She has a talent for making her personal stories feel universal, a quality that most people ascribe to folk tales. “Once, when I told a story about how I met my husband, two women came up to me after the performance,” she says. “One was Korean and one was from Afghanistan. They were both telling me, ‘That was my mom!’”
Baum’s storytelling residency, which is part of ISC’s Storytelling Live! program, will include concerts at ISC’s downtown Jonesborough location from July 9 – 13, Tuesday through Saturday, with daily matinees beginning at 2 p.m.
On Thursday, June 11, Baum will also host ISC’s second storytelling workshop of the season, “Beyond Labels: Bridging Differences through Storytelling.” The two-hour event (9:30 – 11:30 a.m.) will explore how storytelling can break through stereotypes and lead to dialogue, compassion, and change. Techniques covered will include deep listening skills and building interpersonal connections.
Baum thinks that many of the strategies she teaches in the workshop are naturally present in the storytelling community. “When I discovered the storytelling community, it was feeling like this is where I belong—a sense that this is my tribe,” she says. “It’s something that’s beyond nationality, beyond color of skin, beyond religion. We all come from so many different directions to meet at this wide intersection called storytelling. We come from literature. We come from theater. We come from farms, or libraries, or teaching jobs. We come from ministry or therapy. It’s this big crossroads. For me, it connected so many different things that I love, like mythology, literature, performing, social justice, and healing. Everything just kind of makes sense.
“For me, story is both performance art and a tool for change,” she adds.
The workshop is open to everyone, but is especially appropriate for people who work in nonprofits, business, ministry, and education. The cost is $30, with advance registration strongly recommended.
Reservations for all Storytelling Live! performances are also recommended, but not required. Tickets for all matinees are $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18. Heavily discounted season passes are still available for a limited time.
Exclusive discounts are still available to all ticketholders. Ticket stubs will earn a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only), Olde Towne Pancake House, Texas Burritos & More, Krazy Krepes, Jonesborough Barrel House, the Icing on the Cake (lunch only), and the Corner Cup. Additionally, Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and 5 percent off any other purchase.
The premier sponsor of Storytelling Live! is Ballad Health. Additional program funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Niswonger Foundation, Eastman Credit Union, the Mooneyhan Family Foundation, and Food City. Media sponsors include News 5-WCYB, FOX Tri-Cities, Tri-Cities CW, Johnson City Press, Kingsport Times-News, Herald & Tribune, and Cumulus Media.
Storytelling Live! is a seasonal program that runs from April to October.
The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live!, including the full 2019 line-up, or to purchase tickets and season passes, visit www.storytellingcenter.net or call (800) 952-8392.