June 21, 2016 meeting: Stories in your Family and Community

The Edinburg Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 7 p.m. at the Edinburg Community Center on Military Road. The program will feature the Society’s Curator, Cynthia F. Kurtz speaking on Stories in your Family and Community. Cynthia will talk about how you can help your family share and preserve its stories.

Cynthia F. Kurtz, EHS Curator and author of Working With Stories

Cynthia F. Kurtz, EHS Curator and author of Working With Stories

Cynthia will talk about how people naturally tell and listen to stories in conversations, how to draw stories out, and what you can do with your family’s stories once you hear them. She will also talk a little about her work with communities, and she will show her Narratopia card game that people can use to play at sharing stories together.

Picture of Narratopia Story Sharing Card Game

Narratopia Story Sharing Card Game

Cynthia is a researcher, software developer, consultant and writer who has been helping communities and organizations work with their stories since 1999. She has consulted on over eighty narrative projects for a variety of clients in government, for-profit and non-profit sectors. Her textbook “Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization: Participatory Narrative Inquiry” is widely considered a vital resource for participatory story work. She and her husband have developed the open source NarraFirma software to accompany the book.

Picture of Cynthia F. Kurtz's Working With Stories Book

Cynthia F. Kurtz’s Working With Stories Book

Most of Cynthia’s work is with decision support and change in large organizations but she intends to gear down and talk about simpler things like family histories. She will touch on working with stories to create positive change in small communities like ours but only in the last portion of the talk. Cynthia will talk about how people used to tell stories in the past because it is historical and also to show how we can bring back some of that local storytelling spirit in the modern world.