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A Brief History of Children at the Well

In 2005, the Interfaith Story Circle of the Tri-City Area (Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY) launched this interfaith/intergenerational storytelling venture to involve youth in learning the art of storytelling, and in using this art to:

  • Deepen their knowledge and understanding of their own faith tradition and that of others
  • Get to know people of other faiths
  • Participate in the local Interfaith Story Circle meetings and its community events
  • Promote peace and understanding among all peoples

Thanks for our start, NSN! Children at the Well received the 2006 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling from the National Storytelling Network. This award focuses on the transformational properties of storytelling and aims to increase understanding of the ways that storytelling can promote change in individuals and communities.

Why ‘Well’? We use the informing metaphor of a well in our title because we envision the process of young people gathering to delve into the treasures of wisdom in their own traditions to be similar in ways to the age-old custom of youth at the village well, drawing water to bring back to their families to sustain them. The image of well water, drawn from the depths, is particularly powerful for us as an agent of sustenance, growth and change. These are precisely the effects that we wish our program to have.

Hooray! Spring 2014 will be our ninth year of bringing the Capital Region’s young people (and their families) together in a subtle way, by developing and sharing stories from each young person’s own tradition, rather than by trying to change minds politically.

Here is more information about Children at the Well:

Staff of Children at the Well

  • Paula Weiss, Director
  • Gert Johnson, Community Liaison
  • Mary Murphy, Nancy Marie Payne, Micki Groper, Storycoaches
  • Claire Nolan, Assistant Storycoach
  • Ben Russell and Khalafalla Osman, Apprentice Storycoaches
  • Marni Gillard, Storycoach Emeritus
  • Kate Dudding, Web Site and Technical Support
Listeners at the performance
Collage of photos from 2006 and 2007
Almost everyone, plus three dancers from Bindaya's