Stella Kassimati is an experienced facilitator of workshops. She teaches around the world in both Greek and English, including at The International School of Storytelling and Schumacher College, UK. Stella loves Greek myths and offers workshops on how relevant they are to us today. She has a deep passion for biographical storytelling, with an emphasis on ancestry stories. She has co-developed a successful program called “Gifts from our Ancestors”, enabling adults to craft and publicly perform family tales with the goal of increasing empathy and creating community. She loves teaching the craft of the storyteller because it gives people a voice and empowers them to bring more of themselves into the world.
Stella’s family is in Crete; however her passion for storytelling took her to England in 2002 to train as a professional storyteller at the International School of Storytelling at Emerson College. Her academic qualifications include BA Sociology and PostGradDip Tourism.
All the wonderful vitality and variety of human experience and essence of momentous events are encapsulated in the timeless mythology of Ancient Greece, the Cradle of Western Civilization. Ancient Greek culture and Greek myths is at the heart of western knowledge. It informed and continues to inform Western culture and thought and offers insights into our routes; into who we are; where we started and how we have developed. With Greek myths we gain reconnection to fundamental human values; deeper understanding of our lives and paths; recognition of the energies of the gods and goddesses within us; and insight into the routes of western civilization. We embrace the legacy of Ancient Greece “Know thyself” as we strive to know who we are; what we have come here to do and the deeper meaning of life.
Stella, in following her passion, is carrying a new stream of Greek Mythology at the International School of Storytelling. People interested in Greek Myths, will be able to follow the energies of gods and goddesses and many major myths that have influenced and shaped our western culture and civilization and are relevant to us today.
Stella is the founding Director of Friends of Amari, an international association contributing to the revival of the Valley and Village of Amari in Crete, through the art of storytelling: International Storytelling Centre; Courses; Festivals and by supporting local cultural initiatives. www.friends-of-amari.org
“Stella’s teaching is clear, knowledgeable and always encouraging - a reassuring and terrific combination for a beginner. Her love and respect for myth is inspiring. Working with Stella helped me to see how I can share stories in the truest way I can - by being more and doing less. Thank you, Stella.” Olivia Watchman, Australia. Begin it Now! and SBW 2017
“In just a short weekend, Stella really set the foundations for my storytelling. I was amazed at how much I learnt and how often I come back to the advice that she gave me. She brought her warm heart and her playful energy, and made the weekend magical.” Chris Adriaanse, U.K. a participant on Begin it Now! 2017 with Stella.
“Stella as a teacher of Myth and the power of it, has influenced me for life. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to receive her teaching as a student and friend. I felt her unwavering connection to the ancient Myths come through in her ability to articulate through both language and frequency of being. One aspect of Stella's approach to teaching that I deeply appreciate is her willingness to be incredibly honest and forthcoming, while still holding the student compassionately and with awareness for the vulnerability involved in learning to hold these ancient stories in the body/mind/soul.
Stella is absolutely in her element with these Mythic teachings and I encourage anyone who is inspired to deepen into it, to work with her.” Coco Kami, U.K. SBW 2017
“My mother always said to me that the best parents and teachers in the world, are not the ones who try to feed the child with all the wisdom they already own, but the ones who work very hard not to ruin what is already there, and help them reveal and discover it.
Stella was that kind of teacher for me. She was always there, seeing me, listening deeply and guiding me with true wisdom, and through that giving me the freedom to discover and reveal my way and my stories.
Her treasure of knowledge and her warm and loving presence through the three month "storytelling beyond words" course I attended in the ISOS, gave me a great belief in myself and a deep understanding of what it means to journey with a story and to make it a part of me.
The most meaningful memory I have from Stella's mentoring is the way she really listens. She listens to the story, and she listens to the teller. Then she listens to the bridge between the story and the teller and she knows what is missing, or what is too much, what's best to clean and what to add to make that bridge a golden one.
Stella is a great story listener, which makes her a great storyteller and a true teacher.
