“Story House Ithaca” is a surprisingly complicated name. Take the word "Story." We like to say that a story is pretty much anything that gives shape to ideas or experience. It could be a piece of writing, a song, a play, a dance, a film, a drawing, a joke, or a few minutes of old-fashioned, once-upon-a-time storytelling. We wish we had a shorter answer, but that's what we've got.
“Ithaca,” too, has some layers to it. By Ithaca, we mean both the people and the place, and not just now but also in the past and future. And not just the City and Town but also the communities that surround them. Of course we're interested in the larger world, especially as experienced by the people who live here. But our name basically signals that Ithaca is our home and our jam. Our mission is to bring people from our area together around stories.
The most perplexing part of our name may be “House.” We were inspired by a physical place, but we’ve never had one of our own. In fact, in our first two years of existence, we’ve popped up in more than 30 different locations, from parks and bars to libraries and Zoom rooms. We sometimes say we're a "house" in a metaphorical sense, but you can hear the wistfulness in our voices. We love bouncing around, but we'd really love to have our own place.
That's why we're thrilled to announce a new arrangement with the good people at Buffalo Street Books. They’ve just renovated the big room at the back of the store, beloved by many of us for its readings, receptions, workshops, and other events over the years. And they have invited us to squat there every Thursday from 11 to 8 to see what it’s like to have a space to call home. Or, more accurately, to call House.
It will take some time to get rolling, but we’re excited by the chance to start programming smaller, more intimate, more frequent activities. Think clubs, writing circles, workshops, salons, coaching sessions, one-on-one recording sessions, and so forth.
This is where you come in. We’ve got lots of ideas and we'd love to hear yours. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, and it has anything whatsoever to do with "story," send us an email, fill out the pitch form on our contact page, or corner us the next time you see us. Because, Ithaca, this really is meant to be your Story House!