Story Crossroads

I have a story. You have a story. We all have stories.

WEST JORDAN, UT   |  http://www.storycrossroads.org

Mission

Story Crossroads gathers and unifies people across generations and cultures to celebrate story and promote communities that thrive through strengthened communication, empathy, and historical preservation. The specific objectives and purposes of SC are: a. To provide instruction in the art of story creation and storytelling to all ages. b. To create opportunities for community members – youths to seniors – as well as professional story artists to perform for the public such as, though not limited to, festivals, house concerts, audio, video, film, and other performing ventures. c. To broaden the general public’s knowledge about the art of story. d. To sponsor, host, and/or participate in events and activities that promote the art of story development and storytelling.

Ruling year info

2018

Founding Executive Director

Rachel Hedman

Main address

PO BOX 274

WEST JORDAN, UT 84084 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-1085178

NTEE code info

Folk Arts (A24)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Often communities, in unintentional ways, self-impose divisions along the lines of culture and language. We serve mainly the Salt Lake County area with stretches into Davis Country and as far as Utah and Millard County. The Salt Lake County area alone is full of diversity with hundreds of cultural groups headquartered there. Some schools have 40-60% of their students as being Hispanic. In the Glendale community, over 37 languages are spoken. We aim for people to connect with each other no matter the background, culture, economic status or beliefs through the art of storytelling. We discover together what it means to be human by telling our stories and listening to other stories.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Story Crossroads Festival

Story Crossroads is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with its storytelling festival in Salt Lake County, UT featuring 15 professionals and 40 community members.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

When a school opts for a field trip but lacks the budget - depends on space. A "0" means either no space or that schools had the appropriate budget to go.

Number of paid participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Field trip participants are separate from general public participants.

Maximum number of participants allowed on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Maximum of chairs at any one session, there are three sessions happening simultaneously with about 200-250 allowed in each. There are 3 concerts in the morning with potential of 700 X 3.

Average price of field trip tickets

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The cost of per student for a field trip to the Story Crossroads Festival. The Inaugural Year was free and has been $1.00/student since.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of approved field trip requests whether through online form, email, or in-person no matter the number to be brought. These are mostly schools but can include senior center groups or homeschool.

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This includes school outreaches given free to each Salt Lake County school district, venues such as the Blind Center, or other such locations where free events were offered beyond the Festival.

Number of free registrants to classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We allow 3 to 12 people per class so enough attention and attention can be given. We prefer no more than 12 but can push to 15, if needed. This reflects registrants to all our free 8-hour workshops.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Performances are free outreaches as well as concerts connected to the Festival. A session is at least 30 minutes of storytelling and can be up to a hour. Workshops/academic pres. not included.

Total number of classes offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These classes are the free 8-hour storytelling workshops typically held at senior centers though have also taken place in libraries. We aim for 3+ each year.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Audience members include the Festival and all related outreach events during the Festival week such as performances in the schools, Blind Center, libraries, etc.

Total dollars paid to artists

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We adjusted story artist fees since the Inaugural Year. For 2017 and onward, we expect to be close to $10,000+ each year. Some artists donate a portion back to the Festival and can affect this number.

Number of professional artists employed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We aim for 15+ professional story artists with at least three years experience in the art. Inaugural Year was a 2-day versus 1-day and explains that number.

Number of youth tellers selected for festival

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Out of the 40 community teller spots available, we aim to have at least 30 dedicated to youth. This number can vary from year to year but hopefully close to 30.

Number of adult community tellers selected for festival

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Story Crossroads Festival

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Community adult tellers are different than professional story artists. These community tellers attended an 8-hour workshop or were selected through a feed-in festival.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As a community organization, we look seek ways for people of all ages to learn and participate in the art of storytelling.

