The Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling Arts of Indiana will help bring storyteller Sue Grizzell to two more communities in 2010 with the Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories project. Since 1999, this collaboration has commissioned an Indiana storyteller to research, develop, and perform a historical Indiana story related to holdings found in the IHS library collection.
The IHS and Storytelling Arts of Indiana recognize that the medium of storytelling engages Hoosiers in a way that textbooks and many history classes cannot. To reach as wide an audience as possible with the latest Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories creations, the IHS and Storytelling Arts make funds available each year for up to four (non-profit) institutions to off-set the costs of inviting a storyteller into their community as well as assist in the marketing of these programs. The IHS and Storytelling Arts pay half the presenter fee ($250), while the hosting institution pays the other half plus mileage expenses.
Limited funding opportunities are still available for the story “Root Doctors, Midwives, and Fried-Mouse Pie: Medicine in Early Indiana” by Sue Grizzell. It tells the fascinating story of early Hoosier medicine. Whenever ill or injured, the inhabitants of the Old Northwest Territory and early Indiana were subjected to all manner of medical treatments. Ranging from the common-sensical to the bizarre, these treatments sometimes worked but could often be fatal.
Early Hoosiers only occasionally had access to doctors. They mostly lived in isolation, faced economic uncertainty and practiced self-sufficiency as much as possible. Families learned what they could from the doctors they encountered, but, using folk remedies, ended up doing much of their own doctoring. Modern science has proven some folk remedies effective, but Hoosiers had to be tough to survive many of these so-called cures. Using materials from the IHS Collection and beyond, storyteller Sue Grizzell will share the stories of these early Hoosiers and their efforts at curing their families’ ailments.
Sue Grizzell has told stories most of her life. She is a past recipient of the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship (2001), has collaborated with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and her 2002 story “Porch Swings and Prairie Wings” is also part of the Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories series. In previous incarnations she has been an actress, a carpenter and 2009 Coordinator of the IndyFringe Festival’s FringeNEXT.
Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories is co-sponsored by the Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Inc. For more information on this program or how to bring this story to your community in 2007, contact Erin Kelley (Indiana Historical Society) at (317) 234-3161 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ellen Munds (Storytelling Arts of Indiana) at (317) 576-9848 or email@example.com.