(updated Sept 2023)
We want to connect people because our world is full of disconnection. We want to change minds because our world needs change. Storytelling is the most powerful tool we have to reach others. Storytelling brings people together with wonder, empathy, fun, hope and inspiration.
Our goal with story co op was to regrow in-person storytelling in London after the pandemic.
Every month we publish a one-page (paper) newsletter with the names of our crowdfunders and a complete list of OTHER storytelling events/shows in the London area.
If you want to run your own Free-To-Access Storytelling Co Operative, it is simple as 1-2-3.
Choose a quiet and comfortable space for hire which is accessible. e.g. excellent public transport if you are in a city or lots of parking if you are more rural.
if you choose a space which is already used by a community (e.g. a cafe or TA hall) you can advertise to the existing users of the space. A community space might even offer you a preferential rate. Double benefit!
Story Co-Op is once a month and it’s FREE TO ACCESS. It is funded by crowdfunder patrons. You will need to raise enough to pay for the rent for a year. A year is enough time to establish your Co-Operative and give it firm foundations.
We also recommend paying a facilitator to host each session. This is important! Your Co-Op needs time to grow. Expect a few months where not many people come. It is important to keep opening anyway so that everyone gets used to your presence. You do not want to feel discouraged after a few light months. If you are paying your facilitator, they won’t mind the empty seats so much! You might also want to raise enough for a guest performer for one of your events.
You will pay crowdfunder a small platform fee so aim to raise slightly more than you need.
Finally, you need to garner attendees! Invite everyone you know who lives locally, including poets, actors and authors. Story Co-Op is a wonderful free provision and a great opportunity for folks from all walks of life to hone their speaking and presenting skills. Allow your passion for stories and storytelling to shine through! You will need to do more social media posts than you think (!) and try to post mostly in LOCAL sites or groupchats. Use story-inspired photos and images to excite people.
Remember to explain that your event is “free thanks to your crowdfunders”. This lets people understand that they are being offered something of value for free.
Physical promo works well, posters in cafes and community centres and flyers. See if there is another local storytelling group you can hook up with. Remember, people are unlikely to travel a long way, so promote heavily within your community. Having a guest performer can attract new people too.
Update: I am overjoyed to say that StoryCo-Op will continue to be run by amazing volunteers after the seed funding runs out!
Good luck. If you want to have a look at our first year accounts, you can do so here.