Secret’s Out: New Year Spectacular Recap

Whether or not if it’s a secret between friends, spouses or one we keep to ourselves, the secrets we keep and share can ultimately reveal something about us and our humanity. Nearly 200 guests found out how little secrets can have a big impact in our lives at Alverno’s Pitman Theater for our New Year Spectacular with the theme “Our Little Secret.” This special, curated event featured various storytelling formats, and each teller had 10-minutes to share.

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Fellowship Provides Unique Opportunity to Listen

The Ex Fabula Fellows are a unique group, coming from various demographic backgrounds and career fields throughout the Milwaukee area. After going through 6 weeks of storytelling workshops together this fall, the Fellows are now hosting interactive conversations around the city.  Scientific research shows that storytelling has the unique ability to meaningfully connect people and create conditions for empathy, and the Fellows are leveraging the power of story to address some of the most pressing issues in the Greater Milwaukee area – segregation, economic, and racial inequality.

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Lee Ann and husband Bill Kingston laughing

Meet Lee Ann

With a new season well underway, it’s a great time to become an Ex Fabula member.  I recently talked with member Lee Ann Kingston to learn more about her and her Ex Fabula experiences. She’s a retired public school teacher, a mother of three, and a grandmother to five grandsons and a granddaughter.Continue reading “Meet Lee Ann”

Risking It Recap

What comes along with end-of-summer barbecues and the back to school season? Well, the Ex Fabula season, of course! Our Season 8 opener, ‘Risking It’, took place Thursday evening in Bronzeville.  Stories have a way of coming full circle, and so do season openers; we opened our Season 7 StorySlam at Garfield’s 502, too.

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Submit a story for a special “Doors Open” StorySlam!

Do you know someone who always has great stories about Milwaukee neighborhoods? Or do you have stories about Milwaukee spaces? Ex Fabula and Historic Milwaukee are partnering to present a Milwaukee neighborhood inspired StorySlam on Saturday September 17 and we’re looking for a few storytellers!

This storytelling event, offered as part of Doors Open Milwaukee, will be noncompetitive and all storytellers will be confirmed in advance. We’re looking for stories that:

  • have strong connections to Milwaukee neighborhoods or places
  • are true (not fiction)
  • can be told in 5-8 minutes without props or notes
  • are personal (happened to the teller)

We’ll accept applications through July 31 and announce the lineup in mid August. No storytelling experience is needed, but storytellers should be willing to do some preparation on their own. Ex Fabula will provide free entry to a storytelling workshop, a free session with a storytelling coach, and some free tickets to the event.

Not sure what story to tell? Here are some stories to inspire you:

  • Ex Fabula Fellow Dianne Pratt’s tale of 2 houses (YouTube video)
  • John and Kate McLaughlin talk about deciding to open the Brass Rooster (streamable audio)
  • Tune into 89.7 WUWM on Saturday July 9 or Sunday July 10 to hear more stories during Lake Effect Weekend (airs at approximately 3:40 pm)

Storyteller Application

Sorry, the application process has concluded for this event!


More about the StorySlam

This event will take place at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum, which has a great story of its own. Started in 1987, it began on the premise that those who know their history will grow to love and appreciate themselves more. Located on 27th and Center Streets, the WBHSM works to bridge the gap between future and past and also serves as a resource center for those interested in learning more about Wisconsin’s rich African American heritage.

Tickets and more details will be available in August.