Storytellers for Good

Do you tell good stories? Tell stories for good.

The Storytellers for Good program (S4G) supports students with skills in digital media to produce stories about students, alumni, and faculty exploring social change at Brown.

Brown University stands apart for a culture of social justice that reaches across campus and echoes around the world. Yet most of the stories go untold.

Storytellers are the voice of Brown’s social change community. Their stories can be found on Swearer Sparks, a new website created in May 2014 to inspire and connect the social change community at Brown.

About the Program

The Swearer Center seeks to create an open, supportive learning community at Brown University where students can build and apply their skills in digital media in order to tell authentic, meaningful stories with social impact.

Meet the 2013-14 Storytellers for Good:

See video

On finding a space to explore storytelling:

See video

Storytellers participate in weekly group meetings in order to build the skills and receive the feedback needed to produce individual stories. The production of these stories includes research; storyboarding; interviewing students, faculty, and others; editing content through rounds of feedback; and producing a final piece.

On their favorite stories:

See video

In addition to regular peer critique of their work, Storytellers are also connected to a powerful network of alumni and professionals working in the fields of media, storytelling, and social impact. These professionals lead workshops and serve as mentors for students as they sharpen their narrative voice and technical skills in digital storytelling.

Through their work, student storytellers have the opportunity to build a multimedia portfolio; gain exposure to an audience of thousands; and work on a creative, supportive, and fast-paced team.

On lessons learned:

See video

Storytelling Speaker Series

Each semester, the Swearer Center hosts speakers and workshops on campus in order to explore the intersection of media, storytelling, and social impact. Register below!

Audio Storytelling Workshop with Raina Fox ‘13 MAPH & Nate Storring ‘13 MAPH
Thursday, October 9. 5-6pm. Swearer Center for Public Service (25 George Street).

How do you tell a dynamic story with sound alone? How can you conduct a strong interview that lends itself to audio storytelling? What equipment and techniques do you need to turn an interview into an audio piece? Raina Fox and Nate Storring will host a one hour workshop introducing students to the basics of audio storytelling. Students will analyze sample audio stories, gain experience using audio recording equipment, discuss and practice interview methods, and learn narrative principles of audio editing. Raina has led oral history workshops in Providence and Chicago, and brings experience conducting and editing oral histories for a variety of storytelling purposes. Nate brings four years of experience as a freelance videographer and digital storyteller.

Space is limited; please register here. This workshop is part of a Storytelling Speaker Series organized by the Swearer Center for Public Service that explores the intersection of media and social impact. Learn more at brown.edu/go/storytellers.

 

Photography As Narrative: How to Take Photos that Tell A Story with Rachel Hulin ‘00
Friday, October 24. 2:30-3:30pm. Swearer Center for Public Service (25 George Street).

What does it take to not only capture a beautiful photograph, but tell a powerful story? Photography can expose, inspire, and change the viewer. This workshop will provide an overview of photographic techniques like composition, and also dive into the narrative qualities of photography, including photo essays. Rachel Hulin '00 is a photographer, photo editor, and author. Her popular Flying Henry series was ​featured by BuzzFeed, Oprah, The Today Show, and others and is also a children's book of the same name. She is a founder of The Photography Post, a photography blog and aggregation site, and worked as a photography blogger and editor in New York for many years; titles included Rolling Stone, RADAR Magazine, and Nerve.com. See Rachel's work at rachelhulin.com.

Space is limited; please register here. Her visit is part of a Storytelling Speaker Series organized by the Swearer Center for Public Service that explores the intersection of ​storytelling and social change. Learn more at brown.edu/go/storytellers.

 

How to Apply

2014-15 Storyteller for Good

Applications are currently closed.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of technical skills (writing/journalism, video production, audio production, photography, illustration/animation, or other forms of digital storytelling) and/or the ability to identify and craft a strong narrative
  • Experience in non-academic writing skills strongly preferred, such as creative fiction and nonfiction, journalism, blogging, etc.
  • Curiosity and passion for connecting with others
  • Strong interest in the work of organizations and ventures with a social mission
  • Manages commitments gracefully with attention to accuracy, details, and deadlines

Previous knowledge of the social change community at Brown and ownership of technical equipment are not required.

Graduate students are welcome to apply.

Expectations:

  • This is a year-long position with a firm 10-hour/week commitment, including weekly 1.5 hour meetings.
  • There will be a kickoff retreat on the afternoon of Sunday, September 21, 2014 for accepted storytellers. If applying, please save this date.

Information Session

Please join us for an information session at the Swearer Center (25 George Street) on Monday, September 8, 7:30-8:30pm or come speak to us at one of the following events:

  • Swearer Center Open House: September 5, 3-4pm (25 George Street)
  • Community Service Opportunities Fair: September 10, 7-8pm (Sayles Hall)

If you are unable to attend these events or have additional questions, please email Alexandra_Braunstein@brown.edu

Become A Story Mentor

During the program, students have the chance to co-produce a story with an alumni or professional storyteller mentor - a 4-hour per semester commitment.

If you are an alumni or professional working in the field of storytelling and media, please email Alexandra_Braunstein@brown.edu to learn more.

Pitch Your Story!

Do you have a story of social innovation to share on Swearer Sparks? Do you want to work with a Storyteller for Good on a media project about your social cause or venture? Click here to learn more.