‘Storyknowing’ symposium & festival

‘Storyknowing’: A Symposium and Festival on Storytelling and Theatre with Young People

Fri 22nd and Sat 23rd April 2016, York St John University and York Theatre Royal

FOR: Researchers, arts practitioners, mental health/youth work professionals, teachers and young people (11-18).

See FULL PROGRAMME here: Storyknowing Conference A5

For more detail on talks and workshops, see here: final Abstracts & Biogs doc

Storyknowing A4Click here for Booking page and here for Facebook page

You are warmly invited to ICAN‘s biggest practice research event yet: a two-day festival and symposium to explore the artform of storytelling for, with and by young people.  It will bring together practitioners, teachers, academics and young people to explore, through workshops, performances, discussions and outstanding practice, the role of story in arts practice with young people.  It will also feature performance both by and for young people, across artforms from oral performance to dance.

Story is the way humans make sense of the world we live in.  A story does not tell us what to think – it poses questions and leaves spaces for us to interpret them together.  It carries wisdom and experience, and asks us to add our own wisdom and experience before passing it on.  Therefore stories – whether modern, mythical, traditional or fantastical – are particularly important to help young people to position their own lives and difficulties in a wider context, and to become critical, responsible, problem-solving adults.



And yet many young people may rarely hear or have the chance to work with stories.   The revival in performance storytelling has tended to favour adults and the very young, neglecting teenagers and older children.  Tightly planned school curricula or professional anxieties may prevent teachers or mental health professionals from sharing ‘whole stories’, either fictional or personal, with the young people in their care.

So what kinds of stories do young people need to hear?  What do they find in them, and how do they use them to put across their own perspectives?  How might stories help them negotiate with dominant narratives of individualism, economic and academic competition, or physical perfection?

How should practitioners (in the arts, mental health, education or youth work) develop a participatory practice of storytelling? In what ways is this challenging to, or congruent with, current trends in education, mental health and youth work?

We are now delighted to be able to confirm our keynote speakers as Roger Hill and Jo Blake Cave. We also have a Young Storyteller in Residence for ‘Storyknowing’, Tamar Williams.

‘Storyknowing’ will kick off on Friday morning with research papers on two broad themes: ‘Storytelling in and out of education’ and ‘Resistence and Resilience’.  A list of research papers and presenters is here: Paper panels

We also have a fantastic range of workshops lined up from:

To book click here. Fees vary according to whether you wish to attend just Friday, just Saturday or both days, and are banded as follows:

  • salaried academics/professionals £50-£110
  • teachers/freelance practitioners £40-£80
  • students £30-£60
  • young people performing and taking part in workshops £5

If you are unsure which band applies to you please be in touch.

Click here for a list of affordable accommodation near the venues.

Enquiries: c.heinemeyer@yorksj.ac.uk