Examples Of Our Projects
InQb8or (2016/17) - Arts Council England Lottery Funding allowed Mythstories to employ an apprentice, Jake Evans. With few, or no, formal training pathways for storytelling, Mythstories worked with training agency, Creative Alliance to use the Community Arts Management module as a framework for Jake to develop the skills he would require as a sole practitioner. He developed his own practice while working alongside Mythstories’ staff at community events, school visits to the museum and early years/KS1 outreach. Most importantly he was able to critique his on-going work with experienced storytellers and arts administrators.
He helped set up a storytelling club at Wellington Library, for children aged 8 – 13, which would complement the activities of the well-established Away With Words group for teenagers. Inspire sessions were arranged at schools in Wellington for 450 children. From these a group of 10 emerged to become regular members of the new club.
His apprenticeship included a cross-artform collaboration where he studied the structure of traditional wonder tales and shared his findings with emerging fine artist Lucy Moxon who created a Wondertale Maker, an interactive 3D exhibit based on the archetype now installed in Mythstories museum.
TEXT-STILES (2015) – This Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots project saw members of our Away With Words storytelling club meet throughout the summer holidays to make the box and slides for a kamishibai containing some of the stories of the town that they had uncovered and researched during trips to Shropshire Archives.
In September they led two public storywalks in Wellington, as part of the Wellington Walking Festival. The storytellings were filmed to create a DVD.
The Kamishibai was formally unveiled at Wellington Library in October, and in December the DVD was premiered before an enthusiastic audience at Southwater Library, Telford. It has now become part of the library's regular screenings. Copies of the DVD were distributed to local Primary Schools.
The project was completed when Shropshire Archives added resources to their teacher training site – Archivezone showing archive material unearthed by the young storytellers and how they had worked with it to produce their tales.
TOWARDS THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER (2014/15) - This Arts Council England Lottery Funded project included the “A Storytelling Club in Your School” teachers professional development course, which is now available as an on-line resource.
“It’s been one of the most enjoyable courses I have been on. Your enthusiasm and passion for storytelling is captivating and such an encouragement.”
The project culminated in July with a celebratory storytelling event for schools held at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s Coalbrookdale site. This was a showcase of local storytelling, intended to demonstrate the breadth of the artform locally. Pupils from the new school storytelling clubs also gave their first performance, as well as the young teenage storytellers from the Away With Words storytelling group. The event was advertised through the Telford & Wrekin Culture Zone's Schools newsletter and proved so popular that two additional artists were employed to run interactive craft sessions on the themes of the stories told. Over 700 children attended on the day.
SPICE ARTHUR 702 TOUR (2014) - Mythstories with their partners The Crick Crack Club brought Japanese Kamishibai troupe, Spice Arthur 702 to the UK for a short tour.
These majestic exponents of the Japanese storybox-storytelling technique performed at notorious comic emporium, Gosh! in London.
Spice Arthur 702 gave then performances and a workshop to European professional storytellers at Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival in South Wales.
Funding from the Sasakawa Foundation, The Diawa Anglo Japanese Foundation and The Japan Society made this tour possible.
AWAY WITH WORDS (2012/13) - This Arts Council England Lottery Funded project was a partnership between Mythstories, Telford & Wrekin Library Services and the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust working with four primary and four secondary schools in Telford.
Centring on how storytelling artefacts and their use in the classroom can contribute to the speaking and listening curriculum, the project was evaluated by Telford & Wrekin Schools Improvement Services, click here to view the evaluation report.
Another key output was gained by utilizing the skills of craftworkers from Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalport China Museum and Jackfield Tile Museum to aid and guide children in making their own storytelling artefacts showing the relevance of the sites in delivering literacy.
Mythstories also continues to lead a weekly termtime storytelling club for teenagers in Wellington Library which, during the project, guided its members to become street corner storytellers on site at Blists Hill Victorian Town during a special storytelling inspire day in June 2013.
