The International Storytelling Center Awarded Resiliency Grant

Great news: we’re so proud to announce that the International Storytelling Center (ISC) has been named as a recipient of a generous $35,000 grant from the South Arts Resilience Fund.

The grant was in recognition of ISC’s pivot to digital programming and community support in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as our long track record of producing world-class concerts, building community engagement, maintaining educational resources, and supporting at-risk youth.

The award was part of a $1.67 million program designed to promote resiliency among the most impactful small- and mid-sized arts organizations in the region. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the South Arts Resilience Fund is supporting new, region-specific activities to build the long-term resiliency of arts organizations battling the effects of the pandemic. Other Tennessee arts organizations that received grants include the International Bluegrass Music Association and the Nashville Opera Association.

Susie Surkamer, CEO and president of South Arts, commented, “These organizations represent a cross-section of the creativity vital to our region. Their work impacts artists and audiences across their respective states, the region, and the nation. These awards will allow them to reimagine their work in the face of the pandemic, and emerge stronger than before.”

“We believe that storytelling is more important than ever, now and in the months and years ahead,” said Kiran Singh Sirah, president of ISC. “This grant will support not only the resiliency of our organization, but the resiliency of the many communities we serve, locally and around the world.” 

In early October, we unveiled ISC’s new state-of-the-art digital platform for the National Storytelling Festival, our signature event. After its successful debut, we’re rolling out brand new storytelling concerts through the end of the  year, beginning Thursday, October 29, with Sheila Kay Arnold. We’ll also be producing a live workshop series via Zoom later in the year.

The resiliency grant was also in recognition of ISC’s Stories as Medicine initiative, which was launched in direct response to the pandemic. The program has already been shared with more than 300 community health care workers in Appalachia and beyond, with an eye toward expansion later this year.

We’re deeply grateful for the support from our friends at the South Arts Resilience Fund.

Image credits to Jay Huron.