StoryArk seeks to create a relevant and accessible arts experience
for students whose voices are underrepresented and to remove barriers that keep their absent narratives from being heard. Through our on-going Absent Narratives Project, we strive to elevate youth voice and leadership in order to improve and ensure inclusiveness in our schools and our community.
We believe stories provide context and meaning for our lives and can inspire us to think more critically about how we fit into the world and ultimately about what responsibilities we have to each other.
During StoryArk’s creative process, students explore identity and produce podcasts, short films, music lyrics and a literary magazine that features prose, poetry and visual arts.
Youth share these stories with themselves and with the general public, and by doing so, promote understanding and increase empathy for the student experience. The students create exceptional content, and it is shared in the following ways:
StoryArk Network Live
(students share with students)
StoryArk student groups from all over come together to share and discuss their podcast episodes, short films, poems and stories with each other. It’s an opportunity for youth to support and encourage each other in their creative endeavors while also growing in understanding and empathy for each other
(students share with the local community)
A celebration with a live audience, the StoryArk Festival showcases all our student storytelling with the local community. In this way, the audience grows in empathy and understanding of the student experience.
(students share with the world)
Both a podcast, a mobile app, and a web page, the StoryArk Network features all our student programming and includes interviews with professional artists and students about their work.
Braided Funding Approach
StoryArk wants all students regardless of background, socio-economic status, political leanings, and religious views to have their stories uplifted, amplified and heard. To that end, we use a “braided” funding approach where each “strand” allows us to weave a strong fabric from which to support youth. This funding includes: 1) government grants (Minnesota State Arts Board, Regional Arts Councils); 2) private grants (Hugh J Andersen Foundation, Fred C. and Kathryn B. Andersen Foundation, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Kemp and more); 3) School District Achievement and Integration dollars; and, 4) individual contributions through fundraisers and direct donations. Each strand of our braided funding supports different constituencies. School districts, through integration and achievement dollars as well as transportation funds, can help us reach underrepresented youth whose stories are absent from the mainstream narrative. StoryArk, through donations and grants, can support students that do not meet the school district’s criteria including homeschooling, out of district and more affluent, mainstream youth. By uplifting all student stories, we can interconnect diverse youth to each other and within the broader community.
You can help students empower, uplift and amplify each other’s stories and perspectives. Donate today!