Tough Decisions? Engage the Power of Storytelling

Presented by: Dorothy Cleveland & Barbara Schutzgruber

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About the Event

Join us virtually for a timely exploration of a decision-making technique through the art and craft of storytelling. Replace your endless list of pros and cons with The Hero’s Journey, an ancient structure that maps a process the human brain follows to evolve from difficulties into wisdom. In this short workshop, Dorothy Cleveland and Barbara Schutzgruber will teach the main steps of the Hero’s Journey as an effective and efficient method for unlocking your potential. You will learn to meet each obstacle in your path as a challenge that builds confidence to move towards your goal. Ultimately, you will use your creative mind to map out the journey to your success.


About the PresenterS

Dorothy Cleveland has 35 years’ experience working in law firms. Her last role, from 1991 to 2015, was Chief Operating Officer for a mid-sized family law firm in Minneapolis. While working, Dorothy completed a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies, writing a thesis on the tangible impact story has in empowering women in leadership roles.

After retiring, Dorothy Cleveland co-authored a book with Barbara Schutzgruber, Beyond the Sword Maiden: A Storyteller’s Introduction to the Heroine’s Journey. First published in 2018, this book expands upon Dorothy’s MLS Thesis to include the role of story and story structure as a methodology for reframing trauma into strength and success.

Dorothy is also a performing storyteller and has managed multiple venues in Minneapolis. She tells European folktales, personal stories, and short original fiction to adult audiences throughout the country. Dorothy also tours with Barbara Schutzgruber to national, regional, and local story conferences to present workshops based on their book.

Dorothy has brought her administrative work experience into storytelling organizations; serving on the Board of the National Storytelling Network, Story Arts of Minnesota, and is now a conference administrator for Northlands – a multi-state storytelling network. In 2019, Dorothy was inducted as an Oracle into America’s national storytelling organization – NSN. This oracle award for Service and Leadership in the North Central Region is given for exemplary leadership, service, and significant contributions to the art and craft of Storytelling.


Barbara Schutzgruber is an award-winning recording artist and author who shares folktales, ballads, and personal stories of resilience and has presented workshops, showcases, keynotes, and performances both nationally and internationally.

Since 1987, she has performed over 3,300 programs in schools, prisons, state parks, hospitals, museums, and festivals. Her recordings have won two Parents Choice Gold Awards, an American Library Association Notable Award, and two Storytelling World Honor Awards.

Barbara is the 2020 recipient of National Storytelling Network’s ORACLE Award for Regional Excellence in the North Central Region. This award is presented to artists who are recognized by their peers for creativity, professional integrity, and artistic contributions that greatly enriched the storytelling culture of their region.

Barbara holds a Masters Degree in Children’s Literature with a focus on comparative folklore from Eastern Michigan University.

Barbara’s journey includes the weaving together of her two great artistic loves: fiber and stories. As an accomplished fiber artist for the past 30 years, she uses a wide range of materials to create wall hangings, yardage for garments, rugs, vessels, hats, scarves, and shawls. She has had the honor of sharing the stories and parts of the vast history of the textile arts on stages across the country and internationally. The seeds that were sewn so many years ago as a child watching the weavers at Greenfield Village, the historic village at The Henry Ford Museum, are now being reseeded into a new generation as she demonstrates weaving and wet felting at fairs, sales, historical settings, and the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center.

When asked, “What do you do?” she answers this way: “I am a weaver. I weave words, fiber, reed, and fabric to create stories, garments, and containers because stories are the threads that connect the world and every weaving tells a story.”

Vantage Executive Forum: Tough Decisions? Engage the Power of Storytelling 1

Dorothy Cleveland

Vantage Executive Forum: Tough Decisions? Engage the Power of Storytelling 2

Barbara Schutzgruber