The mission of the Story Farm is to capture the essence of the Heartland through creative documentary storytelling.
Our goals are:
- To tell compelling, ethical, meaningful stories, in all imaginable forms
- To provide space and opportunity for others to learn and grow as storytellers
- To create a multi-functional landscape that allows us to be multi-functional people
For the aforementioned purposes, we are seeking an actual farm, between 10 and 40 acres, in either Wisconsin or Minnesota, with a large barn (preferably round), and outbuildings. There, we will host the following ventures:
1) A Place for Journalism: Story Farm Productions
The Story Farm will be home to Andi’s multimedia production company. It will house a fully-equipped multimedia studio, with audio recording equipment, a video editing setup, a soundproof studio, a darkroom, high-quality image printers, video cameras, still cameras, and on and on. From this set-up, Andi will produce all of the kinds of stories and projects she loves to do- stories about ordinary people doing quirky things, or quirky people doing ordinary things. Or just really good compelling, suspenseful, moving stories. She will also collaborate with all sorts of other producers and artists.
2) A Place to Practice Storytelling
Ever heard of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies? It’s in Portland, Maine, and its mission is to “document the people of Maine.” Its other mission, of course, is to teach people how to tell good, ethical, compelling stories–through radio, print, and photography. Salt is one of our inspirations. The Story Farm will eventually provide an integrated storytelling curriculum for people who want to come live on a farm, and learn how to tell the stories of the Heartland.
3) A Place for Performance
You can’t own a big beautiful barn without opening it up for barn-sized events: concerts, festivals, theater performances, and dance shows. We’ll rent the Story Barn out for events all summer–and perhaps even in winter (snowball fights anyone?) The barn would also be utilized in the various creative retreats that we hope to host, in which performers and artists of all stripes come to stay in our rustic but comfortable, renovated outbuildings, and develop and grow their work.
4) A Place to Confront Our Personal “Stories”
One of the greatest lessons we’ve learned from meditation, and life, is that much human suffering is caused by the various “stories” we concoct in our minds to explain what’s going on in our lives. When someone offends us, we develop stories in our heads about how righteous we are; when we’re hurt, we concoct victim scenarios. But these stories are really just the result of mental habit– and identifying the narratives we’re playing out in our heads gives us the freedom to redefine our course. Laughing Owl Coaching will be on hand at the Story Farm to offer visitors, students, and retreatants the opportunity to rewrite their personal and creative narratives.
5) A Place for Your Ideas
Fundamental to our vision for the Story Farm is the idea that we don’t have to live only one kind of life–urban or rural, career-driven or family-oriented. We have way too many interests, dimensions, and talents for that kind of thinking. The Story Farm is meant to be an umbrella that is just slightly larger than our collective imagination. Which brings us to your role. We want the Story Farm to be a place for people to live out their barn-sized ideas. As a Story Farmer, you would have access to the barn, property, and production studio to develop your own creative projects.