"A story is a gift you give to your audience"
Asia has some countries, such as Singapore, where storytelling is supported financially, thanks to government subsidies for the arts and an awareness of the power of storytelling in diverse fields such as education, business, counselling and community development. However, in many Asian countries, would-be storytellers struggle to make an income from their skills. The thought of travelling to a conference, even on a budget airline, plus paying conference fees, plus accommodation, is a daunting challenge.
To complicate the situation, covid-19 has hit storytellers, most of whom are freelancers or self-employed, very hard, especially as the need for social distancing has forced the cancellation of all public performances.
FEAST's principal source of income is from membership fees, but these are - given the economic realities of many Asian countries, deliberately kept low (in comparison to other international story organisations for example). Our webinars also generate a small stream which contribute towards the costs of maintaining a company, auditing, and the subscription fees for our website/membership programme and zoom. Both Conferences have fortunately generated small surpluses, which enable us to pay the advance deposits for venues for the following Conference.
Despite these challenging circumstances, FEAST looks to identify promising young tellers who are motivated to learn and develop their skills, especially if they live in countries which do not currently have a seat at the FEAST table. We want to provide them with financial support so that they can attend our sessions, both in person and on-line (indeed Young Storyteller members are provided free access to our webinars, which is great for them but not our revenue!)
We also want to create tangible and lasting storytelling resources in the form of collections of folktales. To date we have launched two collections of Asian folktales (themed around Food and Royalty) and we are working on a third (featuring Animals) for release in November 2020. We depend on donations to help us print these books, as revenue from sales always lags far behind the printer's invoice!
Our target of $5,000 is to enable us to bring 10 young tellers to the next Conference. For donations particularly for the book, which we can acknowledge in the book itself, please do contact us.
If you have any questions, please do contact us. We would love to hear from you.