With the youth, we work with many of the school districts in Salt Lake County with feed-in festivals: Murray Storytelling Showcase (Murray School District), Jordan School District Storytelling Festival, and Canyons School District Storytelling Festival. We are meeting and working with the Salt Lake City and Granite School Districts to have festivals adapted to their needs. We also select student tellers from the Clearfield and Clinton Storytelling Festivals and the Old Capitol Storytelling Festival based in Fillmore/Delta. Starting in 2019, we have had an open call to youth who do not have a feed-in festival with Story Crossroads. The youth must craft a story for at least 6-8 hours so that it is not about an audition but the learning process with the art. Our goal is to allow any youth to participate including, though not limited to: private, charter, and home school students.

As the inaugural festival was in 2016, we wanted to gain experience and connections within the Salt Lake County so we can extend an invitation across all borders with World Story Crossroads in 2022. Once launched, the World Story Crossroads would be held once every four years in an Olympic-style way in Salt Lake County, Utah. This six-day event will feature each of the six major continents through broadcasted “state of the art” addresses, story workshops, cross-disciplinary papers, cultural explorations, and performances. Some stories shared will merge other art forms such as dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and film.

The "off" years will be the traditional one-day Story Crossroads Festival with outreaches in the schools, libraries, and other venues through that Festival week. We will at least have live-streaming with Story Crossroads before having these "state of the art" addresses and other broadcasts with World Story Crossroads. Every year we add new elements of the Festival such as the "We All Have Stories" Family Marketplace, the Story Train, the Story Walk. This prepares us for this ultimate World Story Crossroads goal.

Many story events of varying sizes are supported by Story Crossroads, though all connect in one way or another to the annual Story Crossroads Festival. This is a Salt Lake County, Utah-based event that features 15 professional multicultural story artists as well as 40 community members. Youth, community, and seniors are taught through storytelling residencies at libraries, schools, and other venues by certified story-teachers in preparation for this celebration. Bilingual and cultural performers combine arts to bring the stories forward for the audience. Stories are told with ancient techniques while simultaneously enjoying newfangled approaches to these traditions. Other events include monthly house concerts, 16-hour master story facilitator courses, refugee storytelling programs, story blasting-ultra short stories told door-to-door, and school outreaches. We look forward to the many adventures and opportunities to work together as individuals, neighbors, and human beings.

Story Crossroads Festival
The Festival is the culminating experience after all the training of Master Story Facilitators, the teaching of the general public—youth to seniors—through the 8-hour workshops, and the spreading of the word through House Concerts and Story Blasting. Every year we have grown in attendance with our first year being 2,287 in 2016 and our most recent festival in 2019 with 5,704. The next festival is May 13, 2020 at the Murray City Park, Murray in the daytime and at the South Jordan Community Center/Heritage Park in the afternoon/evening with free performances from May 11-14, 2020.

House Concerts
Monthly house concerts are quality storytelling performances geared for ages 10+ while being a way to raise funds for Story Crossroads. We average 25-35 people in attendance per house concert with the largest so far with 55 people.

Master Story Facilitator Courses
The spark for this these 16-hour courses was due to Story Crossroads wanting to offer free 8-hour storytelling workshops for the general public. We needed to trust whoever would lead these workshops. Ideally, the Master Story Facilitators would be professional storytellers though we wanted to expand the possibilities to anyone interested.

8-Hour Free Workshops
Story Crossroads was ready to offer free 8-hour workshops on the art of storytelling to the general public once we had trained Master Story Facilitators, approved lesson plans and books, and scheduled venues that typically are senior centers throughout Salt Lake County.

Story Blasting
The Story Blasting events are meant to be small groups or families who tell ultra-short stories of 1-3 minutes door-to-door.

Other Programs include: Language of Story Academic Series, Big Secret Story Concert, Youth Teller Reunions, Multi-disciplinary Story Workshops (Youth), and The Story Rhythm Project (Refugees).

