Growing Together to Facilitate Community Stories

A collaboration between THE bEAR e.V. (Germany) and Open Past (Scotland)

The (Cultural Bridge) funding will help us, two small organisations with community at the heart of our work, to exchange our knowledge to mutually benefit our growth as leaders, artists, and administrators.” Dr. Doug Rocks-Macqueen on behalf of THE bEAR e.V. and Open Past

With a common mission to work with communities with few opportunities to share their stories through the arts, the partners came together to exchange knowledge that will mutually benefit their growth as leaders, artists, and administrators. Through range of activities, they shared skills across technical delivery such as podcasts and developing documentaries through story theory and practice.

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The team from the bEAR visited Edinburgh in April, where they took part in workshops and got to know each other's approach to live storytelling. In September the team from Open Past visited Berlin, where they workshopped storytelling for documentaries and podcasting as part of their exchange of experiences and technical skills. 

During the visit to Germany, the bEAR launched their 9th season, UNTOLD stories which provides a live platform for anyone wishing to share a 5-minute story. 

Read more about the exchange visit in Germany in the blog: A Spontaneous Song, Sweet Cake and a “Eureka!” moment in Berlin

Open Past are charity, registered in Scotland, that aims to help advance people’s knowledge, skills and wellbeing, with a focus on art, history, heritage, and archaeology. Our typical users experience barriers to in-person education, including those with disabilities, limited funds, or from rural communities, and are often people who struggle to access the resources that many take for granted. 

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THE bEAR is a Berlin-based organisation providing training and a dignified setting for people of every background to share personal experiences that are meaningful to them. We share these true stories in “live” open stage and curated programs, on internet and airwaves so that storytelling’s unifying effect can unfold.

Founded in 2015, by the American director Dyane Neiman, THE bEAR’s ultimate goal is to make our communities more tolerant, connected, and compassionate, one story at a time.

The performances of true stories at THE bEAR inspire people to change their lives, their futures, and ultimately the world.

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