Mary Ann McNair

I have been fortunate to be a part of the StoryCenter team since 2008. Based in Denver, Colorado, I work locally and across the country to lead a wide variety of groups in story work, including the creation of digital stories. I spent many years as a museum educator at the History Colorado before becoming an instructor for StoryCenter. I curated and designed museum exhibitions, specializing in interactive components, including touch-screen programs. I also created educational materials—online multimedia programs, artifact kits for classrooms, activity books, and exhibition guides. I am still passionate about history and education, but added to that mix is a deep appreciation for the role personal narrative can play in telling a larger story. I am honored to be part of the StoryCenter team, providing space for people to tell their stories—and to be heard.

Relevant Projects

At StoryCenter, we work with communities of all types and for a variety of purposes. In 2007, as a museum educator at History Colorado, I worked with StoryCenter to produce ten digital stories from the local community to include in the exhibit "Italians of Denver." The following year we featured ten more digital stories for the museum’s "History of Denver" exhibit. The impact on the community was profound. Participants articulated that this was the first time they felt like they were given the power to tell their own stories, and were trusted to talk about their community's place in history.Since then I've worked on several community projects:1) Facilitated a digital storytelling workshop at the New Mexico History Museum to gather stories about the counter culture of the 1960s and '70s for use in their upcoming "Turn On Tune" In exhibit.2) Participated in StoryCenter's All Together Now project, in which one-day, pro bono workshops were run in communities across the county in an attempt to build a collection of personal stories about social justice in the United States.3) Facilitated a workshop for the California Listens series of library workshops this past summer, in which over 100 stories were created in StoryCenter-led groups through the California library system.4) Facilitated a digital storytelling workshop with high school youth in Golden, CO for the Orton Family Foundation, in their effort to help the city develop a 10-year plan for development. The youth created their own stories about their ties to the community, and then worked one on one with elders to create those stories as well. Youth felt valued and heard.5) Facilitated digital storytelling workshops with longterm care facility staff and residents in an effort to change the culture within Colorado's longterm care facilities. The idea was to compile a collection of 20 stories, along with a discussion guide, that was distributed to every longterm care facility in the state.6) Worked with two groups of women with HIV in Colorado, and currently writing a toolkit for using the stories in working with similar groups, in which the women are empowered to tell and share their stories.7) Currently working with Indian Health Services and the tribes in northern Minnesota to create a StoryWork toolkit to use digital stories to effect community change by reducing the use of commercial tobacco and obesity rates, while supporting the use of ceremonial tobacco and healthy lifestyle choices.




Archive, Museum, Other NGO or Non-Profit