COMMISSIONING A STORY
FOR YOUR FAMILY, BUSINESS, CULTURAL,
HISTORIC OR RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION
Judith creates, tells, and records original stories based upon the needs and objectives of the host organization. These stories are then used to celebrate, educate, entertain, recruit, and invite a cognitive dissonance around issues and history that only a new vantage point can offer.
Stories engage the head by way of the heart and imagination. When listening to a story both critical and self conscious parts relax. The gates of perception open and listeners are able to immerse themselves, transcending accepted or traditional views of a person, place, situation or event, and enabling new ideas, perspectives and paradigms to enter this consciousness.
Churches have commissioned stories to teach about and celebrate their histories. Museums have commissioned stories to draw attention to specific collections or attract a broader audience. Humanities Counsels have used these stories to accent their missions and do outreach. Labor organizations have used them to communicate more effectively with their rank and file. Once the story is completed (Judith needs 7-20 months for the research and shaping of a new work), organizations share them in varied ways. Some organizations record their stories and use them in schools and museums as an educational tool. Other organizations have aired them on area television, radio, and podcasts for use by the entire community. Some organizations send the tale and its’ teller out to neighboring institutions. Others have had members of the hosting organization learn the story so that it can be shared when needed. Use your imagination. How would you use a story sculpted to explore the mission, history, and defining personalities of your organization?
Judith has completed commissions for the following organizations:
(Video clips are noted when available and most products can be found at https://storiesalive.com/orderform.html)
The USS Constitution Museum (Hell For A Picnic available on CD)
The US Department of the Interior (The Home Front: Women’s roles in WWII)
(Available on CD and DVD-Emmy Nominated)
Old South Church, Andover, MA
National Public Radio (Rosie the Riveter)
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts
The Hoosic River Revival https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nloGs9TQRZk
The Mugford Street Unitarian Universalist Church
The Morton Museum of Collierville History (WAR:Collierville TN 1863 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLWSTxHFewE)
The Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities
(Meet Lucy Stone: Available on CD)
Other tales have been created for familial and community celebrations.
Tell Me More About These Stories
Judith has created numerous stories grounded in real lives, and important events of our national past. She dives into these eras, creating from them compelling, humorous, and riveting stories told with warmth and a well developed dramatic flair. For an NPR series Hand Me Down Heroes, she choose to feature heroines from both the Civil War and WWII, creating stories that offer an often under explored vantage point on these well studied periods. Hell for a Picnic, created for the USS Constitution Museum, follows the life of an 11 year old powder
monkey who joined the Navy to find his father. War: Collierville TN 1863, welcomes listeners into the world of a small southern town. Since the winners of wars usually determine the content of history books, listeners emerge with an enlarged understanding of that conflict and a picture of Southern town and its’ citizens under occupation.
A number of years ago Judith worked with the leaders of an auto workers union helping them create a story that could communicate to their rank and file why they would never enjoy the same pay, job security, or benefits that typified the working career their fathers. As sad and difficult as this was, effectively communicating information about a once regional industry, now competing with an international labor and resource market was essential for realistic negotiations and creating a vision of their future.
The Story of One Commission:
In 2014 the Hoosic River Revival commissioned a story on the role of the Hoosic River in the lives of the people of N. Adams, MA. The reason for the commission was that the Revival wants to reintroduce a river that has been relegated to fenced in cement chutes, built by the Army Corps of Engineers shortly after WWII. The river, which used to flood regularly, destroying the town, left an indelible imprint of fear on the older citizens. Finally made safe by the inaccessible chutes, the younger generations have almost no relationship to it. The Revival has extensively researched and presented to the town both the reasons for and safe means by which the river could be re-introduced. Though the economic and aesthetic benefits are easy to prove, the old fears have not been assuaged by either science, economics, or engineering. You see, fear rests in a place that logic cannot touch. They wanted a story that would open people up to the new, safe, regenerative possibilities in their relationship to the river. The resulting tale, Let the River Run,
premiered last Spring, where it was told in a number of public venues. It was also recorded by film students and will run often on their cable channels. This story tackled change from the inside out, presenting three generations of an immigrant family that had made their lives in N. Adams, empathizing with the old generations fear and taking them on a journey of possibilities and change. The story has become an important tool in reaching towards consensus about the river and how it could positively effect the town.
Judith has created numerous stories grounded in real lives, events, and important times of our national past. She dives into these eras, creating from them compelling, humorous, and riveting stories told with warmth and a well developed dramatic flair. For an NPR series Hand Me Down Heroes, she choose to feature heroines from both the Civil War and WWII, creating stories that offer an often under explored vantage point on well studied periods and event.
Commissioned stories are an effective and powerful way to communicate.
Contact Judith to explore the creation use of an original story for your organization or institution.