Who We Are

Our Story

As Tolkien said, “The road goes ever on.”
In January of 1990, a group of 31 women came together to write in their diaries. Twenty-two years later, Storymakers, which we named ourselves, still meets monthly to write, share and celebrate life. It was out of our commitment to write honestly, listen deeply and support each other’s vision of our lives, that StoryArts was born.

StoryArts, Inc. was the vision of Lois Sunrich, our Founding Director, and a small, intimate Board of Directors devoted to celebrating life’s stories. We incorporated in October 2000, in order to create a nonprofit organization of writers, interviewers, editors, graphic designers, book artists, printers and binders who could provide custom memoir publishing and community story art projects to the community.

It was an experiment. Could the meaningful and often even life­changing experiences many of us had garnered from our 10-year participation in Storymakers, a county-wide women’s journal writing project, be fined-tuned, expanded and offered to Elders and their families? And if so, could our Elders’ cherished stories, along with the wealth of untold stories in our neighborhoods, work places, schools, churches and city halls somehow also be honored, celebrated and passed on to future generations? And could we develop viable funding to support our vision and a consortium of contract professionals, as well as our own staff?

Family Publishing

During our first few years we focused on learning the fundamentals of custom publishing, and found we were able to produce unique, high quality, artfully designed books for our client’s families. To produce these publications Lois hired, coordinated and oversaw a consortium of custom publishing experts and venders who worked for us as independent contractors. By doing this work, Lois was able to train herself in the art of fine book publishing and also collected a storehouse of stories from the past century, which both enriched her training and inspired our consortium members, immensely.

As our books went to print, often our Elders were in tears when they saw their books for the first time. As were family members, who received their own copies from their Elder in a “book signing-life celebration” in a family room filled with relatives from around the United States. Even after the death of a beloved Elder, when a great nephew read his auntie’s stories for the first time, he was deeply grateful to her for passing on her story, and to StoryArts for helping her. Our consortium witnessed, over and over, our books valued beyond measure, by our clients.

StoryArts has now produced 33 high-quality published works. They include stories such as the love between a soldier who died in Viet Nam and his childhood sweetheart-bride written for their six-week old daughter, now an adult whom he never met; a living American pioneer’s family’s 1000-year journey from Europe to a small hometown in Idaho; a courageous Holocaust survivor; the search for a mother 60 years after her death. Each publication was uniquely designed to meet our client’s financial investment and also to reflect the essence of the stories, the authors and their families.

Community Projects

From our inception we wanted to offer both Family Publishing and Community Projects. Our publishing services were funded on a fee­for-service basis, and it was our hope that the income from these publications would eventually become a third of our total revenue. You see, we were hoping that perhaps the publishing revenue might help fund our Community Projects, along with some public grants. We envisioned producing city-wide Youth/Elder Projects, we called Legacies, which intended to be our primary offering to the community.

However, during our third year we realized our Family Publishing services took all of Lois’ time, but were not even bringing in the revenue needed to support her, still our only staff person, much less fund our Community Projects, which was our primary goal as a non profit.

Therefore by 2003 we decided to focus our efforts on Legacies, alone, in hopes that would help us be self-supporting financially. As a result, from 2004 through 2006, we produced our first year-long Legacies Project in Encinitas and then our second in Solana Beach.

Legacies was a grand leap for us. Just as in the beginning when we had to learn the art of custom publishing, we now had to design and produce city-wide story art projects, which had never been done before. It was a completely innovative, new concept. The idea was to pair Elders off with young people, primarily high school students, and let the young people tell their partner’s story through art books and a community-wide storytelling event. It was an ambitious vision and complex endeavor that turned out to be profoundly impacting for all those involved. And, our first project in Encinitas drew the attention of the Seth Sprague Foundation, which has become a devoted funder for many of StoryArts community projects.

With the success of these two projects we decided to give our full attention to an extensive grant writing campaign, to fund a San Diego Legacies Project for which we had gotten significant community support. Steve Howard, our Board Chairman and Lois designed a funding strategy, working diligently for many months. She first researched funding sources and then sent out extensive packages of information to a wide spectrum of local and national sources. However it turned out, sadly, we did not have enough lead-time to bring in the full funding required prior to the start of the next school year, which was when the San Diego project was scheduled to begin.

Lois had invested all her time and energy over the last six or seven years in developing and producing our publishing services and Legacies projects. There simply was not also time for the long-term nature of relationship building with donors needed for successful fund raising, in the short mount of time we had. We had no choice, we had to face our long-standing, seven-year pattern of insufficient funding and so decided to suspend providing any services during a period of reevaluation in order to consider our future as an organization.

