Stories from Our Community | About the Exhibit
About the exhibit
Story-telling is a way to share your experiences and your values with your friends, your neighbors, and your family. In a new project called Stories from Our Community , the Children’s Museum explores the tradition of story-telling and oral history sharing. In the museum’s space as well as from our website, visitors can listen to stories provided to The Children’s Museum by members of various communities including museum neighbors, friends, and visitors.
Objects can help us tell personal stories—they can spark our imagination or remind us of cherished memories. On level 2 of the museum, a display features artifacts both on loan and from our permanent collection that help illustrate the stories featured in the exhibit space.
Additionally, the Stories from Our Community website opens the experience to a wider audience of children and families. This online presence will provide an opportunity to listen to and learn from these stories to anyone with access to the internet. The featured stories in our exhibit space will change over time, but all stories we collect will remain available for listening in our online archive. All stories are provided with transcriptions as well, to assist our deaf and hard of hearing visitors.
At special events throughout the year, The Children’s Museum will invite our visitors to record their own stories for us, to be added to the archive and possibly featured in the exhibit space. The schedule of these events can be found here. Storytellers may also contribute their stories to our ongoing story blog, found here. We hope that Stories from Our Community is a project that will continue to grow over the years, with contributions from a wide array of community members both near and far.
So what are you waiting for? Tell us a story!
Ellen Munds is the Executive Director of Storytelling Arts of Indiana. Munds more than 30-year involvement in storytelling includes serving as a leader in many storytelling projects and initiatives including as the project director for Using Storytelling as an Educational Tool and OASIS Storytellers. Munds has received several awards and honors for her work including a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis in 2001 and the Distinguished National Service Award from the National Storytelling Network in 2009.
Jeanine Fox is a Public Service Associate at the infoZone Branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) located within The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. In addition to her work with IMCPL, Fox is a reviewer for Voice of Youth Advocates, a journal promoting young adult literature and volunteers at the Indiana History Center, working on the Indianapolis Orphans’ Asylum Project. She is an avid reader and enjoys sharing her love of literature with others.
Kevin Armstrong is President of the Methodist Health Foundation. Armstrong has a long-standing involvement within the community serving on the Boards of the Duke Divinity School, Global Interfaith Partnership, Spirit & Place Festival, Rejuvenate Campaign Cabinet, Talent Alliance Executive Committee, and the University of Indianapolis. He holds degrees from DePauw University and Duke Divinity School.
Kris Johnson is a student ASL and Deaf Culture; a volunteer at the Indiana Deaf History Museum; and is a Museum Studies graduate student at IUPUI. Kris is an advocate of increased accessibility for museum visitors with disabilities. Her focus is on improving inclusion of visitors with sensory disabilities, which has been motivated by her own experience with hearing loss. She is also a big Superman fan and was very happy to contribute a story about him to the project.
Ophelia Wellington is the Founding Director of Freetown Village. Ophelia first conceptualized Freetown Village in 1982 out of her desire to teach African American history. With a small planning grant from the Indiana Humanities Council, this former educator organized a group of historians, educators, and arts/culture leaders to plan and implement a two-month pilot project at the Indiana State Museum in the fall of 1984, which led to a permanent exhibit which ran until 2001. Since 1982, Freetown Village has presented programs throughout the state of Indiana and to the contiguous Midwestern states reaching well over 1,000,000 children and adults in small and large communities. Programs have been presented in schools, churches, libraries, museums, theaters, centers, parks, hotels, offices, gymnasiums, parades, homes, and for almost every time of event or occasion.
Portia Sholar Jackson is the founder of the storytelling troupe Freedom Train and the childhood development center Freedom House and serves as Resident Storyteller at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The Freedom Train troupe is comprised of 12 youth storytellers whose mission is to teach African and African-American history through stories and songs. Sholar Jackson holds a degree in Education from Indiana University.