Winter, 2010


“Some days the bear will eat you. Some days you eat the bear.” A line from one of my favorite songs …and oh, so true as I write you at the end of a great year…for I, right now, find myself eating the bear.

Since I last wrote I have received so many blessings in the world of storytelling. The beauty of the blessings is that these are ones that will be used to hopefully be of benefit to both the local community as well as the broader community of the Pacific Region.

National Storytelling Network Pacific Regional Director Appointment

This summer I served as co-chair of the National Storytelling Network conference All Regions concert. In this role, I was co-responsible for reviewing performer submissions and selecting a performer from each region to perform at the annual conference in Los Angeles. Not an easy job, as one not only as to consider talent, but also programming needs. As is sometimes the case with such volunteer positions, I had the opportunity make some connections I might otherwise not have made. The long and short of it, is that I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Network as Pacific Regional Director. In this role, I will be working to identify new audiences and members for storytelling as well as serve to support existing members.

Grant for Digital Storytelling Project on Bullying

Several weeks ago, I found out that I was selected for a grant provided by the Ventura County Museum of Art. The project is a digital storytelling project on bullying in Ventura County, California, where I reside. As with most grants, it will kick the project off the grant, but does not cover all expenses. So new efforts are being made to find additional sources of funding. I will be contacting schools in the Ventura County area to identify those who are the victims of bullying, the “silent onlookers”, community members such as parents and teachers as well as former bullies who now regret their past. I am also considering raising money by putting together an anti-bullying performance rally. Perhaps your school would like to be involved? Let’s eat the bear…

Local Growth

The Ventura County Storytelling Guild continues to bring in new members, many who show signs of offering their help to move the guild in exciting new directions. We gave our second Tellabration performance (see, partnering with the Pleasant Valley Recreation Department in Camarillo. Was so nice to have somebody who handled the marketing and who took care of all your performance needs….including providing free food for our guests! They have expressed interest in partnering with us on future events. So stay tuned for more news on that. I eat the bear…

Having taken a hiatus last year from Ventura’s Children’s Celebration of the Arts, I will return this year to offer my Storytelling and Literacy workshop in which students, through story exposure and storyboarding, will learn to express their own storytelling voice. I will also be offering this program for a Story Day at a private school in Camarillo at the beginning of the year. I am also looking forward to widening my performance base from showcases outside of California, including work in the Washington, DC area and the Northwest.

And as always, I continue to work on new works, including a new one for my Me Bully! E-Bully program with a working title of Talking Drums. Other work includes some personal stories about my childhood, immigration stories, and a few more folktales, including one on fear for my program on Safety called A Light in the Dark: Stories on Keeping Safe. I am eating the bear..

The world of storytelling blesses us by titillating our imagination while connecting us to each other through universal narratives that have withstood time. May next year find you eating your own bear.

Wishing you an abundance of friendship, good health and many stories to share in the New Year!

Happy Holidays from Elaine Muray

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