Transition Years

After seven years of steadfast effort on the part of our Board, Steve and Lois, our consortium members and volunteers, it was clear that, no matter how successful and well received our books and community projects were, our funding issues were insurmountable. We therefore not only terminated our plans to produce a Legacies Project in San Diego, but also, and even more impactful, stopped any further development of the organization while we took time to evaluate our future.

With the help of Marybeth Holliday, a previous Board member and organizational consultant, each of our Board members evaluated, personally, if they felt called to continue serving on the Board now or not. As a result three members resigned, and three stayed on to oversee a period of evaluation in which we would determine if StoryArts was able to continue offering services.

During this period of reexamination, with the support of the Board that remained, Lois began developing a retrospective project designed as a multi media story art book collection, which would tell the story of her 20 years producing story art projects. It would be compiled for her two sons, and therefore be an authentic, sample "legacy" to the younger generation.

The purpose was to both review StoryArts contribution in the community, and produce a hands-on life story project for potential clients who could easily create one themselves, thereby giving us the skills to then eliminate the previously expensive costs of fine,custom publishing or large scale, grant-based community projects.

As Lois began working on the project, which she titled Dear Curt & Brad… A Retrospective Collection, she presented these art books at Board meetings, where we now had three new members. To her surprise, she was given enthusiastic feedback to continue in the direction she was going.

Diary Openings

With the encouragement of the new Board, to continue the Retrospective Collection, Lois realized it was becoming necessary to conceive of a way to share these one-of-a-kind story art works with the community, if future clients were going to be able to share similar books with their family and friends. She therefore designed a process she called a Diary Opening.

Essentially it is a weekend-afternoon celebratory workshop in which a life story is told and corresponding art book is showcased and the participants then write and read a story of their own as a response.

At this time Lois also developed and produced Memoir Makers, a year­long, monthly women’s project. The reason for pulling together this circle was simply—to help bring in client fees, to support her, as she continued StoryArts organizational reevaluation and produced the Retrospective Collection. However, to everyone’s surprise, as the year went on, Memoir Makers became an exceedingly creative, effective and economical model for clients to tell their stories, create art books and build an intimate community, concluding in a Book Arts Exhibit and Diary Opening, all of which were the ultimate goals of the Retrospective Collection.

Therefore, as the summer of 2010 came around it began to be evident that we had made it through a difficult, uncharted transitional period. We also now approached our 10th year as a nonprofit. With the help of new members on our Board, Lois’ tenacity in the face of challenge, an anonymous funding angel and the Seth Sprague Foundation’s financial support, and the Memoir Makers’ courage to participate in an experimental project, we had come through a three­year transitional period out of which we emerged with a new vision.

We are now able to offer our services economically, while creating intimate community productions. Yes, we have gone from high cost, fine publishing and expansive citywide productions to hands-on story art books and intimate community building.

In the summer of 2010 we held a 10-Year Celebration, in Lois’ home­studio, to announce that we had chosen to continue on. At this event we gave out a mini memoir, written by Lois titled The Road Goes Ever On… as our ‘thank you’ for the steadfast support we have received through these challenging years, and to insure the community knows their part in our unfolding story.

“The television knows many stories. But the storyteller knows me. African villager, as related to Ron Evans


Publishing & Videos

  1. WWW Vol. I & II
  2. When Wild Women Write
  3. Life Sentences
  4. Sky Writers
  5. Backyard Videos
  6. Sky Writers
  7. A Gaijin’s Journal
  8. Then and Now

STORYARTS, INC. 2000-Present

I. Publishing

  1. To My Children
  2. Growing Wings
  3. In Search of My Mother
  4. Crossroad Stories
  5. Echoes From Africa
  6. Opal’s Story
  7. Caryn’s Bat Mitzvah
  8. Gil & Connie: An American Story
  9. Loss, Liberty and Love
  10. Designated Dancers
  11. Night Visions
  12. Lyttle Legacy
  13. Ed Rueter’s Life Story
  14. Hugh Gillin's Story
  15. Precious Rememberries
  16. The Last Stamp
  17. Reach For The Stars
  18. First & Last Pioneers
  19. Schumacher-Verberes Family Album
  20. Growing a Family
  21. My Stories, Memories From the Chief
  22. Writing is the Music of My Life
  23. The Revard Story (text only)
  24. My Story Album: Mary Louise Glanz
  25. The Guadalupe Arch
  26. Al Bores' Life Story (text only)
  27. Encinitas Legacies Publication
  28. Solana Beach Legacies Publication
  29. A Peek-A-Boo Life
  30. Q-Berg Castle
  31. Lava Hot Springs
  32. On Becoming… Jane Martin
  33. I've Had A Good Life

