The Joy and Power of StorytellingCliff Mayotte - Rancho La Puerta
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The Joy and Power of StorytellingCliff Mayotte

Week of January 1, 1970

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”
― Muriel Rukeyser

As human beings, we’re hard-wired for empathy and connection. We thrive in environments where we can share our stories with joy, love, and gratitude. During our classes, we will reinvigorate our storytelling skills as we embrace active listening, playfulness, empathy, and curiosity. We will utilize the principles and practices of oral history as we gain new tools for collecting and sharing the stories of our communities and loved ones. This fun and rejuvenating practice offers a lively approach to acknowledging and celebrating the universe of stories that live within us.

Celebrating the Power of the Story (60 minutes)
This fun and interactive presentation is focused on the power and joy of sharing stories. It will lay the groundwork for the drop-in storytelling classes throughout the week. The presentation will include a brief storytelling activity, reading and discussing first-person accounts, learning about creating safe spaces for sharing stories, practicing the art of active listening, gaining strategies for collecting family, and community stories, and a lively Q&A.

Session One (45 minutes): What’s Your Story?
Session Two: Speaking and Listening: The Art of Inspiring Stories
Session Three: Story Circle


Cliff Mayotte is the lead teacher for The Nation Magazine’s Fellowship for the Future of Journalism. He created the education program for Voice of Witness, an award-winning nonprofit (co-founded by author Dave Eggers) that advances social justice through oral history storytelling. Cliff has facilitated workshops for universities and organizations including The Bronx Documentary Center, Stanford University, the New Americans Museum, the New York Public Library, True/False Film Festival, The Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Trinity College Dublin. Cliff is the co-author of Say It Forward: A Guide to Social Justice Storytelling. He is a former education director for the Tony award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre and a recipient of the Beverly Kees Educator Award from The Society of Professional Journalists.