‘I Have a Story’ program aims to amplify stories not often told


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The International Storytelling Center and Carver Park are teaming up to tell the stories of the neighborhoods surrounding the park and present them in a visual art piece.

The “I Have a Story” program aims to amplify the marginalized voices of Washington County.

“Carver Park was back when Johnson City was segregated, it was a colored Park,” said Angela White, Communications Associate International Storytelling Center “Now all these years later, the neighborhoods around Carver Park are predominantly African American and those stories don’t often get told they get really lost in mainstream media, especially with the social aspects.”

All those who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the park and those with stories and memories of the park are invited to attend.

Organizers hope to create a safe space to empower participants of different ages to craft and share their stories. The project has a goal of helping people across cultures and generations find understanding, civic engagement, and create community sustainability.

“We wanted to bring those communities together to share their stories, especially the intergenerational stories about growing up in the neighborhood and what life is like today,” said White.

The three-day event will be held in the Carver Park Community Center. Bobby Norfolk, Emmy-winning master storyteller, will host two nights of workshops for the community.

On the first day, participants will learn the basics of writing a story. Then on the second, they will work on writing the story and practice telling it. Those stories will be shared live at a community event on Saturday.

Those stories will not only be recorded and documented to share on the ISC’s website but they will be transformed into a visual art piece by local artist Jason Flack. That art piece will be used as a traffic box wrap at the corner of W. Watauga and W. Market.

The workshops will be held Thursday, November 4, and Friday, November 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. The story sharing will be held on Saturday, November 6 from 1 to 3 p.m. Participants don’t need to register for the event, but it is recommended they attend both workshops if they have a story they’d like to share.

The event will be held inside the Carver Park Community Center, participants are asked to wear masks while inside.

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