II. Community Projects

  1. Casa de Mañana
  2. Mac Hartley Tribune
  3. Storymakers DVD
  4. I Long to See You, Martha Brown
  5. Encinitas Legacies Youth/Elder Project
  6. Solana Beach Legacies Youth/Elder Project
  7. Front Porch Gallery, Legacies Exhibit
  8. Memoir Makers: The Women’s Project
  9. Dear Curt & Brad… A Retrospective Collection

III. Publishing Templates & Website

  1. Legacy Trust
  2. Life Story Kit
  3. SAI Website

Board of Directors

“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.“Usula K. LeGuin

Board Chair's Message

Welcome to StoryArts website. Thank you for your interest in knowing about our work and our story. We are pleased to have passed our first decade of serving the community, and hope that you will want to join with us in this important work.

I would like you to remember these important points about StoryArts as you look through our website:

  1. Our purpose is to collect and celebrate ordinary people’s life stories by turning them into art.
  2. We build community by honoring our life’s stories in public events.
  3. We believe that telling people’s stories publicly through art has a great impact. Story arts move us and strengthen the bonds that connect us with our families and communities.
  4. We have become a solid, competent organization with strong community support, as we make the most of our limited financial resources.

If you choose to become involved with StoryArts, I think you will be as proud as I am to be a part of the mission of this organization as we celebrate life’s stories.
—Steve Howard, Board Chair

Board Members

Steve Howard, a founding member of StoryArts Board, and current Chair, served as board member and president of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. He has spent the past 30 years as a hardware/software engineer. Steve has volunteered as a progressive activist for a number of political issues and his hobbies include developing computerized videos. Steve holds a BA and a Master of Library Science from the University of Arizona. Steve believes in using story as a tool for life development. He supported and encouraged Storymakers’ vision in 1990, and then also as it grew into StoryArts, Inc. Steve’s steadfast, generous and wise contribution on StoryArts Board has been invaluable to our existence.

Adele Sloboda, StoryArts’ Secretary/Treasurer, has over 20 years experience in the field of credit and finance. Her experience includes revenue reporting, training of new administrators, customer service, marketing, budget preparation, expense tracking, sales forecasting, quarterly business reports, and annual financial plans. Adele has been responsible for up to $130 million in annual revenue. She has worked for General Electric/Honeywell and Unisys Corporation. Before retiring, she also worked with Los Angeles County on a $112 million welfare system conversion project. Adele is interested in art and loves to garden. Adele holds an accounting and computer science degree from West Los Angeles College. Adele has a strong interest in supporting local nonprofits. StoryArts is exceedingly fortunate to have her exceptional skills and warm hearted support.

Lois Sunrich is StoryArts’ Founding Director. Her expertise includes 25 years as a community developer, including leading community story art projects. Prior to StoryArts, Lois founded Storymakers, a women’s journal writing community that began as a 10-year project collecting the story of 50 women from around the county during the last decade in the century. Lois has taught life writing to individuals and groups in the United States and Japan. Lois also has fifteen years experience working as a community developer for several non profit family counseling agencies in the San Diego area. For these organizations she designed and implemented innovative human development programs. Lois has a BA in humanistic psychology from UCSD and studied poetics at Naropa, a Buddhist educational institute in Boulder, Colorado. Lois also studied under the tutelage of Dr. Jack Gibb, a pioneer in the human development field.

Laura Hansen with her mother, BJ Curry Spitler, founded Age Concerns, a San Diego, California-based firm that provides care management, home care, and consulting to older people and their families. She remained active in the organization’s development and ongoing management and served as chief executive officer until she retired in 2003. She has a long personal history with StoryArts as a journal keeper. She is interested in the development of the Youth/Elder Project and the ways in which it can contribute to our society. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her masters degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Laura is now offering her life long artistic talents to the community as an expressive art coach and international retreat facilitator.

