Taking its name from brimstone, the elusive element medieval
chemists believed would transform base metals into gold, this award
focuses on the transformational properties of storytelling, and aims to
increase understanding of the ways storytelling can promote change in
individuals and communities.
The grant supports a model storytelling project that is
service-oriented, based in a community or organization, and to some
extent replicable in other places and situations. It is our hope that
projects receiving this award will have impact beyond their own
communities, organizations, or clients, inspiring excellence in applied
storytelling work and communicating to new audiences the humanitarian
possibilities of storytelling.
Many different sorts of projects can be considered for the
award, including community, organizational or institutional programs,
curricular activities, short residencies, and projects combining
complementary art forms. Projects may involve various kinds of stories,
including traditional tales and myths as well as personal and ad hoc
narratives. Although oral storytelling should be central to the project,
the work need not be conducted by professional storytelling performers.
Educators, therapists, naturalists, internal or external
organizational practitioners, etc., personnel appropriate to the
situation may carry out the project, so long as they can draw on
suitable storytelling expertise and experience. We are looking for
responsiveness to the standards of good practice in the field of the
Note: In keeping with the intent of the Brimstone
Award to support innovative, service-oriented projects, the Award will
not normally fund honoraria for performances, storytelling festivals,
travel, or the purchase of equipment.
Various fields are appropriate for the Brimstone Award,
including, for example, health care, environmental education/activism,
community development, law, multicultural awareness, organizational
development, leadership, intergenerational initiatives, empowerment of
the disabled, substance abuse prevention, and educational curriculum at
Whatever their field or design, proposed projects should be:
- Service-oriented: aiming to make a positive and lasting impact on some community, organization or group;
- Innovative in either method or application;
- Replicable: offering models of design that others can learn from and adapt in new settings;
- Informed by relevant work in the field:
based on knowledge of what has been done elsewhere and on awareness of
the broad theoretical framework that underlies the project (expressed in
jargon-free discussion that relates ideas in existing literature to the
construction of the proposed project);
- Assessable: designed to include ways of evaluating the effectiveness of the project;
- Well-documented: planned to culminate in
accurate documentation of the process and design, including the
difficulties as well as the accomplishments of the project. Different
media may be used for documentation and dissemination, so long as the
end result is clear, accessible communication.
Please look at previous winners’ projects for some idea of
the scope the Brimstone Award Committee is looking for. You will also
want to review the rubric and criteria the Committee uses for scoring
Applicants should consider realistically what they can
accomplish with the relatively small award of $5000. The award could
fund a new project that represents an applicant’s ongoing commitment and
expertise in a particular area. However, the award could also be used
to enable a project already in motion to come to completion. In other
circumstances, it could fund effective documentation and dissemination
of a successful project. We encourage collaborative funding; the
Brimstone Award might support part of a project that is otherwise
sustained by funds from other sources: matching funds, grants and
donations, other revenues.
For more information click here.
Applicants who are not members of the National Storytelling
Network will pay the current membership fee to become an NSN member.