Introducing The WhyArts Story Bag

WhyArts teaching artists have a new tool at their disposal this fall – The WhyArts Story Bag.

The bag is the outcome of research conducted this summer by WhyArts intern Lori Tatreau, who graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) earlier this month with a master’s degree in public administration in nonprofit management. Her final capstone project for her MPA was a case study of three national story-based nonprofit programs: 826 National, The Moth and Story Pirates.

Each story bag will contain a group of objects that can be used to help create stories across a variety of creative platforms – oral, written, performance-based, video and more. The objects will be as varied as the teaching artists themselves, everything from a swath of fabric to cookie cutters.

The goal is to have the audience create a three- to four-minute story inspired by a bag’s contents. The story bag workshops will allow participants to engage at their level in a way that promotes creativity and encourages them to use their own voices.

The teaching artists will be able to experiment with different objects in different workshop settings, as a cabinet of potential bag contents will be housed at WhyArts headquarters in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center at UNO.

To book a WhyArts Story Bag experience for your classroom or organization, email