A report by Linda Kuntz
Storyteller, Correspondent, All-around Nice person
The 2021 National Storytelling Network Conference “Connected: Across the Divide” was on Zoom. The conference was broken down into interactive learning, keynotes or panels, showcase performances and networking/social times. I printed off a schedule and marked the ones I wanted to see that fit into my schedule. Recorded sessions will be available for one year so I can leisurely watch what I missed.
As a member of PRO-SIG I started off the conference by attending two workshops on producing storytelling events live, on Zoom and hybrid. The workshops I attended used breakout rooms and I met many delightful storytellers from around the world. In the workshops and the performances, I heard stories of prejudice and bias on national, racial, religious, educational, sexual and political levels. I was amazed at how many people had similar experiences. I heard stories of how we are connected and how to become more connected. These stories need to be told so we can see that we are more the same than different. We needed the social/networking time to ask questions and connect with one another.
The online auction is a source of income for NSN and offered more than 100 items. Gary and I ended up buying four items. Now he knows what we get for our anniversary, his birthday, my birthday and just because.
Minor glitches did not distract as much as instruct what not to do next time. With the conference on Zoom I could cut off my audio and video at will. I paced myself so I was not information-overloaded. I was entertained, instructed but most of all encouraged by the power of storytelling. I will attend the 2022 NSN Conference which will also be virtual.