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Grimm

 Then

Grimm

 Now

GRIMM THEN: Jacob and Wilhelm

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                    wo brothers in Germany, Jacob and Wilhelm,  were completely devoted to keeping the stories of their past and present alive by turning tales that were spoken into ones which were written.  Like a fairy tale itself, sometimes the path you start on in life brings you to an unexpected destination.  This was the case with the Brothers Grimm who were the closest of friends and studying to be lawyers and librarians with no intention of  devoting their life to the collection of these magical tales.
Similarly,  when they set out to collect the tales, they had not planned for them to be enjoyed by children.
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Seek and Ye Shall Find

Although the Grimm's would publish seven different versions of their tales over forty years, their stories were always full of the elements of surprise and darkness. The brothers believed in the idea that stories from the community helped to create community.  And after seeing that so few stories had been written down and were not to be seen in libraries they worked in, it was the community that provided so many of the stories the brothers published and that we appreciate and enjoy today.  The Grimm Brothers received their stories from nannies, neighbors and soldiers and listened to anyone who had a story to tell. The tales and brothers were German but they were influenced and fascinated by many cultures; Jacob and Wilhelm learned to speak over ten different ancient and modern languages. 

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From Spoken to Written

Jacob and Wilhelm read a great deal but they found they loved fairy tales the most. Educated people believed that fairytales were unsophisticated and for children but the Grimm Brothers believed that fairy tales were a path towards honoring one's culture. In addition to being entertaining, a fairy tale could help teach listeners about how to overcome unexpected challenges. 

 

  In 1812, after writing and collecting stories for over six years the Grimm Brothers published their first book, Children's and Household Tales. So popular was the first edition, which featured eighty-six stories, that many children took to memorizing them. The future editions of the stories became more child friendly with illustrations but they still had moments of  darkness and violence.

The original cover and book of Children's and Household Tales in German.

 
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A history that isn't really so grim. 

AND DID YOU KNOW...?

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THE GRIMM

FACTS

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                    wo brothers.
                            Two artists.
                                           
                                      Two different art forms.
         
                                                 One younger, one older. 
 
Although Larry and Colin,  the modern Grimm Brothers, have pursued their individual artistic careers on separate paths, in a
joyous creative collaboration, they collide here at Grimmagination.
 
 
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           Larry Grimm: Teaching and Acting

As a former highschool English and Drama teacher and a teaching artist working in dozens of schools in New York and Chicago for over 25 years, Larry has always been devoted to the growth and imagination of young people.  An award winning actor and founding ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre, Larry has appeared on stage, television and film and believes that "the role of the actor is to bring forth the humanity in all stories with a compassionate point of view that creates access for all."
           Everyone who has a life
    well lived is filled with stories.
- Colin "Probcause" Grimm
               Colin Grimm: Music and Art

A graduate of  the Art Institute of Chicago, Colin's ambitious artistic platform has always balanced music and art. As Probcause, his musical accomplishments are vast including extensive and frequent  national tours and collaborations with Griz, the Palmer Squares, and Chance the Rapper, to name a few.  As an artist, he creates in multiple mediums including visual art, animation and clothing design.  In all those realms stories are essential ingredients from Grimm's point of view, "Everyone who has a life well lived is filled with stories. Sometimes I feel like the purpose of life is to accumulate stories that can be learned from and passed down. Stories provided meaning, perspectives and inspiration for me and sometimes in the most unexpected ways."
                           Grimm Brothers:  Reimagining Classic Stories for the Cool Kids

         The art of storytelling is one based in change and adaptation.  In fact,  the Grimm's Fairy Tales themselves were never  truly "original" as we might think of it,  but rather passed on from teller to listener to teller again and shared amongst many cultures of the oral tradition. Even when Jacob and Wilhelm chose to write down their version with eighty-six stories in their first edition, they kept tweaking and adapting their collective work until they concluded with a seventh edition that featured two hundred stories!

      With our modern rendering of these stories,  we seek to broaden perspectives around gender and culture with a welcoming gesture to the universal and timeless nature of these tales as meaningful for all humans. Without dumping the tales' often irreverent and darker qualities, we hope to reimagine each of these classic stories for the cool kids (that would be you!).

 

GRIMM Now: Colin and Larry