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What We Do-

2. How We Do It-

3. Why We Do It-


1.   STORY

As story architects, we help you develop and tell your story to people who need to hear- those making decisions and policies, writing books, providing services and funding for causes that matter to you. You can help change negative and unhealthy narratives that have become dominant in our society.

Telling stories of lived experience reveals personal truth that is undeniable and demands to be heard. The stories of your life are powerful and memorable because they put a human face on your ideas and beliefs. Because they aren’t created and promoted by professionals with an agenda, we call them Sidebar Stories.


   Most                People


a) short news story, personal experience or graphic presenting anecdotes and insights related to the dominant narrative.

b) something incidental, a sidelight adding perspective or opposition to a central theme, usually in an area near the main story but separate from it.


A SIDEBAR STORY is a three frame storyboard that explores:


POSSIBILITY: Sidebars start with hope. Good stories begin with a dream, a vision of what the future can be. We’ll help you remember the goals and ambitions that provide energy for continuing the journey.


HURDLE: In moving toward a desired future, it’s common to face obstacles that slow you down or make you want to quit. Facing the fears, disappointments and uncertainty of problems can strengthen your commitment and give clues for the final frame of your sidebar.


DISCOVERY: By tackling the hurdles, you can find a new direction, solution, or question to ask. Original possibilities might be confirmed or may shift to something more practical and hopeful. This completes your sidebar with insights and inspiration for everyone who sees your work.

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Share your story with us!  Attend or host a Storytelling Workshop and create your own Sidebar Story.
Register for a Workshop NOW!
"There is no greater burden than carrying an untold story"  ~ Maya Angeolou

Meet the Team

Sidebar Stories is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that continues to be shaped by input from everyone who participates and benefits. These are the leaders that serve storytellers and keep us on track. Each member of the team brings value to the work we can only do together.

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"We are only powerless if we fail to use the power of telling our own story"  ~ Peter Guber

Things We Care About

1.   STORY - Storytelling communicates passion, values and vision for social change.

2.   GENEROSITY - Everyone has a story to tell and every story is a gift.

3.   DIGNITY - Every storyteller is respected. Every story is honored.

4.   ART - Visual storytelling is more powerful than words alone.

5.   AUTHENTICITY - You are the authority on what you have experienced.

6.   ABUNDANCE - The power of a good story multiplies every time it is told.

7.   VULNERABILITY - Empathy happens when we safely share stories that shape us.

8.   COURAGE - Truth telling by ordinary people changes prevailing myths.

9.   LISTENING - Listening is hard. It’s the greatest respect we can give.

10.   COMMUNITY - Storytelling is the best way to find your people.

11.   CURIOSITY - Questions and wonder lead the way to untold stories.

12.   HOPE - A story well told gives hope and practical direction for the future.

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"It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story"  ~ Native American saying


1. How can I get involved?

Create - Draw your own Sidebar Story.  Attend a Storytelling Wrokshop or submit a sidebar online. Register for a Storytelling Workshop. (link to event page)

Volunteer – We need artistic muses for workshops and help with graphic design, printing, event coordination, content development, research and website services. Contact Us

Donate – Sidebar Stories is supported entirely by charitable donations by charitable foundations, local businesses and individuals. Find out how your business can sponsor an event in your area for a cause you believe in. Donations are tax deductible. Donate here (Donate button links to donation page)

Host - Convene a Story Download pARTy for your community. Sidebar staff can facilitate a workshop at your location. Learn more about hosting an event for your cause or group. 

Contact Us

2. What can I expect at a Story Download pARTy?

You will make new friends, tell your story, meet other storytellers, draw your own storyboard, and receive all you need to continue your storytelling journey. Story Download workshops give direction about how to get started, how to frame your story, and how to visualize it. Hearing your story through the ears of other ordinary experts will help you identify your message. Artistic muses will help you draw it.

3. How will my Sidebar be used?

With your permission, Sidebar Stories created in a Story Download pARTy or submitted online may be posted online, tweeted and published in print form.  Your story will be seen by people responsible for making decisions about policies, services, education, advocacy and funding related to causes that are important to you.  Sidebars are used in raising awareness and funding nonprofit organizations dedicated to advocacy for citizens. No Sidebars will be used for political purposes or personal profit.

4. How can my organization benefit from Sidebar Stories?

Social benefit organizations can use Sidebars as a marketing and fundraising tool. We help you develop a strategy that fits your organization values and needs. A Story Download workshop teaches your members to become aware of their story and communicate it with confidence. This strengthens identity and unity among your members and the community your serve. Learn more (link to Nonprofit page) about fundraising possibilities.

5. How will people know the meaning of my Sidebar?

Because pictures alone may not tell the whole story, you will create a tweetable size (140 characters or less) summary of your story.  You will also have opportunity to share your story with those attending the Story Download and may choose to create an audio recording or longer text to describe your story.

6. Is there any cost for participating in a Story Download workshop?

No. Workshops are free.  There is no cost for registration, materials or meals. Your story and willingness to share it is a valuable gift you offer to everyone who hears and sees it.  Thank you for your generosity.

7. How is Sidebar Stories supported financially?

Sidebar Stories is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that receives donations from individuals, corporate sponsors and foundations. Make a donation here. (link to donation page)

8. I’ve got a story, but I’m not an artist.  Do I have to draw something?

We’re not artists, either. It’s the story that counts. If you can draw a circle, square, triangle and a line or just doodle a bit, you can draw a sidebar. We provide visual prompts and muses to get you started. In case you have no talent at all, please come to make everyone else feel good about what they draw.

9. What geographic area does Sidebar Stories serve?

We are located in the greater Philadelphia area including SE Pennsylvania and Southern NJ.  Story Download workshops are held in various locations.  We are also available to travel and facilitate a workshop in your area if you have a group of ordinary experts interested in a particular cause. Our goal is to collect stories internationally and learn from storytellers around the world. Contact Us to arrange an event at your location.

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