About Cathryn Wellner
It was years later, during a decade as a school librarian, that I stumbled onto storytelling as performance art. I knew I’d found my vocation. I printed up my business cards and declared myself a Storyteller.
It was a grand run. I reveled in the performances, the workshops, and the faraway places the art took me.
Then came a series of Major Life Transitions. I found myself on a ranch in the middle of British Columbia—me, a city woman. I had to reinvent myself if I wanted to make a living.
I applied for a contract in “community economic development”, without really know what that meant. During the three months of that contract, I was sure I’d be found out.
Instead, they hired me for another contract, this time coordinating the regional economic development organization. I had even fewer qualifications for that position.
Then I realized the secret. It was all about stories. I was in a rural community that needed to be able to tell compelling stories to urban bureaucrats, politicians, project funders, and its own citizens. My job was to help them identify, hone, and tell those stories.
Once I knew the secret, my consulting career took off. I took a break from it to be Storytelling Director for Stagebridge, America’s oldest senior theatre. Then I returned to British Columbia, to a newly created position as Food and Health Project Manager for Interior Health.
Once again it was all about stories. This time I was working with communities and organizations to develop healthier stories about food, health, social justice, and sustainability.