Greg Brown
Who knows why some of us are motivated to create something new – to make ART? For Greg it’s an urge to share his fascination with visual and emotional experience with others. It’s also a love of playing with materials, of experimenting with colors, textures, and processes to see what will happen. Greg is retired from a career as an architect specializing in buildings incorporating solar design and energy conservation. Soon after graduation from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, he joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Iran. His world travel after Peace Corps left him with many memorable experiences that still influence his work today. Greg is a new member to our Board, who has a long history with StoryArts as a strong supporter of Storymakers, our founding women’s community. He is currently a member of StoryArts’ Men’s Project.

Lynne Lewallen
Lynne Lewallen is a Planner for a Fortune 500 company.  Previously she had an almost 20 year run in commercial real estate management. The knowledge and experience gained during that 20 year period was an excellent preparation for a new career in the field of project management which eventually segued into her current field in Facility Planning. Lynne has a strong business sense which combined with her intuitive and sensitive nature is extremely beneficial to StoryArts. We always feel Lynne has our best interest at heart because of her innate desire to be of service and support others in the arts. Lynne feels blessed to have been one of the early participants and avid supporter of Storymakers. She was also in Lois' early root groups where she strengthened her ties with fellow like-minded women. Lynne dabbles in various art mediums and shows a keen interest in the arts.

Jan Wier was an elementary school teacher for 45 years, and also became a pioneering consultant in language arts and early childhood education. She has a B.A. from American University, with graduate work in education. Jan is a valued and beloved volunteer, tutor and docent in her community, with San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Casa de Amastad, Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society, American Education Guidance Association for which she is the Alliance for Education Chairperson. In 2006 as a full time volunteer, Jan helped coordinate the StoryArts Youth/Elder Legacies Project in Solana Beach, and joined our Board in 2011. In her rare moments when Jan is not giving back to her community, she enjoys golfing, reading, traveling, the theater and symphony. She is also a devoted mother to her adult children, Anna and Patrick.

Honorary Board Members

Elaine Antoniuk, founding member of StoryArts Board, is an international, award winning book artist with previous experience on large established and newly forming nonprofit boards. She has served on San Diego Book Arts’ Board as both President and Vice President of Programs and spent several years on Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild’s Board. Her art books are in collections at the University of California San Diego, Giesel Library; Legal Arts in La Jolla; the Suzzalo Library, University of Washington in Seattle; the National Gallery of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C.; the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta; as well as in the collection of Sculptor, Leopold Bernhard, Nuremberg, Germany and private collections in Canada.

Elaine has traveled extensively. Her interest in ancient history has taken her to many of the world’s archaeological sites. She was a Founding Member of Story Arts Board, and recently also, joined the Memoir Makers Project (2012), out of which she wrote and published her memoir “Becoming Elaine”.

Karin Brock is an internationally respected massage therapist and teacher. She has been doing bodywork for 30 years and is known for her intuitive approach to her clients’ health and well-being. Karin’s involvement in StoryArts began in 1986, when she joined a journaling group led by Lois. Karin was impressed by the healing power of recording life as it unfolds. She believes that recording our stories is a helpful tool to positively move forward in life. She also believes that being involved in elders’ stories helps families build solid, enduring roots. Karin’s art talents include design, photography and painting.

Lois Brock spent 30 years researching and writing Our Family History for her children and grandchildren. To track the steps of her ancestors, who arrived in Maryland in 1634, she crisscrossed the U.S. and traveled a total of 11,000 miles. She then audio taped her own story, which will complement her 12 beautiful scrapbooks. For 20 years Lois was a Phoenix­based production manager for Motorola, where she managed both product and people. Lois was close to her seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren and believed that it is important for youth and elders to understand one another. Dedicated to supporting StoryArts’ goals and projects. Lois edited one of StoryArts’ custom published books and helped develop the Youth/Elder Project, for which she was a parti cia pant.

Blair Gibb has over 20 years of experience developing both data base applications and websites. This includes systems analysis work in educational research at the largest and most aggressive educational research laboratory in the country, WestEd, in San Francisco. Blair’s experience includes working for AOL, Johnson & Johnson, and the UCSD Antiviral Research Center. Prior to that he taught mathematics the high school level. Blair holds a Masters degree in Mathematics from UC Berkeley and a BA in Mathematics from UC Santa Cruz. He is currently a database developer at GreatCall, makers of the Jitterbug phone. Blair created two websites for StoryArts after getting involved in our Legacies Youth/ Elder Project through his daughter.

