The members of Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild are dedicated to promoting awareness of storytelling as a vibrant contemporary art form, a folk tradition, a way of celebrating life, a tool for personal and social transformation, and as a path for spiritual exploration.
Patchwork was established in 1982 when a group of professional storytellers and librarians seriously involved in using storytelling in their work met to discuss issues surrounding the art. At that time, they recognized that the growing use of multi-media and computer technology was causing a decline in the art of storytelling. This group decided to form an organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the importance of storytelling for passing on family history, curriculum in education, preserving cultural identity, and as a way of celebrating both the diversity and commonality of our communities. They also decided that the survival of the art form was dependent upon training and encouraging new storytellers and audiences.
With these goals in mind, Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1984. Patchwork’s primary purpose is the promotion of storytelling and the exchange of information and ideas through educational activities, performances and publications.
We meet the third Sunday of the month, from 2:00p.m. to 4:30p.m. The group meets in the homes of the members, with the location changing for each meeting. The purpose of the coaching group is to offer positive feedback on developing new stories. The size of the coaching group is limited: twelve to fifteen members. For information on the coaching group, contact Milt Cohen, 215-247-6186.
Patchwork is reconstituting the Story Swap. It meets on the first Saturday of each month at the Philadelphia City Institute, 1905 Locust Street in Rittenhouse Square. The session begins with 30 minutes of instruction, followed 90 minutes of stories. It is a safe place to try your skills and practice a story before a supportive audience. Contact Dennis Strain, 215-247-3823 for more details.
Patchwork encourages people to tell and listen
to stories through the
Sponsoring workshops and retreats for novices and professional tellers
Producing storytelling performances in the Greater Philadelphia area
Working with schools and community-based organizations to encourage people to tell and listen to stories in their communities
Sponsoring a website which provides information about storytelling ideas and resources; and which offers a Calendar of Events to promote storytelling activities
Promoting storytelling through contact with the media
Members are involved in the following activities:
Passing on oral history from one generation to another
Gathering and sharing stories that reflect cultural identities
Developing storytelling as a contemporary art form
Using storytelling as a tool for personal growth and spiritual exploration
Learning to use storytelling to promote reading, literacy, and creative expression
Receiving coaching feedback from peers on artistic development
Attending informal story swaps with other members of the community
Staying informed about regional and national storytelling programs and events