Description

This ethnography outlines the live storytelling culture in Phoenix, Arizona, and what each of its sub-cultures contributes to the city's community. Phoenix's live storytelling events incorporate elements of an ancient

This ethnography outlines the live storytelling culture in Phoenix, Arizona, and what each of its sub-cultures contributes to the city's community. Phoenix's live storytelling events incorporate elements of an ancient art form into contemporary entertainment and sophisticated platforms for community building. These events are described and delineated by stylistic, structural, and content-based differences into the following categories: open-mic, curated, scripted, non-scripted, micro-culture, and marginalized groups. Research presented in this report was collected by reviewing scholarly materials about the social power of storytelling, attending live storytelling events across all categories, and interviewing event organizers and storytellers. My research developed toward an auto-ethnographic direction when I joined the community of storytellers in Phoenix, shifting the thesis to assume a voice of solidarity with the community. This resulted in a research project framed primarily as an ethnography that also includes my initial, personal experiences as a storyteller. The thesis concludes with the art form's macro-influences on Phoenix's rapidly-expanding community.

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