In order to discover deeper community values and resident's connections to Starksboro, the Project partnered with John Elder and Middlebury College to document the stories of Starksboro's elders, youth, farmers, historians, forest workers and other residents.

The course, entitled "Portrait of a Vermont Town," ran through the fall of 2008 and culminated in early December with a town-wide story-sharing celebration.

Click here to read more and see photos from the town-wide event, Starksboro Stories.

Watch a clip of John Elder describing the course, "Portrait of a Vermont Town"

Click here to view the syllabus from the Middlebury College course, "Portrait of a Vermont Town"

Passing the Batton

At the December 4th event Jody Higgs (below), Starksboro resident, was so moved by the stories shared by the Middlebury College students that she stood up and shared her desire to gather more stories from her neighbors.  Jody put that wish into action and has joined together with a dozen other residents in town to form a storytelling group.  The desire of this group is to provide more opportunities for others to be equally moved by stories, to use storytelling as a catalyst for social gatherings, to find common ground and common connections to town through storytelling, and hear from as many voices as possible.

Barbara Ganley with Digital Explorations recently led a storytelling workshop in Starksboro to provide an overview of planning storytelling projects.  Barbara drove home the importance of not just focusing on the past but incorporating present-day stories and those of the future into projects.  She also directed participants to think not only about gathering stories but also about sharing them.  

Stay tuned on the events page for more from this group.

                                            The Orton Family Foundation (c) 2008

                            John Elder, Middlebury College Professor, local author and 
                            Starksboro sugarmaker, addressed the crowd on December 4th.

                                                 Digital Explorations (c) 2009

                            Residents gather at the First Baptist Church for a storytelling     
                            overview workshop.