On Becoming a Public Storytelling

Bumblehill Studio

I think it's high time for me to officially announce that I now have a Patreon Page. I still feel a little shy about it all...so if you'd be kind enough to have a look, I'd be grateful. And if you can help in any way to spread the word, I'd be more grateful still. Here's the link: www.patreon.com/terriwindling.

Bunny friendsIt took some arm-twisting by friends to get me to do this, but now that I understand how how Patreon works, this gentle form of crowd-funding art & artists appeals to me, resting as it does on something I deeply believe in: the power of community.  

I have spent three decades in the commercial publishing world -- which has genuine value (as well as certain limitations), so I am certainly not proposing that we all stop publishing in traditional ways. But I very much like the thought that each creative community (especially the strong and passionate community we have here in the Mythic Arts field) can have a direct hand in making sure that the art that we love gets made.

"The words community, communion, and communicate all derive from common," writes Scott Russell Sanders, "and the two syllables of common grow from separate roots, the first meaning 'together' or 'next to,' the second having to do with barter or exchange. Embodied in that word is a sense of our shared life as one of giving and receiving -- music, touch, ideas, recipes, stories, medicine, tools, the whole range of artifacts and talents."

Lace and paper (ollage detail)

"Many people shy away from community out of a fear that it may become suffocating, confining, even vicious," Sanders adds; "and of course it may, if it grows rigid or exclusive. A healthy community is dynamic, stirred up the energies of those who already belong, open to new members and fresh influences, kept in motion by the constant bartering of gifts. It is fashionable just now to speak of this open quality as 'tolerance,' but that word sounds too grudging to me -- as though, to avoid strife, we must grit our teeth and ignore whatever is strange to us. The community I desire is not grudging; it is exuberant, joyful, grounded in affection, pleasure, and mutual aid...Taking part in the common life means dwelling in a web of relationships , the many threads tugging at you while also holding you upright."

By setting up a Patreon page, I see myself as joining a long, historic line of public storytellers, setting up my busking pitch at the edge of the Commons, and putting my hat out for any coins you care to throw. Yes, it makes me feel shy, and vulnerable -- but it also places me in that "web of relationship" that Sanders speaks of.

I am trusting it will hold me upright. And I am trusting I won't disappoint you.

Tree Caps (collage detail)

"I have inherited a belief in community," writes Terry Tempest Williams, "the promise that a gathering of the spirit can both create and change culture."

I believe in that promise too.

Fairy Tales

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community," said George Bernard Shaw, "and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can."

And so will I.

Briar Rose

I want to note that funds I am raising through Patreon are to support the writing of novels & essays, and painting projects, not to monetize this blog. Myth & Moor is a strictly nonprofit endeavor, offered in the spirit of Gift Exchange for all who create, study, and love Mythic Arts.

The passage above by Scott Russell Sanders is from "The Common Life," an essay in  Writing from the Center (Indiana University Press, 1997); all rights reserved by the author. For those who would like to know more about the history and practice of Gift Exchange, I recommend Lewis Hyde's brilliant book The Gift: Creativity & the Artist in the Modern World (Vintage, 1983).


The Hedgespoken Winter Raffle

It's the last day of the Hedgespoken Winter Raffle, and the last day to help this fine project by purchasing a raffle ticket, and/or by spreading the word. Six good reasons for supporting Hedgespoken:

  1. It is an insanely cool project.
  2. Everyone involved has been working insanely hard to get it off the ground.
  3. Mythic Arts & Folk Arts aren't often supported by traditional Arts Funding sources, so it's up to those of us who love them & believe in them to support them in whatever ways we can.
  4. My husband Howard is involved with making the Folk Theatre part of Hedgespoken happen, and it's going to be magical indeed.
  5. For only £1 you might end up owning an original Rima Staines painting, or a handworked Smicklegrin leather mask.
  6. Rima Staines & Tom Hirons are Good Folks (did you know they first met through their involvement with The Journal of Mythic Arts?)...so let's get this truck on the road.

For more information on the project go to the Hedgespoken website.

For updates on the project see the video above (from December), and the Hedgespoken blog.