Theresa Beauchamp has worked as a family practice physician’s assistant for nearly eleven years. Her educational background in business, international relations and medicine, and she was a Peace Corps worker in Senegal, West Africa. She has served on the Board of the California Academy of Physician Assistants and as a Delegate of the House of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Her parents exposed her and her four siblings to all art forms to include creative writing, dance, piano and theatre. Theresa shares with StoryArts a passionate interest in preserving people’s life stories and became involved in StoryArts through her Storymakers’ roots that began in 1991. She is proud to have two sons. Her sixteen year old son participated in the StoryArts’ Youth Elder project in 2005 where he paid tribute to his five grandparents.

Marybeth Holliday, a founding member of StoryArts Board, brings both extensive training and management skills to our organization. We have been very fortunate to be able to utilize her consultation over the years. She is currently retired from her management role at Cox Communications, and has a history of volunteering with National Charity League, Junior League of San Diego, the Mingei International Museum, United Way, Assistance League of Greater San Diego and her church. Marybeth’s involvement with StoryArts started in 1990, as one of the original Storymakers and a key member in her journal-writing circle, Witches Bee. Marybeth believes in the power of life writing, especially it’s effect on women.

Keri Losavio is an accomplished writer and editor with nearly 20 years of publishing experience in the fields of public safety communications and medicine, including writing for and editing print and online publications. She has extensive digital and print media experience. For five years, she was a member of StoryArts Board. Before she joined the Board, she edited the life stories published by both StoryArts and Storymakers. She is very proud to have been a part of this important work.

Nancy Faulkner Sackheim, an MFA graduate of the University of Southern California Professional Writers Program, has worked in the movie and television industry a number of years. Currently she is writing a novel. An active member of the Whispering Palms community in Rancho Santa Fe, she has served over ten years as president of her homeowner association, and a former president of the Whispering Palms Community Council. She administers The Ray Sackheim Charitable Foundation and has been a volunteer and supporter of numerous nonprofits in the San Diego area.

Stan Sewitch is a business psychologist and entrepreneur. He has founded four companies since 1989: HRG, Inc., Emlyn Systems, Chromagen Corporation and KI Investment Holdings, LLC. Stan currently serves as Vice President of Global Organization Development for the WD-40 Company. He serves as a director for several corporations as well: Helix Environmental Planning, Inc., Sabia Inc., Ridge Diagnostics and KI Investment Holdings, LLC. Stan writes a weekly column for the San Diego Daily Transcript entitled “Notes from the Corporate Underground” on subjects of strategy, leadership and the larger patterns affecting businesses around the world.  Stan initiated the organizational planning that developed StoryArts’ strategic direction and nonprofit structure. Stan served as the first Chair of the Board for StoryArts.

Debbie Willis has been involved in the Arts since the third grade. Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, she became a musician, with the flute as her primary instrument. Her parents encouraged her involvement in all forms of art, including writing and singing. Her mother was a freelance writer. Debbie earned her Associate Arts degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego Mesa College. She continues her studies toward her B.A. degree in Humanities at San Diego State University, where she is currently employed in the School of Music and Dance as the Administrative Coordinator. As the bookkeeper for StoryArts during our inception, she helped us form into a non-profit organization. She was our first Financial Director, serving on the Board for one year. She and her husband live on their 36' sailboat, which they have been restoring for several years. They plan to retire on it and sail Mexico, Latin America or wherever the wind takes them.

Advisory Council

Laurie Sanders Cannon has made homemaking and raising a family into an art form. Her own artistry is based on a deep appreciation of indigenous cultures and spirituality, especially folk art textiles and their enhancement of daily family life. During her family’s early years she created a woman’s journaling group. As a member of that group she recorded her unfolding story as a young mother. She currently is facilitating writing workshops in her own community.

Lisa Dean is the author of a full color, oversized, collage art book titled Night Vision. She developed the book, with StoryArts guidance, in an attempt to understand her childhood, as she left those years and entered adulthood. Born and raised in Leucadia, California, she is presently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Lisa received her yoga teacher certificate in 2010, and her Masters in education and teaching credential in 2011. She is dedicated and passionate about sharing the practice of yoga with students from all over the world. Lisa is a loyal student herself, as she continues to learn new practices such as Chinese Medicine, Reiki, and Feng Shui. Lisa is dedicated to supporting StoryArts growth.

Yuko Ijichi is the owner of Tokyo-based The Muse Company, a training institute for counselors who use the arts to work with people with physical challenges. They hold workshops at retreat centers in the heart of Tokyo and in Hotaka Yojoen, at the foot of the Japanese Alps. The Muse Company created and produced the Me & My Town project Minato Ward of Toyko, by collecting elders’ stories along with old photos, which were displayed at a public institution as an exhibit and basis of dialog among local community members.

