About Elisa

Elisa began her storytelling career by working for ten years as a Storyteller in Residence in the Boston Public Schools. There she came to appreciate and tell stories from the many diverse cultures that the children represented. Other early storytelling experiences included collecting stories from Vietnam Veterans and sharing them with high school, college and adults in a program called, The Defoliated Heart. She also led groups of women to share and learn from their stories together. These experiences helped to inspire her belief in the power of stories to heal. 

Elisa completed her Master’s in Education in 1988 at Lesley University in the Creative Arts in Learning program with a concentration in Storytelling. She went on to teach for Lesley College through their national and local Creative Arts in Learning Master’s program for 11 years, helping teachers to become storytellers, and integrating story into every aspect of the curriculum and classroom culture.
After observing cultural intolerance in her neighborhood, Elisa started a storytelling program and residency in the schools on Immigration called, We Share a Common Story. In this program she told stories of people coming to North American from many lands and encouraged the children to learn and tell their own immigration stories as a way of increasing tolerance and respect.  

Elisa has performed in many festivals including Three Apples, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, The RI Johnny Cake Festival, the Minnesota Storytelling Festival, and as a representative for NE at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN. She is a frequent teller at First Night Boston and at schools, libraries and churches around New England.

Elisa has also been a frequent workshop presenter for the National Storytelling Network including the Chicago, Rhode Island and Pittsburg conferences, and at conferences around New England.
Elisa published her first book Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from around the World in 1998. It won the Storytelling World Honor Award for Anthologies in 1999.

Elisa’s second book Once Upon a Time: Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying. Lessons from 99 multicultural folk tales for grades K-8. (Character Development Group) was published in 2006, and won the Storytelling World Honor Award for Special Resources in 1997.

Elisa also has a Master’s degree in counseling and is a licensed mental health counselor, with a private practice in Concord, MA see her counseling website: elisapearmain.com.

She recently recorded a double CD of stories and commentary on The Forgiveness Process which you can read about on the website. She offers groups and individual therapy on this subject.
 Elisa’s most recent writing project was for the Unitarian Universalist Association, a national organization. She co-authored a 16 week on-line curriculum called “Moral Tales” for grades 2-3 as part of their Tapestry of Faith curriculum series.

Recently her most popular storytelling programs  in the schools are on character education and bullying prevention through story. She received a grant in 2002 to study character education through story from the National Storytelling Network.

She is a currently a board member of The Healing Story Alliance www.healingstory.org and is an active member of The League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling (LANES), and past Board member.  You can learn more about LANES and the storytelling conference at www.lanes.org

She is also involved in Climate Action movement!