The very beginnings of the project are here...and my gracious, how far they've come!

Hedgespoken-by-starlight-fi


'Tis the season to give...

Now that the Hedgespoken project is fully funded, there's another Chagford crowd-funding campaign that needs our help. Proper Job is Chagford's recyling center (and so much more), and they desperately need a new van. Have a look at the video above to see what Proper Job is all about.

Please donate to their fund-raiser if you can, or help to boost the signal, in support of recycling, sustainability, and community. Even if you live far away, wouldn't it be nice to know a community van was rolling down the lanes between the Devon hedgerows in part because of you?


Hurrah!

A fair trio of vagabonds

Let's raise a toast to Rima Staines & Tom Hirons for concluding a successful crowd-funding campaign in which they raised £30,816 for Hedgespoken, their Mythic-Arts-on-wheels project.  Well done! You can keep abreast of their news and follow the building process through the Hedgespoken blog and Facebook page.

That's Howard in the picture above, along with drum-maker Suzi Crockford (whose lovely shamanic blog I hope you all know) and woodworker extraordinaire Eric Hodges, on the Hedgespoken film day. If you somehow managed to miss it all this past month, go here to read what the project is all about, watch the film, and see my other photos from the film day.

Hedgespoken sketch by Rima Staines


Roll up! Roll up!

(Watch in full screen mode for best effect.)

Last night was the great unveiling of the crowdfunding campaign for Hedgespoken: a magical new project created by artists/writers/performers Rima Staines and Tom Hirons.

A few weeks ago, they called for a Vagabond Tribe of friends and neighbors to gather 'round: raggle-taggle musicians and circus magicians; gypsy dancers, moonspinners, and fortune tellers; jugglers and clowns and children and crows; a faery harpist and gentle fey folk who arrived riding ribbon-bedecked ponies.

While we ate, drank, and made merry, filmmaker Annabel Allison gentle but firmly corralled us into the footage that would be used for Tom & Rima's Indiegogo campaign: music, dance, songs and laughter to summon the Little Gods of Luck, Travel, Coin, and Story. If the magic has worked, then you shall find yourself entirely unable to resist supporting their magnificent scheme for a Mythic Arts centre on wheels.

Vagabond 1

Vagabond 2

"With its drop-down stage, fancy awning and proscenium arch," Tom & Rima say, "Hedgespoken will serve as a stage wherever it goes. Whether it’s us telling tales and making mischief with handmade puppet shows, or it’s other actors, musicians or sword-swallowers using the stage-space as part of a Hedgespoken Travelling Show, our aim is to spread a little old magic by doing what we love.

"Hedgespoken has the wherewithal to act as a mini-theatre, a cabaret stage or acoustic music venue, anywhere. Perhaps your village green, or that disused urban space, wayside or park – Hedgespoken arrives, makes magic, plants seeds of imagination, and then leaves, in the tradition of wandering bards, travelling storytellers and itinerant puppet theatres and circuses that are so much part of our heritage."

Hedgespoken painting by Rima

Vagabond 3

Howard and I participated on the beautiful day of filming near Stone Lane Gardens, during which I snapped the photos here....

Vagabond 4

Vagabond 5

Vagabonds 6

Vagabond 7

Vagabond 8a

Vagabond

Vagabond 9

Vagabond 10

Vagabond 11

Vagabond 12

Vagabond 13

Vagabond 14

Vagabond 15

Vagabond 16

Vagabond 17

Truck plan, side view

Vagabond 18

To help all this become reality, please put on your best motley clothes and head over to the brand new Hedgespoken website ... where you can learn more about what makes it so special, and how to contribute to the dream.

I'm biased, I confess, because I love Rima and Tom, and also because my husband has done puppet work with them and is likely to be involved with their theatre-on-wheels in the future. But biased or not, Hedgespoken is an extraordinary project, created by extraordinarily lovely people ... so I hope that all you Mythic Art fans out there will dig deep to contribute if you're able. Or, conversely, if your pockets are empty, please give Tom & Rima your blessing and help them by spreading the word.

Even Tilly is doing her bit.

Vagabonds at home

Puppet by RimaMore photos here on the Hedgespoken blog.