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Storytelling has flourished in Scotland over centuries and is enjoying a contemporary renaissance. Traditional storytelling continues in Gaelic and Highland culture, in the Scottish Traveller way of life, in rural Scots communities, and in urban communities. These fragile traditions represent a living cultural ecology which has the power to inspire our modern society. The Scottish Storytelling Forum is responsible for maintaining and nurturing these traditions.

The Scottish Storytelling Forum was founded in 1992 to encourage and support the telling and sharing of stories amongst all age groups and all sectors of society, particularly those who, for reasons of poverty or disability, are sometimes excluded from artistic experiences.

As we approached 2000, the Scottish Storytelling Forum entered into partnership with the Church of Scotland to transform The Netherbow Arts Centre on The Royal Mile into a purpose built Storytelling Centre. This work was completed in 2006, giving the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Network a national and international hub, and a beacon for its aims and values.

We work with partner organisations to provide an extensive year-round programme of inclusive storytelling activities to people of all ages and backgrounds. The Forum also coordinates and supports projects and events in education, health, social care, faith communities, arts and heritage, and business settings across the country.

The work of the Forum is at all times people centred, and all outreach events and projects are tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of the participants.

The Scottish Storytelling Forum promotes the study, practice and knowledge of storytelling in Scotland through the preservation and perpetuation of traditional storytelling and the development of storytelling as a contemporary art through the fostering of storytelling skills among all age groups, and the telling of stories in schools, colleges, prisons, community centres, churches and faith communities, libraries, hospitals, elderly care centres and festivals, throughout Scotland.

Our work affirms the contribution of children and young people, of older community members and of people whose disabilities should not prevent their access to storytelling experiences; and celebrates the stories and experiences of those with diverse cultural backgrounds.

 

The purpose of the Storytelling Forum is to:

  • promote the study, practice and knowledge of storytelling in Scotland through the preservation and perpetuation of traditional storytelling
  • develop storytelling as a contemporary art through the fostering of storytelling skills among all age groups, and the telling of stories in schools, colleges, prisons, community centres, churches, libraries, hospitals, elderly care centres and festivals, throughout Scotland.
  • advise on all aspects of storytelling development, and advocating the cause of storytelling and storytellers in all aspects of cultural and social life.

(a)   Assist in organising, managing and promoting storytelling programmes and events and other projects and will advance public education in the art and heritage of storytelling in all sections of the Scottish community;

(b)   Make arrangements, plans and programmes either in connection with national, cultural, artistic and educational societies and organisations, or on its own initiative;

(c)    Cooperate with local authorities, community groups and local cultural, artistic and educational societies and organisations for the promotion of the knowledge and practice of storytelling;

 

The Forum’s Executive Committee

The Forum Committee acts as a think-tank, advising on all aspects of storytelling development, and advocating the cause of storytelling and storytellers in all aspects of cultural and social life.

The Executive Committee is responsible for the administration, management and control of the affairs and property of the Association, including the details of membership and subscription.

 

Amongst the Forum Committee’s responsibilities are:

  • It sets the criteria for membership of the Directory of Storytellers and ratifies acceptance of those who are deemed to have completed the accreditation process.
  • It sets the storytelling fees that the Scottish Storytelling Centre recommends for remuneration of storytelling work.
  • It instigates and regularly reviews national and local campaigns and projects aimed at the fulfillment of its core objectives.
  • It discusses threats to and opportunities for the art of storytelling in Scotland and considers ideas and initiatives to promote it. Wherever appropriate, it forms sub-groups with focus on specific areas of work, seeking expert advice from within and without its membership.
  • It represents the interests of the art of storytelling within the board of Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS).

Through TRACS, the Scottish Storytelling Forum is grant-aided by Creative Scotland. However, our work depends on charitable giving and the support of our members. Please consider making a donation to the Scottish Storytelling Forum, or leave a legacy to allow our work to grow.