Telling a personal story to an audience can seem like a daunting and nerve-wracking experience. It also has the potential to be a cathartic, impactful way to educate an audience on complicated and systematic issues. Ex Fabula has partnered with Marquette University and Project Return to bring a night of storytelling on the topic of incarceration to the Marquette campus. Project Return is a Milwaukee non-profit that supports recently incarcerated individuals as they transition from prison institutions to their respective communities. This event is part of Marquette’s Mission Week which will center on the topics of race relations, institutional, personal, and cultural racism titled “Racial Justice: Black, White and the Call of the Church”.
Here it is, our last secret! (For now.) As many of you know, this Saturday, January 28th, Ex Fabula travels to Alverno’s Pitman Theatre for the New Year Spectacular with the theme “Our Little Secret.” Unlike our monthly Slams, this special event features 10-minute curated stories and is an afternoon (yep, a 3 pm show) not to be missed.
We’ve built the anticipation as high as possible, so let’s meet the last three Spectacular Storytellers!
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.
There’s something magical about the spirit of collaboration. It brings people from different organizations and backgrounds and unites them all around a common theme. That is the idea behind Secret Symphony, a unique Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra event that will take place this Thursday, January 12th at 6:30 PM at Milwaukee’s Central Library.
This interactive experience will feature the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Middle East. The central focus is the legend of Scheherazade – a storyteller who told her sister tales of Aladdin, Ali Baba and other historical figures. Attendees can sample Middle Eastern delicacies, watch the talents of the ladies from Tamarind Belly Dancing, and listen to the sounds of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
Of course, since Ex Fabula is involved, there must be storytelling, right? Create some magic of your own at Ex Fabula’s UltraShort booth, where attendees can share stories on the theme “family history”. After the orchestra plays, we’ll read some of the best UltraShorts submitted and hear Rochelle Fritsch’s tale about her own journey towards discovering her family’s history.
The end of the season…..already? Yes, its true. On Saturday, Ex Fabula concluded another spectacular season with the annual ALL STARS StorySlam. Locals filled the Pitman Theatre to hear fresh, ten-minute true, personal tales from this season’s Audience Favorites relating to the evening’s theme Game Changer. Continue reading “ALL STARS 2016: Game Changer Recap”
Fellowships, community dialogues & new neighborhoods. Community partnerships, new venues & a bilingual StorySlam. Season Seven has definitely been full of growth and in many ways a game changer for Ex Fabula. Continue reading “Season Seven ALL STARS: Game Changer”
Mother Nature, did you forget that it’s spring? While we continue to navigate the fluctuating weather patterns, locals packed into the Times Cinema on Tuesday evening for true, personal stories relating to the theme of Forgotten’.Continue reading “Forgotten:Recap”
Hola! ¿Te gustaría escuchar historias personales? On Thursday locals poured into Hot Water Wherehouse for a what was sure to be a very unique evening. Continue reading “American Dream/Sueño Americano”
Music and storytelling are two sides of the same coin. Each is rooted in a personal truth and carries its own distinct rhythm and universal language. With such a wide variety of melodies, manuscripts & oral recordings to choose from, one is bound to find something that resonates within. Music and storytelling continue to allow us to connect with unknown worlds and individuals; relive forgotten moments, work though our emotions. Some elements frighten us, while others grab on tight to our curiosities imploring us to go beyond our comfort zones.
Speaking of comfort & curiosity, who’s in the mood for an evening of fresh tunes and tales? Ex Fabula and Milwaukee band Panalure are delighted to team up once again to present Cabin Fever, Songs for a Cold Winter Night. Join us February 13th at Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., for a night of true, personal stories accompanied by original acoustic music from Panalure. This event was a HUGE success last year so be sure to get your tickets early! Grab your tickets today! Satisfy your curiosities about storytelling & StorySlams by clicking here.
Need more stories in your life? Join Ex Fabula February 16th at 3041 North for our next StorySlam. Come share, or simply listen to, real life narratives on the theme of Fatherhood. Tickets are available now! A big thanks to event partners SWC PENtastic Open Mic & Walnut Way Corporation, event sponsor United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and season sponsor Transfer Pizzeria Café. Lots more news to come! See you soon!
Ex Fabula believes that everyone has stories worth sharing, whether you speak inglés, español, or another language – so we’re very excited to kick off el Proyecto Puente, which will build bridges (puentes) between the English and Spanish speaking communities in Milwaukee.
Full project information is available in Spanish at www.exfabula.org/en-espanol, but for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, we thought it’d be fun to escribir a blog post in Spanglish. I’m (not so secretly) hoping that we hear some Spanglish at the Slam de Historias in March – ¡a ver si pasa!
Un poco de historia: We started bilingual programming back in 2011 when we were artists in residence at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan. Then last year, we included 2 historias en español con interpretación al inglés in our December Spectacular, after which several participants suggested that we do a StorySlam completamente bilingüe.
In order to hold a Bilingual Slam, we would need to train voluntarios, offer workshops en español, and do un montón de marketing in order to reach the Spanish speaking community. Fortunately, I have a handful of contactos en la comunidad hispana. It helps that I do yoga at CORE/El Centro (and actually interpret the yoga class into Spanish) and became friends with several native Spanish speakers when I studied at UWM. So, we started planning.
The result: Ex Fabula va a presentar 4 Spanish language Storytelling workshops, several sessiones orientativas for bilingual event volunteers, and por fin, a bilingual StorySlam on Thursday March 10. The theme will be “American Dream / Sueño Americano“, and stories can be told in English, Spanish or even Spanglish – como dije – and we’ll leverage interpretation so that everyone can enjoy las historias personales. Boletos are on sale now for only $8 – and workshop attendees will get descuentos especiales.
To the best of my knowledge, nuestro evento will be the first English <> Spanish bilingual StorySlam in the United States. Qué padre, ¿no? I hope you can join us for this very exciting event! And if you know Spanish speakers, please let them know about the workshops, which are either gratis or low cost ($3) thanks to the grants we’ve received. The workshops are listed on nuestra página de Facebook as well as on the website, para que sepan. We even have a special newsletter en español that you can sign up for!
There are muchísimas personas to thank for this project. Gracias a:
- Dr. Leah Leone, my former compañera de oficina at UWM, who is engaging the UWM community and assisting with planning
- Dr. Nelson López, who will teach workshops, stage manage the StorySlam, and hopefully fix all my errores de gramática in this blog post (I blame autocorrect which keeps trying to change all the Spanish words)
- Carolina Soza, who will also teach workshops. She is a gran artísta and I’m so honored to have her be part of this project.
- Todos los voluntarios who make Ex Fabula StorySlams happen – and the new volunteers who are training to help at the March Slam.
- Todas las organizaciones that will host workshops: Centro Hispano, UWM, Planned Parenthood’s group of Community Health Promoters, and CORE/El Centro.
- Groups that are assisting with promotion: the Roberto Hernández Center, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), and Journey House.
- Season 7 sponsor Transfer Pizzeria and Café
- Everyone who has financially supported this project, incluyendo Ex Fabula members and donors, the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board, and the UW-Milwaukee Cultures and Communities Program.
¡Mil gracias a cada uno de Ustedes!
Hopefully this has helped everyone to better understand the Puente Project. Feel free to write your commentarios y preguntas below – and perhaps I’ll even see you at one of the eventos.
Un abrazo fuerte,
PS: Want more? Check out this blog recap of our March 10, 2016 Bilingual StorySlam!