Deaf Storytelling Project

For this project, Ex Fabula trains Deaf community members to serve as storytelling coaches. Those coaches then lead storytelling workshops for Deaf community members. Workshop participants are then invited to share their stories onstage at a StorySlam. The StorySlam is conducted fully in ASL, with interpretation into spoken English.

This project is possible thanks to: Bader Philanthropies, Inc., Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, Ex Fabula members, Ex Fabula’s Deaf storytelling coaches

History of the Project

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.

2020: The project shifted online due to COVID-19. 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 third annual Deaf StorySlam was an in-person event, but with many, many masks.

2022: The fourth annual Deaf StorySlam will be in November 2022 – details coming soon!

José in front of Gathering Art Stories and Place banner

Media Coverage

LISC Milwaukee

Read feature here: LISC MANDI AWARD

By Emma Brauer

PBS Arts Page

88.9 Radio Milwaukee