"As a result of this Creative Renewal experience, I am even more passionate about the importance of family stories. I am more dedicated to creating or strengthening programs for Storytelling Arts of Indiana that demonstrate this."
Ellen collected family stories by recording the anecdotes of her parents and by sorting through family photographs to capture that history and create a book of stories and photographs for each of her siblings. She began this project by taking her parents back to her family's hometown of Wilmington, N.C. The Munds family lived in Wilmington for many generations. They visited the home place, the church attended by the family, the Munds cemetery plots, location of the former Munds pharmacy and the public library. During her research, she discovered a file folder containing articles about the Munds beginning in the 1800s.
Ellen videotaped each of her parents sharing their stories. "Many of the stories I had heard growing up, but I learned many new things, too." She has narrowed her research to covering six generations of her family. "The way stories are collected and shared are not as important to me as in the past. I used to feel that the only genuine way to collect stories was through oral storytelling but now I understand that all mediums have their value - memory books, photographs, and journals."