Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spare Change News Vendors Tell Stories

Algia Benjamin and Michael Shorey, SCN vendors

James Shearer, co-founder of SCN
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Spare Change News, StoryStream conducted a storytelling session with many of the homeless vendors on March 30, 2012. The vendors talked about their experiences selling the paper on the streets of Cambridge -- what it means to them to be part of the business, what their experiences have been, and their views of our city and its people.  Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) filmed the session.  Click here for a brief sample.

The event was one of six “StoryTrades” – storytelling circles – that StoryStream has organized in 2011-2012 as a result of a Year of the Regions Grant from the National Storytelling Network.  Storyteller Jo Radner interviewed four vendors, homeless and formerly homeless, who have been selling Spare Change News for many years.

Charles Stallings, SCN vendor
Several of the vendors and writers of Spare Change News will be coming to the StoryStream Tent (see below) at the June 2 Cambridge River Festival to share stories about their experiences and about the significance of this unusual newspaper.

Spare Change News was founded in 1992 by a group of homeless individuals and one housed advocate, who was a member of Boston Jobs with Peace. Since its inception, the publication has striven to simultaneously elevate the voices of homeless and otherwise economically disadvantaged people in the Greater Boston area, and to provide an opportunity for low-threshold employment to people who find it difficult to obtain more conventional work due to myriad types of adversity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Visit the StoryStream Tent at the Cambridge River Festival -- Saturday, June 2, 2012

Once more, StoryStream will present an afternoon of varied storytelling activities in the Storytelling Tent, near the Weeks Footbridge on the banks of the Charles River.

ALL AFTERNOON -- Noon - 6:00

Tales of ordinary and extraordinary life in Cambridge neighborhoods and on the streets, memory games, immigrant stories, virtuoso teen performances, folktales in English & sign language, Story Flags, and audience participation!

Create your personal Story Flag to display in the Storytelling Tent!  Thanks to Clara Wainwright, quiltmaker and celebration artist, StoryStream will be displaying story flags made by immigrant residents of Cambridge.  Visitors to the Storytelling Tent will also have the opportunity to create colorful story flags and hang them to make a vivid display of images and memories of Cambridge.


12:00   Less Is More:  Folktales and StoryTrades about Recycling
               Doria Hughes, storyteller, and Evan Wondolowski, artist           

1:00     “Let’s play, Cambridge!”
               Beyond the 4th Wall Teen Improv Troupe

1:40     Unseen Borders: Stories for Families in American Sign Language and English
              Deaf teller KR Glickman & hearing teller/interpreter Tony Toledo

2:45     Behind the Scenes at Spare Change News
               Stories from writers and vendors of Boston’s homeless newspaper

3:30     Story Flag Stories -- Memory Stories
               Jo Radner and Cambridge residents from all over the world

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Back in the Day" StoryTrade for green living

Folk Tale, Personal Story, Drawing MashUp
by Norah Dooley

 You can listen above to  Latest tracks by StoryStreamCambridge “Back in the Day...” Timeless stories about reducing, reusing and recycling.
finished product Doria's set, below is Norah's set.
Our ancestors were natural recyclers. For centuries everybody knew how to make-do, keep the wolf from the door, scrape by, and improvise. Folk lore is full of imaginative responses basic needs, waste and greed. On May 19th we shared some traditional and personal stories about how to live in elegant simplicity.

Norah Dooley told folk tales from Italy and Doria Hughes shared world folktales and both artists shared and elicited personal stories of creative, sustainable living from the audience.  We created a lively collection of stories for lean and greener living from world folk tales and from our lives. The audience members added a fine collection poignant, funny and inspiring stories.  It was very exciting to have Mike Petitto scribing the stories behind us. The podcast above is an uncut recording. A more polished version is in the works and CCTV also recorded the proceedings. More news when that airs.

Doria and Mike will appear at the River Fest on June 2, 2012 at the StoryStream tent. Check back here for more details.

Mike Petitto at work

Doria Hughes tells and Mike Petitto draws

Story from Rob Gogan, audience member and award winning recycler 

Thanks to Porter Square Books‎, Cambridge Open Studios StoryStreamCambridge, the Cambridge Arts Council, CCTV, and Recycling Department of Cambridge, especially Randi Mail, the  Recycling Director.