Pitch your story for Field Notes: An Evening of Storytelling & Connection

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Do you have a story about local food that you would love to share? Growing up on a farm? Working at a local restaurant? Seeing food in a new light amidst a pandemic? A realization about yourself, others, or the nature of the world sparked by food and the ways we provide it? Pitch it to us! You could be selected to tell it as part of this year’s virtual Field Notes. 

Instructions for pitching a story are below. The submission deadline is Friday, March 19th.

In previous years, ten storytellers took the stage at the Academy of Music Theatre to share true stories from their lives on the theme of local food and farming.

This year, for everyone’s health and safety, we’re going virtual (mostly). Storytellers will practice together through online workshops. While they’ll still perform on stage, the audience will be intimate and socially-distanced: just their peers and a film crew capturing all the laughs, tears, crinkled noses, and far away looks for a video premiere at a later date. That way we can all still enjoy our neighbors’ stories, together.

Laurie Cuevas of Thomas Farm

Field Notes shines a light on the many ways that local food and farming has impacted lives – in ways big and small – across western Massachusetts. Previous stories have included a farmer’s guide to catching would-be pumpkin thieves, a single mother struggling with food insecurity whose life was changed by a farm share, the trials and tribulations of a compost fanatic, and much more.

Anyone whose story ties in with growing, cooking, selling, or eating local food will be considered. Whether you’re a farmer, chef, waiter, gardener, food activist, passionate home cook, or anyone else with a story to share about local food or farming, this event is for you.

Community Activist Isis Feliciano

Never been on stage before? That’s okay. All performers will have the opportunity to workshop their stories and learn performance techniques with a professional storyteller ahead of the show.

Having trouble thinking of a story to pitch? We’re happy to help you think through some ideas, just reach out!

All storytellers will receive a $125 stipend for performing. Storytellers who need to pay for childcare to attend the workshops and performance will receive an additional stipend.

If Spanish is a storyteller’s most comfortable language, CISA will provide interpretation services during workshops and the final performance. A verbal translation of the final performance will also be available for Spanish-speaking audience members to enjoy. Information in Spanish here.

Story criteria:

  • Stories should be personal narratives from your real-life experiences.
  • Stories should be stories! Stories have characters and a beginning, middle, and end … think memoir, not op-ed. You don’t need to have a perfectly crafted story to pitch us, and everyone will have support refining their stories before the show.
  • Stories should be connected to the theme of local food and farming, with a focus on western Massachusetts.
  • Final stories will be around five minutes.

Timeline and process:

  • Pitches may be submitted through March 19th, after which a final line-up of storytellers will be decided.
  • In March and April, storytellers will come together for at least two virtual workshops, receiving support as they develop their stories and performance skills.
  • Filming of the performances will occur in early May (date TBA). We are working with all parties to ensure the strictest COVID-19 hygiene guidelines are in place and followed during filming.
    • Our priority is your comfort and safety. We will share more details as soon as they are available, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
  • In early June, the final Field Notes film will premiere live online to a virtual audience from around the Valley (and around the world!). Join us for an interactive community experience, and tell your friends!

If you have questions regarding how the recorded content will be kept and shared, contact Jacob Nelson via email or at 413-665-7100, ext. 34.

How to enter your story for consideration:

  • Think through your story. It doesn’t need to be polished, but you should be able to explain the story’s arc.
  • Make your pitch! Call 413-247-4153 and leave a voicemail with a two-minute pitch, or fill out the form below.
  • The deadline for submission is Friday, March 19th.

We can’t wait to hear your stories!

Nan Parati of Ashfield