2018: Ex Fabula, Milwaukee Public Library and Deaf community members began the planning as part of the Gathering Art, Stories and Place project.
2019: The first Deaf StorySlam, which took place at Mitchell Street Library and included both English and Spanish interpretation, went on to win the Associated Bank Trailblazer MANDI Award in 2020. The coaching team included Mayra Castrejón-Hernandez and Jose Barraza.
2020: The project shifted online due to COVID-19. The coaching team included Mayra, Jose, and Jonathan Petermon. Deaf graphic artist Lucas Freimuth created the “attention” image for the Slam. The virtual Slam attracted audience members from around the United States and Canada; videos of some of the stories shared are available on YouTube.
2021: The Deaf coaching team included Jonathan Petermon and Alyson Urdahl. The third annual Deaf StorySlam was an in-person event, but with many, many masks – and a theme that explored COVID-related challenges, “Funny Zero Mask”.
2022: The Deaf coaching team included Alyson Urdahl and Brian Peters. The fourth annual Deaf StorySlam was held in-person in November. The theme was “Explosive Encounters”, and this year Lucas Freimuth designed a new DSP logo as well as a show image.
2023: Ex Fabula incorporated ASL interpretation into multiple ‘regular season’ Slams in spring 2023. Based on recommendations from the planning committee, we plan to offer ASL workshops in fall 2023 and the fifth annual Deaf StorySlam in spring 2024.