A Note from ISC’s New Director of Development

by Lisa Whaley, ISC Director of Development

I have always loved stories.

As a small child, I would often sit quietly at the kitchen table, surrounded by chattering adults, absorbing their words and stories. As I got older, I would sneak away to quiet corners of our home, book in hand, to immerse myself in other lands.

When it came time to choose a career, I gravitated to one I knew guaranteed me a chance to work daily with the written word, and the stories those words could help shape. For the past 20 years or so, I have called the world of community journalism my home, working to capture the events, the character, and especially the people in Tennessee’s oldest town. I have spent years writing about storytelling in Jonesborough. Now I’m excited to be a part of it and help it grow.

The International Storytelling Center is the perfect combination of Southern hospitality and global impact. From that first moment that I stepped into a festival tent to see what all the hullabaloo was about, through the years of watching this art form touch lives as both a newspaper woman and a fan, my admiration for the art of storytelling has done nothing but intensify.

It has been a wonderful thing to witness; now I get to be part of that journey as a member of the team.

I have watched ISC steward the art of storytelling from a local grassroots movement to an international creative industry. My goal is to help ISC to continue to perfect, preserve, and protect what it already does so well, while also reaching for the stars to better share all that we have learned. ISC is an anchor for storytelling in our region, our nation, and in communities all over the world.

Storytelling’s power to make us laugh, cry, empathize, and understand is unparalleled in its simplicity. Its ability to build unity and equity is well documented. Its potential to impact our world is unlimited.

I have been given a chance to be part of all that, as have you – whether as an audience member, a storyteller, a volunteer, a partner or simply a fan.  I believe we have a lot of good things before us and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Feel free to reach out to me anytime. As a longtime resident of Jonesborough, I’m easy to find. I will be in my office in the Chester Inn or catching a performance at our theater next door. You can also reach me at the center by calling 423-913-1276 or emailing me at lisa@storytellingcenter.net.

I look forward to talking with you.