Rosemary KimBal is a contemporary Chinese brush painter and teacher at Dancing Brush Studios, located in Cardiff, California. Rosemary’s artistic career began with her first brush painting lesson, when she instantly knew that she had found her place of personal tranquility. Her goal, while in the creative process, is to discover the quiet moment within that is achieved by joining the body and mind harmoniously. She is also a founding member of Storymakers. She connects StoryArts to valuable community leaders and resources.

David R. Moore, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Moore & Skiljan located in Carlsbad, California. David has the highest “AV” rating for an attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, which attests to a lawyer’s professional legal ability and ethics. He has twenty-three years experience in corporate, business, and real estate transactions and litigation. David serves as outside and in-house counsel for small to mid-sized companies. He has served on the Board of Directors of other nonprofits. He generously provided StoryArts with legal advice needed to incorporate as a nonprofit entity. He also offers us ongoing guiding legal counsel.

Kathleen Murphy Stiven, a native Californian, lives in Cardiff by the Sea, with her husband Jim Stiven. Kathleen taught elementary school when her three children were young. In 1980 she became a docent at the San Diego Museum of Art and volunteered there for 23 years. During those years, Kathleen gave presentations with art slides to the classrooms of San Diego City, County and private schools. She taught Children’s Workshop at the museum and gave tours to children and adults. After retiring from SDMA, Kathleen has continued to volunteer in the classroom with the Lux Art Institute Valise Project. Kathleen was one of the founding members of Storymakers in 1990 and worked on Story Arts’ Legacy Project in 2004-05, as well as became a member of Memoir Makers, 2010. Jim and Kathleen have five grandchildren.

Christy Wilson is the executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. Early in StoryArts’ development, Christy shared her knowledge about guidelines for creating a successful non-profit organization. Also, from her experience as president of the North County Philanthropy Council, Christy has provided StoryArts with timely and invaluable fundraising training.


Founding Members

Lisa Bell is a freelance copy editor and transcriptionist for StoryArts. Pursuing a life-long interest in storytelling and culture, Lisa received her bachelor of arts in English, with minors in creative writing and religious studies, from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA., graduating summa cum laude. She then focused on health care and education, working in women’s health and the clinical research center for a teaching hospital in Richmond and also as part-time medical transcriptionist. She is currently a full-time assistant editor for an award winning, San Diego-based medical journal.

Bobbie DeBoer, served as both a project coordinator and transcriptionist for StoryArts. She was an integral part of our organization for six years, both working on custom projects as well as organizing and leading community presentations on collecting life stories. Bobbie’s work experience includes seven years as medical office manager for a state-funded agency that served the developmentally disabled population. She also worked for two years, as a hospice secretary, supporting the nursing and counseling staff and the Hospice Director. She was committed to StoryArts because she believed rapt attention is a sacred gift; because the work continually taught and inspired her; because our work was important to our clients and their families; and because she wanted to use her life in meaningful ways.

Kathi Olsen has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology. She also has had expressive arts training which she used extensively in her counseling with adults and children while working as a Bereavement Counselor and Program Director for Hospice. Kathi has worked with individuals and families to collect and record life stories, creating self-published books to share with family and friends. She has a particular interest in working with people in life transitions, bringing in depth personal experience as a result of her own healing journey after breast cancer. Kathi was a Project Coordinator from StoryArts inception in 2000 until 2005, and facilitated collage art workshops for our Encinitas Legacies Project.

Donna Otter, MA, REAT, is a writer who has worked in many forms, including poetry, essay and performance art. The foundation of all her work is the diary. Also, visual art has been a joyful and important way for her to play with non-verbal imagery. She has made many artist's books employing collage, text, paint, photography and family archives. She received her BA in Creative Writing from SDSU and her MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego and the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee Switzerland. Donna was a founding member of Storymakers, has been a Project Coordinator for StoryArts Family Publishing services, facilitated book art workshops for our Legacies Project, was a member of the Memoir Makers Project, and now provides consultation for our Community Projects from her new home and art studio in Portland, Oregon.

Current Members


Doris Doi is a graphic designer with extensive experience in many phases of print, media, and graphic design. She has designed most of StoryArts’ 33 publications and all of our collateral material as well as several local writers’ anthologies and books on writing and poetry. A long-time San Diegan, she has a B.A. in Art from San Diego State University, has worked in the printing industry, and freelanced as a designer for a number of firms and individuals, including: a non-profit health organization, a network TV affiliate, a writing center, public relations firms, ad agencies, media consultants, and writers and friends.

