ABOUT GEN S STORIES
Gen S Stories is the work of Jenni Savigny. Jenni began working as community artist in 2001 when she founded AnyBody’s Cool, a community theatre project. AnyBody’s Cool started with a tiny budget, the backing of Mental Illness Education ACT, and a big vision for making a difference to the lives of girls through a particular form storytelling. Jenni brought together people who had lived experience of disordered eating, numerous theatre directors, principles of mental health promotion, and research skills developed during her Masters degree in Social Ecology. The result was a highly successful program that toured schools in Canberra for many years.
AnyBody’s Cool is still going strong as a project of Mental Illness Education ACT, while Jenni's community arts practice has diversified: creative writing projects, script writing, oral history, digital storytelling, and many collaborations with other artists and organisations. The underlying principles of her work remain the same.
Jenni loves stories because they give people the opportunity to have a voice and be heard on their terms. And stories are powerful! Over many storytelling projects Jenni has witnessed how a well-told story can move people into walking in another person’s shoes, however briefly. Her storytelling projects have provided valuable resources to many community organisations working in mental health promotion, social inclusion, and community development.
Jenni also loves the creative development process. In her workshops she draws on her experience in drama, creative writing, and photography. She is forever grateful to the many people she has worked with who have taught her to listen deeply, trust in finding a creative thread, and play, make mistakes and have fun. Based on her experience, Jenni believes anyone can craft a story when they are provided with a safe and creative space, the right amount of professional support, and cake.
Jenni loves people. Through her work with Mental Illness Education ACT Jenni has worked extensively with people living with mental illness and their families. More recently she has worked with people with a disability, the sex and gender diverse community, people coming out of crisis, and people recovering from drug and alcohol dependency. Jenni thrives on diversity and people being themselves.
Many of Jenni’s projects have been recognized with awards, and have been presented at numerous conferences throughout Australia.