3monkeys (2011) - For this project Mythstories joined forces with the Crick Crack Club and North of England Storytelling Festivals Ltd. to establish a commissioning house for performance storytelling.
The Arts Council England Lottery Funded grant will allow the first three commissions to come to fruition.
We aim to produce high quality and marketable work, whilst maximising professional development opportunities for the artists involved. Our commissions offer opportunities for insights into the creative process, with scratch performances, process diaries and feedback sessions. 3monkeys was founded on shared visions and values.
TRACES OF THE TUDORS (2010) - was funded by the MLA (Museums, Libraries & Archives) under their Learning Links programme and involved a Year 6 class at Holmer Lake Primary School, Telford.
The pupils were inspired by a visit to the museum and a trip with us to Moreton Corbet Castle, the ruin of a Tudor mansion and castle.
The project culminated in the making of a game which can be used by adults and children to create Tudor murder stories and modern day ghost stories. The pupils told their stories at an afterschool event and helped their parents create their own story using the model.
As part of the project Mythstories delivered storytelling skills workshops to teachers and classroom assistants. A copy of the game is now in use in the museum, and the original is used in the school as a literacy resource.
LIFE IN A BOX (2009/10) - a project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund which involved traveller teenagers researching their family history, creating ‘life stories’ and learning traditional woodworking and painting skills from skilled craftspeople within the wider traveller community.
The opening of the exhibit they created was attended by many members of their extended families and friends.
Additional funding from Shropshire Council’s Equality & Diversity Forum allowed the teenagers to work with video material about traveller evictions in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s from the Media Archive of Central England. To express their responses we travelled to The Hive Music & Media Centre in nearby Shrewsbury and spent a day in the studio with two DJ/MC’s recording rap tracks.
SENSE A STORY (2008) - was a project for the Telford Culture Zone co-ordinated by Telford & Wrekin Library Services. We worked with four schools leading classes on a morning storywalk near to their school and then helped the pupils create a story using the sights, smells and feel of the walk.
A musician from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and a dancer from Dance Xchange, who’d accompanied us on the walk and witnessed the story creation then helped the children turn the story into a dance and music performance for parents.
Library staff then helped the children make a story-chest; a trunk containing all the elements of the story’s characters and landscape.
The project culminated in a two day extravaganza at Enginuity (part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust) where Mythstories storytellers led class groups of “story archaeologists” on walks to discover the story-chests and uncover their stories.
STORYSCAPE (2008) - The creation of a ‘hands on’ contemporary artwork that can be manipulated by museum visitors to ‘tell’ a traditional story, ‘Edric and Godda’, which is very firmly rooted in the Stiperstones area of Shropshire.
Four people worked on the project, Louise Frances Evans created the artwork, Xanthe Gresham performed the story and Dawn and Lydia Powell represented the potential audience of museum visitors. These project ‘partners’ lived and worked hundreds of miles distant, in Leicestershire, London and Shropshire respectively.
Close liaison was factor that set this project apart. The Storyscape and the story developed side by side. The made artwork needed to reflect the narrative created as well as interpret the spirit of the story. The narrative needed to be grounded in the Storyscape and allow museum visitors to explore the artefact without losing the thread of the story.
They shared a visit to the Stiperstones, and met for lunch and coffee. Most of the liaison was by a private on-line blog where they shared ideas and posted photographs of work-in-progress.
The blog was also used by Mythstories, to manage the project. The blog gave us confidence, so much so that Xanthe and Louise only had one 15-minute face-to-face meeting with museum staff before the Storyscape was installed.
Xanthe Gresham recorded a ten-minute version of her re-telling on CD. This is now installed in the museum alongside the Storyscape.
She also worked up a 30-minute performance piece which additionally explored aspects of mythology and folklore found within the story. This was performed in the museum on 21st August.
Louise Frances Evans created a very feminine and beautiful artefact that enhances our museum gallery