Community Story Strategies offers media and storytelling services to enhance community building efforts.
We collaborate with non-profits, museums, schools, and health centres to design and deliver customized projects.
Integrating media arts and community organizing, we help groups make and share personal stories that send a powerful message.
WHAT WE DO
Digital Storytelling Services
When people first hear the term ‘digital storytelling,’ they are excited about the digital aspects; they soon learn the key to a successful workshop is the story. A digital story is a short video, focused on personal narrative. Trained facilitators assist groups through oral storytelling, script writing, voice recording, story boarding, and video editing. By the end of the workshop, all participants have completed their own digital story. Digital Storytelling is our core practice at Community Story Strategies.
Community Engagement Projects
Community Story Strategies has developed a model of digital storytelling as a community-building tool that integrates self-representation, education, advocacy and collective engagement. We believe that using media and storytelling in longer-term projects provides a greater impact on individual storytellers and their communities. Responsibilities include project development and management, fundraising, workshop design and facilitation, post-production, and evaluation.
Community Story Collective
Community Story Collective provides artistic residencies to support the integration of arts-based learning. Organizational benefits of investing in the process of making art include: a deeper understanding of the work you do; new tools and resources; and new possibilities for creating personal and community change. An arts residency may use digital storytelling with other arts to create a larger-themed project. Artist residencies have the potential as single- or multi-year projects.
WHO WE ARE
Jennifer LaFontaine has extensive experience facilitating creative arts programs with community groups. Beginning in 1998, Jennifer created a community media program at a Toronto-based non-profit organization. For ten years, she taught black and white photography and digital storytelling in a women’s program, where women could share about their communities, highlight important social issues, and celebrate their strengths. The peer leadership programs Jennifer designed and facilitated enabled women to come together across diverse language and cultural differences.
Emmanuelle Pantin began designing and delivering community media workshops for youth and adults in the late 1990’s. Leading workshops about community radio, super 8 filmmaking and zine-writing, she worked with groups to explore individual and collective representation through personal storytelling. She developed community organizing skills as a tenant organizer, working with private and social housing tenants to improve their living conditions. After years of grassroots radio production, she went back to school and holds a post-graduate certificate in radio broadcasting.
In 2008 Emmanuelle and Jennifer began collaborating on digital storytelling projects. Their backgrounds in facilitation and design, popular education, grassroots organizing, storytelling, and cultural production led them to develop a model of digital storytelling as a community-building tool, centred on self-representation, education, advocacy and community engagement. They’ve worked locally and nationally with a broad spectrum of people sharing stories about immigration, disability, violence, homophobia, climate change, and indigenous knowledge.