The Power of Storytelling in Carlisle

June 2, 2016

With a Civic Engagement Grant from PHC, and training in the Orton Family Foundation’s Community Heart & Soul® process, Carlisle residents are strengthening their community through the humanities. Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul team members participated in many community events to gather stories from residents this spring, and they have collected more than 600 stories to date! 

The following photos were taken May 28, when the team held a dedicated storytelling event at Bosler Memorial Library to collect audio and video interviews, as well as written and visual submissions. 

Story gathering can vary from deeper or “thick” questions such as, “Tell me about your experiences with your community park” to more simple or “thin” questions like “Name three characteristics that describe your community.” 

Regardless of the level of engagement, what is critical is close listening and dissecting the story to find the “data” or important key points that the storyteller is relaying. In order to sort through data more quickly, the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul leadership team has developed story categories that identify common themes, including outdoor spaces, economics, and local business.

These emerging common themes will be vetted with the community and, if they ring true, become Heart & Soul Statements that will inform the actions that follow. 

Additional project information and collected stories are available from Greater Carlisle Heart and Soul

Photos by Rachel Seitz. 

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