ISC Unveils Storytelling Seal of Excellence

The International Storytelling Center (ISC), the Jonesborough-based organization that ignited the storytelling renaissance, will soon award its inaugural Seal of Excellence to its longtime regional partner, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa, in Pigeon Forge.

ISC recently created the Seal of Excellence program to recognize storytelling-related sites of superior quality across a variety of cultural institutions, heritage sites, tourist attractions, and communities.

“We created the seal as a way to recognize excellence in different organizations that are using storytelling to enhance their own core mission, whatever that may be,” says Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the International Storytelling Center. “We’ve worked with our friends at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa for years to help make sure that the stories of East Tennessee, of Dolly Parton, and of the guests themselves are woven into visitors’ experiences. I think anyone who’s been there could tell you that this designation has been richly earned.”

ISC’s partnership with Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa, which began prior to the resort’s official opening in 2015, is based on the organizations’ shared values, including their family-first philosophies and mutual commitment to cultural preservation, regional development, and promoting positive change.

The seal will be awarded on the weekend of the resort’s upcoming Lyrics & Lore event, a four-day music and storytelling extravaganza on the resort grounds.

Co-sponsored by ISC, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa, and the Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival, Lyrics & Lore is a new annual event designed to bring together some of the country’s most talented storytellers and musicians to celebrate two of the rich traditions of the Appalachian region.

Lyrics & Lore, which runs Thursday to Sunday, January 26 – 29, 2017, will feature many performances and workshops that are free and open to the public, including storytelling concerts by Bil Lepp and Beth Horner. The musical portion of the program will feature Jerry Salley, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, and other award-winning songwriters from country, bluegrass, and gospel music. Note that some of the music concerts are separately ticketed events.

ISC’s presentation of the Seal of Excellence is in recognition of its years-long partnership with the resort, as well as a renewed partnership going forward.