The storytelling beyond words course was a changing life experience for me, where I found my new path and the power of my voice. I cherish many moments I shared and learned from Stella during that course and I am looking forward for many more to come.” Noa Keinan, Israel. SBW 2017
“I really can’t express how grateful I am to havemet Stella and to have experienced her seemingly endless source of wisdom first hand. Her way of coaching, with such warmth and attention, not only contributed to the improvement of my storyteller skills, but helped me grow as a person. Stella has the ability to create a safe space and to steadily navigate her students through the uneasy waters of challenges one is destined to meet when wanting to become a better storyteller. I cannot recommend her enough.” Synnøve Frøiland, Norway. SBW 2017
“In workshops and performances I have always found Stella to be like the proverbial Oak that we find in stories, calm, solid and quietly giving to many. Stella’s interventions are like little nuggets of gold, perceptive, precise and given with real heart. Stella encourages people to find the Storyteller within oneself, giving you space, to discover yourself within the story and the story within oneself. Stella observes quietly and gives very precise feedback, which I personally value. A few precise words from Stella make’s a lot of difference. I remember fondly the subtle thumbs up Stella gave me, when I was working hard on projecting my voice. It made all the difference to my confidence. When I describe Stella to others I tend to say that Stella is calm and solid, which I find helps me, to centre myself. And last but not least, Stella’s subtle sense of humour, there in abundance, just subtle.” Shane Ibbs, U.K. Participant of Performing tales from our Ancestors 2016
If Stella is involved in a course or an event it will be a good one. Her presence guarantees quality. She was one of my teachers at »Begin it Now» and gave me an incentive to go for the three month course. This was one of the best things I have ever done, and I am forever grateful. Stella understands that people come to storytelling from different backgrounds and abilities. Her knowledge of storytelling and Greek Myhology is vast, and she is bi-lingual, an exellent storyteller, a formidable teacher and in my eyes a strong woman and a lady. Jo Erfjord, Norway. Begin it Now! And Heart and Craft 2015
For me the chance to go deeper into storytelling at a three months course was a truly transformational experience. I had the opportunity to try out new things, to search and explore. Sometimes it was hard work, sometimes pure joy and sometimes confusing to be on a new path. To have Stella as one of the guides along the way was very helpful for me. I appreciated her ability to give direct and honest feedback. The open question she asked me during a coaching: Are you here to hide or to shine? was a question with many layers which helped me see things in another light. Andrea Berge, participant at the Heart and Craft of the storyteller 2015
"Stella was one of my teachers on the 3 months course "The Heart and Craft of the Storyteller" 2015 and I consider myself very lucky about that.
Stella has a deep knowledge of Greek Mythology but more than that I would say that she is such connection with ancient Greek Gods that is impossible not to transfer some of their powers to students. She created the perfect ground for students to meet and at last understand the Greek gods whose behaviour and actions so often are misunderstood. However, through her we all felt connected with them and felt their different powers in our tellings.
She was present in every performance we did, supporting and nurturing us with her presence and her sincere words afterwards.
Always with a soft but steady voice she helped us practice our stories overcoming our fears and anxiety. What I consider a great gift as it is not so common to come across, was that in a subtle way and very gently, almost without us realizing it, she would guide us to find the way to our own telling that comes out naturally and suit us as best, rather than just impose on us her own opinion about how the story must be told. During those three months Stella was a teacher, a mother figure and a good friend! Her power and strength are quiet but so immense that create a safety net which makes you have no fear of exposing yourself, opening your wings and actually fly! She is an amazing woman (just like the heroines of fairy tales) and an unforgettable Teacher! She will always be in my heart!" Maria Zourari, Greece. Heart and Craft 2015
I have an inner pocket! From this pocket I can pick up the memory of Stella’s wonderful smile, her laughter and a glance of her intense eyes anytime I need a bit of support. I’ve been so lucky to have had Stella as my teacher and tutor in storytelling during a three months Heart and Craft course at ISOS. She is present, honest and encouraging. Stella’s excitement, passion and knowledge about Greek Goddesses and Gods is infectious and I will forever be very grateful for that. Inger Lodberg, Denmark. Heart and Craft 2014
On the first day of the Heart and Craft Storytelling Course, when I nervously stepped into the Storytelling Hut, I was greeted by the open arms, beaming smile and enthusiasm of Stella Kassimati. My over whelming impression was that her wide arms made me feel welcome, encouraged, cherished and inspired. Her wide smile had an intuitiveness that made me feel safe and secure. As tutor, Stella demonstrated these attributes for the following twelve weeks to the group, always attentive to the stories we weaved, listening, observing, supportive and encouraging. Stella always offers suggestions to draw out the best from a person and their stories in a real, earthy, instinctive manner, always with a rich depth of feeling, often with good humour but always with a good heart. Stella’s knowledge and passion for Greek Myths is as deep as her abilities to hold any story or anyone and guide them to the person they are and where they wish to be, through story. To share time with Stella as a tutor is to know that from that time forward she will always be stood right alongside and your stories. Janet Goring, Bluebird the Storyteller, Graduate ISOS Heart and Craft 2014.