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Volume 24, Number 10 — November 2017

International Storytelling Center announces partnership with Google

The International Storytelling Center has partnered with Google's Cultural Institute.(Photo   Peter Aaron/Esto.)
The International Storytelling Center has partnered with Google's Cultural Institute.(Photo Peter Aaron/Esto.)

September 23, 2014

JONESBOROUGH, TN — The International Storytelling Center has launched a digital partnership with Google's Cultural Institute, a free online exhibition that explores the stories behind history's most important cultural moments. The exhibit focuses on the 42 year cultural impact of ISC's signature event, the National Storytelling Festival, which is the largest and most prestigious storytelling event in the world.

ISC joins the likes of the White House, the British Museum, and hundreds of cultural institutions that Google has partnered with across the globe to make institutions with historic moments and other international treasures universally accessible to online visitors. The project has around 8 million social media followers and is a platform designed to make world cultures accessible to anyone, anywhere.

"At ISC, our mission is to build a better world through the arts of storytelling," says Kiran Singh Sirah, the organization's executive director. "Creative partnerships such as this enable people anywhere in the world to access quality resources on the arts of storytelling. We're delighted to be working with Google to enhance our global digital reach and strengthen our commitment to classrooms across the world, so they, too, can use storytelling to support their learning."

In addition to historic photographs and other detailed information, the online exhibit features the latest advances in technology, including a virtual tour by Google Street View. Google's team visited ISC's headquarters in Jonesborough, Tennessee, earlier this year, capturing some 90,000 images to create a panoramic navigational tool. To date, only around 250 Cultural Institute partners worldwide showcase the Street View feature.

The Google project is the latest in a long line of partnerships and affiliations that ISC has built with prestigious organizations like the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, NASA, the United Way, The United Nations, East Tennessee State University, and Harvard University. Many of these collaborations and more are detailed in the Google exhibit itself, which showcases ISC's milestone achievements since the first National Storytelling Festival was held in 1973.

The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps the cultural community bring art, archives, heritage sites and other material online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, democratize its access. The launch of the online exhibit precedes the launch of the 42nd annual National Storytelling Festival, which will take place Oct. 3 to 5 in Jonesborough, Tennessee. www.storytellingcenter.net.