International Day for Sharing Life Stories at DMACC May 16
State Historical Library brings NEA's "The Big Read" to Ankeny

For immediate release May 5, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) –The State Historical Society of Iowa and Two Rivers Story Spinners are co-sponsoring an evening of sharing life stories as part of the International Day for Sharing Life Stories and The Big Read at 7 p.m., Friday, May 16, 2008, in the Building 6 theater at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.

Anyone who is willing to share a short story about a segment of their or someone else’s life within a small group is invited to attend this free event. The event will open with welcoming remarks, a brief explanation of the evening’s activities and a short life story example told by an experienced storyteller. Participants will then break into small groups where they will receive handouts with life storytelling tips, introduce themselves and share their stories. Participation certificates will be available.

A one-hour open microphone session will begin around 9:15 p.m. for participants who wish to tell their stories to a larger audience. Refreshments will be available as well as literature on sharing and preserving life stories, and a display about the National Endowment for the Arts’ The Big Read program will be available in the lobby.

The Center for Digital Storytelling and the Museum of the People originated this international event of listening, collecting and sharing life stories as a critical process in democratizing culture and promoting social change. More information is available at

The Big Read ( is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

Contact Two Rivers member and The Big Read coordinator Susan Jellinger at 515-281-6897 or for more information.


The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.

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