Our Vision

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We live in difficult times, marked by the diminishment and disappearance of authentic storytelling and storylistening: Not to mention the decline of civility in public and private discourse.

Today, the media creates propaganda.  History and the social sciences produce ideology. Large scale political gatherings incite violence.  Small scale social gatherings produce dumb silence — for fear of offending others or being ostracized ourselves.

Authentic traditional storytelling is known by this: (1) It is always small scale and community centered.  (2) It is face-to-face among all tellers and listeners. (3) It always employs creative fantasy to arrive at the real truth. (4) It leaves us at peace with ourselves and others, not bitter with anger at the world.  (5) It affirms Good, Truth, and Beauty in a broken and hurting world.  (6) It shuns nihilism and despair while celebrating creativity and hope.

The American Center for Storytelling and Narrative Art (ACSNA) is a place where real stories involving tellers and listeners can thrive.

Specifically, ACSNA strives to address three central issues facing Americans:

1.  The Cultural conflict between the treasuries of ethnic and indigenous story traditions and the heritage of Western civilization.

2. The Religious conflict among the World Religions of the East and West, and their uneasy relationship with post-modern secular ideologies 

3. The Artistic dilemma of craftng the art on traditional skills rather than adapting passing trends and cultural mores of theatre, comedy, political rhetoric, and therapeutic self-disclosure.

I began learning the craft and performing publically in 1964.  It has been a joy to follow the path of the storyteller.  And, yes, I was prepared to fully retire after all these years.

But we live in increasingly troubled times.  And so I must respond in a manner befitting an Elder.  Now my work with the American Center for Storytelling and Narrative Art begins. Please help this project in whatever way you can.

— Robert Béla Wilhelm

Read about our Goals and Pathways to discover more.

Your comments are always welcome:

© Robert Bela Wilhelm 2017