possibilities. As a participant, you are invited to share the story or your stick within the group. In the sharing of our stories we learn of our common humanity, that we are not alone, personal connections are made, and community builds. This creative social engagement nourishes a kind, resilient culture, and society.
Stories are shared in pairs, small groups or with all participants, depending on the size of the group. An exceptionally simple, accessible process that is suitable for varied abilities and ages.
Why make a Story Stick
The process of engaging hands and mind simultaneously with tactile art materials naturally unravels feelings, memories, clarifies visions, aligns our truths. They are revealed on the stick resulting in a unique art object.
The main ingredient that shapes the outcome of the workshop is a personal or collective clear intention to reveal something that will help the participant on their personal or collective path.
"Our own life stories can be tools for making us whole; they gather up the parts of us and put them together in a way that gives our lives greater meaning than they had before we told our story. In the life story of each person is a reflection of another’s life story.” - Robert Atkinson
Community Story/Vision Stick Installation
The purpose of a Community Story Stick installation is to reflect people's shared stories or vision for strengthening community.
This creation process brings community members of all ages together and using threads, string, and yarn they braid, twist, and knot or weave with small hoops, sharing skills and creating structured to whimsical pieces. The participants engaged hands and conversations gather and hold the community intention/vision.
The yarn creations are then draped and wound into a sculptural composition on a 6’ to 9’ stick that is mounted in a venue that is central to the community.
This unique community installation is a source of beauty and serves as an inspiring reminder of the people’s ability to create social change through art-making
The Story Stick Installation in this photo is located at the Center for Social Innovation at the Regent Park location. Created in 2019 by CSI members and DECA’s (desk exchange community animators)