The Mill Valley Public Library has been awarded a $15,000 grant that will allow it to take first-person narrative to the next level in a ground-breaking program called Naked Truth: Connect, Create, Contribute (NT:CCC). Bringing together the best of programs like This American Life, StoryCorps and the Moth under one umbrella, NT:CCC gives participants the chance to be creators, not just consumers, of great stories.
The grant from the California State Library in partnership with the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services allows the Mill Valley Public Library to expand upon its popular true storytelling series, Naked Truth. The series, which debuted in 2011, features selected storytellers taking center stage in the Library's Main Reading Room to tell true, unscripted stories. These live performances currently take place three times a year and are attended by approximately 300 people.
The new program, NT:CCC, includes the live Naked Truth performances and introduces two new components: a series of storytelling workshops and an online repository for Naked Truth stories as well as a how-to toolkit for other libraries.
"We pitched this three-part program because Naked Truth has received unprecedented and overwhelmingly positive feedback centered around three areas: how Naked Truth has been a dynamic force in bringing people together as a community; how people want to participate more fully in storytelling; and how their perceptions about what a library can offer its public have changed,” said Cara Brancoli, curator of Naked Truth and Head of Reference at the Mill Valley Public Library.
Naked Truth: Connect is the new name for the series of live storytelling events, while Naked Truth: Create provides digital and live storytelling workshops open to the public. These workshops invite participants to share personal tales and creative thoughts, enhancing them either via digitized images and sound or through learning how to tell a riveting story live. The digital storytelling workshops will be led by moderators from the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, while the live storytelling workshops will be led by a cohort of talented veterans from the famed Porchlight storytelling series in San Francisco.
Finally, Naked Truth: Contribute is the new website found at http://millvalleylibrary.net/nakedtruth. All of the stories produced through NT:CCC will be featured on this site, along with those stories told through earlier Naked Truth events. By February 2014, the website will also feature an online toolkit for other libraries interested in creating similar programs at their own institutions.
“Historically, libraries have been places that fostered solitary introspection,” said Brancoli. “What makes this program so special is that it expands on that individual experience and allows people to share in their common humanity.
The new NT:CCC offerings launch with a live performance of Naked Truth: Connect on Friday, October 18th. A featured event on the Litquake Literary Festival, Naked Truth: Connect will showcase the talents of comics Josh Kornbluth and Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, and writers Josh Cereghino and Kari Kiernan. The storytellers will take the stage before a packed audience to share tales based on the theme Masquerade: stories of posing, pretending, and faking it. Pre-registration for the October 18th performance is full, but those interested in attending are encouraged to join a wait line on the day of the event.
Space is still available for select Naked Truth: Create workshops. Digital storytelling workshops will include two options: a one-day workshop taking place October 26th and a four-day series taking place October 29th-30th and November 2nd-3rd. Live storytelling workshops will take place as separate sessions each Tuesday during the month of November. For more information, or to register, visit http://millvalleylibrary.org or call 415-389-4292, ext. 4740.