Why Memories are Stories™?
Memories are Stories™ because in arts program, we focus on remembering and thinking about specific life experiences, moments in time that continue to shape us today. We then structure these experiences or memories into a story using various cultural and creative forms of expression.
This guided program design is based on aspects of cognitive and behavioral therapy framework and evidence based learning strategies. Structured activities guide participants as they learn and practice creative expression through narrative writing and the visual arts.
The goal of this work is to share our stories, to reflect on them by ourselves and with others and in so doing create new joyful memories.
What are cultural forms of expression?
Cultural forms are a wide range of artistic and traditional forms of expression that include rituals, celebrations, music, song, dance, visual image making, traditional designs, signs and symbols particular to a culture. These forms of expression reflect the creativity of groups and individuals.
How do we use these in the Memories are Stories™ sessions?
Every artistic endeavor begins with recalling and recreating an experience. Throughout the ages, individuals have shared their experiences through words and images. Sharing our experiences and reflecting on them with others comes naturally to all of us. We see this in the questions little children ask their caregivers, at the playground, over food, at work, practically in every place people gather.
Similarly we begin by gathering to recall and recreate experiences through words and images. Using various prompts and art techniques we remember the experiences we have had and build a collection of stories that we can then share at the session and elsewhere.
You do not need to be an artist or know how to sing, dance or even draw. But you do need a love for stories, an interest to share yours and connect with others.
How long are the sessions?
A short workshop session is up to 90 minutes. Participants usually end up staying for longer sharing their stories.
A longer course The Art of Composing a Life ™ is an 8 week session where participants reflect on the turning points in their life and build a narrative of their memories.
What do I gain from participating in these sessions?
The most important gain is the relationship you start building with yourself and others. Every participant comes away reflecting on their and others' stories. Building positive relationships is a pathway to a rich, joyful life. You also come away with a Memories are Stories artifact that you have created during the workshop. Be it a physical box, an album, a journal or simply a card that holds your stories.