It is due to Doris’ heart-warming, family-centered yet highly professional design abilities, and unequal creative sensitivity to each of our authors, that StoryArts has been able to offer our clients such exceptional book containers for their stories. Doris also has given our promotional materials that same consistent, winning treatment.

Jenny Yoshida Graduated with an MFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design from San Diego State University, Jenny set out into the world to make books, draw pictures, and print things the old-fashioned way. She also likes new technology (have you met her dear companion, YouTube?). But she realizes that one cannot live on technology alone. Stick some pencils and paper in there and you've got yourself a stew going. She likes to attack strange and interesting new projects and figure out what materials can be used to convey a desired message. She likes to think of funny phrases, cut things out of paper and stick them to other pieces of paper with Scotch brand adhesive tape. She takes pleasure in lists, dictionaries, encyclopedias, charts, maps, and trivia. She enjoys filling out forms, labeling things, and addressing envelopes by hand. Jenny is a new member of our consortium, whom we are exceedingly fortunate to be working with. www.evidenceofthehand.com


A Better Type has been one of the top transcription companies in San Diego for the past 24 years, and a trailblazer in the innovative world of digital recordings. StoryArts has been exceedingly fortunate to have found Better Type due to their hands-on, personal service, which is exceedingly rare in today’s computer age. Our clients are able to give A Better Type’s transcribers highly personal, priceless documents, which are family heirlooms, to be transcribed, with absolute trust. Transcripts are sent via email as a Microsoft Word document, which means both our professional staff and our clients have easy access to work on them, and they can be returned quickly. A Better Type also charges the most reasonable fees of any service in the area, a necessity for our Family Publishing clients. www.abettertypetranscription.com


Any Budget Digital Printing and Copying provides full-service copying utilizing top-notch equipment. Their graphic and color specialists are proficient at creating output that satisfies our high quality demands. They feel that there is no greater satisfaction than delivering a finished product that helps a client reach their goals and objectives. Therefore their mission is to provide clients with the highest-quality products and services possible in a timely fashion and at a competitive price. They have always been there for our clients with honest, expert advice and quick, friendly customer service.
7150 Engineer Road
San Diego, CA 92111


Western Bookbinding Company has been binding books in San Diego for over 50 years. They specialize in and produce only hand-sewn books. It is the last remaining traditional bookbindery in the county. Of the few bookbinders in the county, most of them specialize in gluing and stapling all done by machine. Stepping into Western Bookbinding is likes stepping back in time, the only mechanical devices are the over head lighting and the telephones. It is a fully traditional bindery, where everything is done by hand and produced by a staff devoted to the original craft of bookbinding, all trained on site.
3457 Euclid, Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105

Quality Bindery provides our clients with perfect bound (paperback) book services, in high volume quantities. Their fees are reasonable and their turn around is always timely. They also have always provided us with extra hands-on help and quality products.
7818 Wilkerson Court
San Diego, CA 92111

Custom Binding Services provide high quality spiral or comb binding and carry only top quality binding systems. They offer case-making services also. They stand behind all of their products. Their experienced service staff is always ready and able to help. They have provided exceptional personal attention to our client’s projects, at extremely reasonable fees.
4664 Mercury Street
San Diego, CA 92111


We are a species of storytellers. We weave stories together like the threads in a blanket. And then we hold that blanket right, drawing warmth from it for generations. Storytellers take thought and transcribe it into something else, something that can be passed on to others. But all storytellers need inspiration, and through out history nothing has provided more inspiration than the world that embraces us. In essence, the world is the blanket from which we draw our heat.Robert Redford

Primary Sponsors

  • City of Encinitas Commission for the Arts
  • City of Solana Beach
  • Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society
  • Friends of the Encinitas Library
  • County of San Diego, Pam Slater Price Supervisor
  • Seth Sprauge Charitable & Educational Foundation
  • The Ray Sackheim Charitable Foundation
  • David Roberts, Solana Beach Councilman
  • Our Beloved Anonymous Angel


