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Sharon Humphries-Brooks

"With the telling of a story the world is changed, immediately and forever. And should the laughter and the tears become imprinted on our hearts, we too are changed in the listening, the telling. That is why I listen to stories. That is why I tell them." - Sharon Humphries-Brooks
The founder of StoryHorizons, Ms. Humphries-Brooks follows Richard Bauman in approaching story-performance as the "nexus of tradition, practice and emergence in the verbal arts."

Trained in the theater, Sharon lived in NYC and worked as a performer for ten years. After returning to Graduate School at Union Theological Seminary, she moved to Upstate New York, where she turned her attention to the more traditional art of storytelling. Her work centers on the intersection between the spoken and the written word, particularly on the ways in which the dynamics of each propel the other in new directions.

She now works both as performing artist, writer and teacher, telling stories and conducting workshops for students, teachers, mental health professionals, adult caregivers, art centers and women's organizations.

Her story work has been funded by grants from New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council for the Arts, and the New York Folklore Society.

Some of her performances and workshops include:

  • Teacher Training Workshops for the Summer Institute of the Arts in Education Institute of Central New York, a program modeled after the Lincoln Center Institute;
  • "Becoming Women: Stories from the Planet Earth," performance at the experimental theatre at American University;
  • Featured Storyteller for Mouse with the IQ Company, Summer Institute for Maryland Teachers sponsored by Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts and funded by Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland State Board of Education;
  • "Unraveling the Knot: Storytelling Tools for Mental Health Professionals" Mental Health Connections of Utica, Utica, NY;
  • "The Listening Heart: Helping Our Elders Story Their Lives," in-service for Volunteer Ministries at St John's Catholic Church, New Hartford, NY; and the
  • "Women's Story Project: Our Second Coming of Age " a series of workshops for women in mid-life transition at The Center for the Integration of the Community and the Individual in Utica, NY.
She edited The Fine Art of Porch-Sitting (Simple Gifts Press, Ellicott City, MD) a collection of elder-stories evolving from her performance/narrative non-fiction project of the same name and has published in:
  • Storytelling Magazine,
  • The Journal for Religious and Intellectual Life,
  • Harvast Magazine and
  • the New York Folklore Journal.
Most recently she has finished teaching "BorderCrossings: From Memory to Story", a series of storytelling workshops for the ACCESS program, a pilot project at Hamilton College that provides an opportunity for low-income parents to work toward a college degree.

She has worked as Co-director of Tellabration! Worldwide, a storytelling event produced in 42 states and 14 nations.

She is a member of National Storytelling Network and works an Adjunct Professor at Hamilton College. She lives with her husband and daughter in Clinton, NY.

She has contributed an original story, based on traditional sources, to the Hasidic Stories Home Page: The Prison.

Sharon can be reached at shumphri@hamilton.edu.

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