Sitting in Manhattan’s shadow, the outer boroughs of New York City get a bad rap. But none more so than Staten Island. Sometimes called “the forgotten borough,” Staten Island is notoriously overlooked and seriously in need of some love. The Five Boro Story Project has produced exhilarating and uplifting storytelling and arts events in all five boroughs – all for free – and we are now planning “Forget Me Not: A Staten Island Storytelling Extravaganza” to serve up a big dose of Staten Island love.
We have partnered with the Staten Island Museum to hold a series of free community storytelling events, beginning with a Story Circle on August 9th (http://bit.ly/NddZQu). The Story Circle will be a hyper-localized, participatory celebration of Staten Island, featuring local storytellers, poets and residents who have something important to say about their borough. After thought-provoking performances, the Story Circle will invite the audience to share memories and engage in discussion about their neighborhoods. The act of sharing personal stories has an unparalleled power to turn strangers into neighbors.
Themes from the Story Circle will shape a larger Staten Island Extravaganza in the fall. The Extravaganza will feature more borough-centric storytelling, poetry and musical performances, plus participatory activities. By turning the spotlight on Staten Island’s rich culture and interesting people, and providing a platform for Staten Islanders to connect with one another, the series will boost pride and strengthen community connections.
Funded by New York City, NY (August 2014)