  • Amy Abrams Bob
  • Anslow & Marina Marrelli
  • Elaine Antoniuk
  • Jan Austin
  • Zoya Van Avery
  • Frank & Pattie Bendrick
  • Anna Benson
  • Steve Biondolillio
  • Terry & Lisa Blatnick
  • Karin Brock
  • Joanne Burris
  • Minda Coombs
  • Carolyn Cope
  • Cox Cable
  • Lenore Dale
  • Charlotte Dean
  • Sally Husch Dean
  • Irene de Watteville
  • Byron & Eleanor Disselhorst
  • Karin Doshay
  • Vivien Duncan
  • EDCO Waste & Recycling Services, Inc.
  • Ruby & Ray Edman
  • R.P. Fauklner
  • Shirley Foote
  • Glenn B. Frieder, DC
  • Elda S. Garner
  • Donald Gehring
  • Lorraine Gibb
  • The Grauer School
  • Laura Hansen
  • Marianne Harmon
  • Lesa Heebner
  • Christy Hendrickson
  • Beverly & Steve Howard
  • Cheri Huenergardt
  • Barry Johnson
  • George & Gloria Jones
  • Judith Kay
  • Rosemary KimBal
  • Lola Larson
  • Evan Laveman
  • Joyce and Larry Laveman
  • Joe & Myra Longfield
  • Jenny Lucas
  • Peggy Lynch
  • Ivana & Lee Lyttle
  • Sean & Analia MacLeod
  • Carol Marrelli
  • Jan Mitchell
  • Vickie Murphy
  • Suzanna Neal
  • Alison Neeley
  • Judith Nicolaidas
  • Faith Niles
  • Kathi Olsen
  • Donna Otter
  • Gerri Retman-Opper
  • Optimist Club of Del Mar/Solana Beach
  • Cindy Pagliasotti
  • Steve Percy
  • Kristin & Richard Perona
  • Sharon Ryno
  • James Sackheim
  • Joyce Sackheim
  • Nancy Sackheim
  • Lynn Salsberg
  • San Diego Gas & Electric Co.
  • Lee Schnieder
  • Richard & Phyllis Schwartzlose
  • Genie Shenk
  • Nancy Sherman
  • Spirit of Suzi Foundation — Jones/Hasseltine
  • Synergy Arts Foundation
  • Tarra Stariell
  • Tanya Sternberg
  • Storymakers Lois Sunrich
  • Christine Taylor
  • Charlie & Marianne Thurston
  • Michael Vickers
  • Heidi Von Svelisk
  • Susan Pitlik Whittaker
  • Debbie Willis
  • Joan Woodland
  • Woods Insurance Agency
  • Charlie Zieky

In-kind Contributions & Services

  • Alpha Graphics
  • Anderson’s Stationaries
  • David Antoniuk
  • Elaine Antoniuk
  • Carol Ashworth
  • Anna Benson
  • Steve Biondillio
  • Karin Brock
  • Lois Brock
  • Horst Cahn
  • Roberta Cantow
  • Community Advocates
  • Encinitas Senior Foundation
  • Laura Hansen
  • Charlie Harp
  • Mac Hartley
  • Random Ridge Ranch, William Hawley
  • Christy Hendrickson
  • High Speed Copies
  • History With Out Walls Committee
  • Heather Holliday
  • Maggie Houlihan
  • Steve Howard
  • Rosemary KimBal
  • Kinkos
  • Robin Llewellyn
  • Peggy Lynch
  • David Moore
  • Motherlode Bookkeeping
  • Vickie Murphy
  • Dave Oakley
  • Joe Plassmeyer
  • Candice Porter
  • Roy Risner
  • Nancy Sackheim
  • San Diego Foundation, John Duca
  • San Dieguito Academy
  • San Dieguito Heritage Museum
  • Adele Sloboda
  • Jim & Kathleen Stiven
  • Barbie Woolner
  • Mark Wyland

Community Project Volunteers

  • Elaine Antoniuk
  • Anna Benson
  • Karin Brock
  • Lois Brock
  • Jill Cooper
  • Sue Cooper
  • Lenore Dale
  • Lisa Dean
  • Lynn Dewart
  • Vivien Duncan
  • Shirley Foote
  • Jason Galde
  • Blair Gibb
  • Erin Gibb
  • Laura Hansen
  • Christy Hendrickson
  • Sally Husch
  • Dean Steve Howard
  • Sue Johnson
  • Gloria Jones
  • Joyce Laveman
  • Chris Lehman
  • Rosemary KimBal
  • Toni O’Toole
  • Donna Otter
  • Wendy & Doug Shaw
  • Adele Sloboda
  • Tanya Sternberg
  • Kathleen & Jim Stiven
  • Irene de Watteville
  • Jan Wier
  • Wendy & Larry Woolf
  • Charlie Zieky

Special thank you to…