The International Storytelling Center (ISC) is hiring a project director to lead a new place-based grant-funded initiative, More than One Story, for approximately 1.5 years. This is an on-site contracted role in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
ISC is best known for producing live performance-based events like the National Storytelling Festival and Storytelling Live. Since its founding in 1973, the organization has also taught non-performers to use storytelling as an everyday tool for personal transformation, interpersonal growth, and community building. We know that sharing stories is a transformative process that can benefit individuals, families, communities, and even adversaries to create positive change in the world.
This “applied” storytelling work will be the focus of More than One Story, which will distill methods and lessons that ISC has learned across five decades of institutional history to develop a storytelling-based methodology for relationship and community building. These methods will then be made available to communities and organizations, facilitating productive conversations about how to value multiple perspectives and build a better world. We want to help people discuss divisive topics — values, cultural beliefs, and ways of life — in productive ways that build empathy and respect while celebrating the foundational American value of multiculturalism.
More than One Story (MTOS) is a research project that will codify ISC’s storytelling-based approach to community building and dialogue around charged, divisive issues. Building on core ISC values like inclusion, equity, and multiculturalism, the project will study the capacity of storytelling to promote healthy dialogue, bridge ideological divides, and cultivate empathy and compassion.
Since the director will play a critical role in shaping the project itself, applicants are not limited to specific disciplinary backgrounds or types of professional and lived experience. ISC welcomes candidates from diverse fields such as social science, arts, and nonprofit administration, conflict resolution, social justice, community change and service, folklore studies, public health, counseling, social work—and beyond.
The successful candidate will be a creative, curious, confident person with practical experience in facilitation who can design, produce, and lead a number of self-contained sessions with local participants. The program design will include research to codify ISC’s storytelling-based methodologies, cultivate safe spaces for meaningful discussion, and develop workshops to promote meaningful dialogue and impart new skills, and/or conduct narrative-based field interviews.
Support will be available for research methods and statistical analysis, subject matter expertise, and content development as needed.
Coordinate all aspects of the More than One Story project including:
• Collaborate with ISC president and More than One Story advisory board for research
• Identify and recruit participants to partake in research (2023-24)
• Facilitate dialogue and constructive engagement on contentious and community issues
• Design and coordinate workshop experiences
• Interpret and report on key findings
• Strengthen ISC’s relationship with its community
• Facilitation, participatory design and workshop development
• Statistics and methodology
• Event planning
• Arts, nonprofit, or humanities-related background
• Diversity, equity, and inclusion training and/or leadership
• Project management
• Community outreach
• Program design
• Folklore studies
Ideal Candidate will have the following:
• A graduate or terminal degree in Storytelling, Appalachian Studies, Folklore, History, or a related Humanities field.
• An appreciation for and understanding of the value of storytelling as an art and tool for social change and community building, the arts and humanities, and related fields
(education, community & rural development, peacebuilding).
• A firm commitment to and passion for social justice and celebrating diverse voices in our region.
• Excellent organizational, writing, editing, and verbal communications skills.
• A strong affinity for teamwork and commitment to learning is essential.
Period of Contract:
The Project Director will be an onsite position in Jonesborough, TN through the end of 2024.
Compensation for Services:
ISC will consider the Project Director an independent contractor and pay $3,600/month. Payment will be made monthly. As an independent contractor, the Director will be responsible for all payroll taxes related.
How to Apply:
Email the following information to email@example.com
1. Cover Letter describing your interests, with names and contact information for three references
3. A link to a three – five-minute video addressing the following:
Describe your interests in this position and how you see storytelling building trust across divides in order to foster a culture of belonging in the U.S, for everyone.
Note: This video can be sent as a private YouTube video or web link. It can easily be made on a smartphone and will ONLY be shown to the Interview Committee. Deadline to apply is May 31, 2023.
More than One Story is an ISC led project funded by a grant from New Pluralists Collaborative, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
About the International Storytelling Center
The International Storytelling Center is a nonprofit organization and the premiere educational, arts and cultural institution dedicated to enriching lives and building a better world through the art of storytelling. It is our organization’s goal to inspire and empower people everywhere to capture and tell their stories, listen to the stories of others, and use storytelling to produce positive change in the world.
ISC is proud to have signed the S.A.F.E. (Supporting Acceptance For Everyone) pledge, a signature initiative from The DEI Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.