Story Crossroads has nine board members who are all volunteer and have love for storytelling. The Executive Board consists of Rachel Hedman, Founding Executive Director/President; Suzanne Hudson, Story Training & Telling Chair/Vice President; and Jim Luter, Community & Arts Relations Chair. The General Board includes Julie Barnson, Story Training & Telling Committee; Karl Behling, Story Training & Telling Committee; Mikaela Hansen, Field Trip and Group Coordinator; Billie Jones, Emcee Coordinator; Dr. Dale H. Boam, Translation & Academics Coordinator; Jerri Hurley, Hospitality Coordinator; and Andrea Ayers, Program, Vendors & Marketplace Coordinator. Though not part of the Board, the following help us collaborate: Lori Edmunds (Murray Storytelling Showcase), Rebecca Smith (Jordan School District Storytelling Festival), Julie Page (Canyons School District Storytelling Festival), Laurie Allen (Clearfield Storytelling Festival), Randy Williams (Clinton Storytelling Festival), Clive Romney (Old Capitol Storytelling Festival), Jan C. Smith (American Prep Academy Speech Festival), and staff with the Riverton and Taylorsville Senior Centers for the free storytelling workshops. We have consistent volunteers during the day of the Festival though we will soon have a Volunteer Coordinator to ease burdens within the Board. Board Members must be voted and sustained unanimously by the Board. Several Board Members saw what Story Crossroads did and approached us to be considered.

As a Board, we are working with the Midvale Cinco de Mayo so that we can connect more with the Hispanic community. When people use the Spanish interpretation at our Festival, they always say that they wish more people knew about it. Thus, we will be at the Midvale Cindo de Mayo with bilingual fliers and some volunteers who can answer questions in English and Spanish. We aim to have the entire Festival to have Spanish interpretation, though we at least offer it for our evening concerts. One of our Story Crossroads Board Members teaches ASL Interpretation at the Utah Valley University, and we work with the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a result. As we film the Festival including the academic discussion on storytelling and language, we had the first year of that tradition focus on American Sign Language. We added closed captions to the video so that people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing can enjoy the discussion. During the discussion itself, we had ASL interpreters. Every year, we have a free outreach performance at the Blind Center in Salt Lake City. We offer Audio Descriptions for the Blind and have the entire performance emceed by someone who is Blind. Our fliers have been turned into Braille versions with help from the Blind Center. We also have audio announcements of the Festival and opportunities specifically made for this community.

During our inaugural Festival, we had 15 languages spoken on stage: Italian, Greek, Celtic, Japanese, Wataautagnati, German, Efik, Native American (Ute, Navajo), Hindi, Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian, Spanish, and American Sign Language. We have reached out to the cultural
groups we often saw on stage with the Living Traditions Festival. The Salt Lake City Arts Council was kind in connecting us with the groups. We met with some in-person to find out if they are willing to expand what they already do with dance and music and add storytelling. We offered a professional storyteller to work with them or if they had someone(s) in their group who could serve as narrator. As a result, we have had a Bolivian dance group work with a storyteller, Julie Barnson. We also had a Greek Band perform and they shared some of their travel stories with Greece between songs.

Several people who speak Spanish have told us how grateful they are that we offer the Spanish interpretation so they can enjoy art alongside their children. Oftentimes language and culture divide a community unless steps are made to allow all to feel welcomed. From our inaugural festival in 2016 to present, we always strove to break down those barriers and offer the American Sign Language, Spanish, and Audio Descriptions for the Blind.

Of the 40 community tellers, about 30 of them are youth. Parents of these youth tellers have told us that the youth are more confident through the speaking skills of storytelling whether in-person, through emails, or at the Youth Teller Reunions. They can apply this skill to anything they pursue in life.

We constantly have moments to celebrate. You can find the archive of our newsletters that shares this in more detail: http://archive.aweber.com/storytellingadv.

Financials

Story Crossroads

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Story Crossroads

Board of directors
as of 11/05/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rachel Hedman