Past Fellowship events

Interactive Performances with 2017-18 Fellows

Read the press release for the 2017-18 Fellowship. 

“Race and Place: Community Dialogue & Storytelling”

Thursday, January 25, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, Workshop Architects

Attendees discussed Milwaukee’s history of housing & segregation and their role in creating a more equitable community! Program included true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows followed by listening circles facilitated by the Zeidler Center.

“Interrogating Whiteness: Community Dialogue & Storytelling”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion

What does it mean to be white? How can we “interrogate” whiteness? The evening began with an introduction by Martha Barry, an instructor for the YWCA’s “Unlearning Racism” course. Then, stories and dialogue.

Fellows & Facilitators: Talk to children about race

Tuesday, April 3, 2018, 5pm (check in/registration), 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Christ Church, Whitefish Bay

Community members came together to learn practical tools to speak to children about race, racism and segregation. The evening included dinner, true personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows and small group listening circles directed by Zeidler facilitators. Childcare was also provided.

Housing as a Public Health Issue

Thursday, April 12, 2018, 5pm (check in/registration), 5:30pm – 7:30pm, UW-Milwaukee Zilber School of Public Health, 1240 North 10th Street

As Milwaukee commemorates the 50th anniversary of Open Housing Marches, Ex Fabula and the UWM Zilber School of Public Health presented a special On Public Health presentation. It featured stories about housing and public health; attendees then shared their experiences and ideas for action in small group conversations.

Fellows Event:  Embracing Cultural Diversity

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 11a – 1pm, Waukesha County Technical College (Richard T. Anderson Center), 800 Main Street Pewaukee, WI

Stories from the Fellows cohort on embracing cultural diversity plus conversation circles.

“Tell your Race and Equity Stories” Workshop with Fellows

Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, fellows-and-facilitators-logoPearls for Teen Girls, 1805 N Doctor M.L.K. Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Attendees listened to stories from our Fellows cohort and then went through small group exercises to find and develop their own stories.

Fellows & Facilitators: Welcoming Community – Continuing to create a Thriving Tosa for allfellows-and-facilitators-logo

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 6pm (check in/registration), 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Wauwatosa Civic Center, 7725 West North Avenue Wauwatosa WI

Included true personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows and small group listening circles directed by Zeidler Center facilitators.

Building Bridges in our Divided Community

Sunday, May 6, 2018, 1:00pm – 2:30pm at All Saints Catholic Church, 4051 N 25th St, Milwaukee, WI 53209

Milwaukee’s history of racial justice and segregation impacts all of our institutions.  How can each of us address inequity and heal our city? This program explored those questions via personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows followed by a chance for attendees to reflect and share their own experiences.

Fellows & Facilitators: Media and Representation

Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 6pm – 8:30pm, fellows-and-facilitators-logo88NINE Radio MKE, 220 E Pittsburgh Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Stories and dialogue circles on media and representation, with Ex Fabula and the Zeidler Center.

Fellows & Facilitators: MKE Monumental

Thursday, May 31, 2018, 6pm – 8pm, Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 West Center Street, Milwaukee, WI 53206fellows-and-facilitators-logo

Stories and dialogue circles on how we interact with our own history, with Ex Fabula and the Zeidler Center.

Fellows: Nonprofits – Race & Inclusion

Friday, June 1, 2018, 3:30pm – 5:30pm at Bradley Tech High School, 700 South 4th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204

Ex Fabula and Public Allies explored how race and representation are at play in nonprofit sector. Attendees heard personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows, shared their own experiences in groups, and identified action steps.

2017-18 Fellowship

The 2017-2018 Fellowship was supported in part by a $25,000 grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation‘s Douglas L.P. Hamilton Fund and Harold Grosskopf Fund; and grants from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; the Wisconsin Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin*; and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Northwestern Mutual; Wisconsin Humanities Council; and Wisconsin Arts Board Logos

*Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

Zeidler Center Logo

Thanks as well to the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion, our partner for 6 of the interactive outreach performances. For those events, attendees split into small groups, each with a Zeidler Center facilitator, and participated in Reflective Structured Dialogue.


Interactive Performances with 2016-17 Fellows

No More Preaching to the Choir:  Storytelling, Dialogue, and other Transformative Practices for Community Engagement

presented as part of Imagining Americafellows-and-facilitators-logo

Friday October 7, 2016, 11:30 am-2:30 pm, Zeidler Center for Public Discussion

EMLK Day flierx Fabula Fellows @ MLK Day

Monday, January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Library, 310 W. Locust St.

Free activities and performances from 9 am to 5 pm – some for youth, some for adults, some for all ages; Fellows shared stories about “Speaking up” at 2 pm. Full schedule here. 

 “White Fragility”

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 9:30 to noon, Zeidler Center for Public Discussion

The event began with stories told by Ex Fabula Fellows, continued with facilitated listening circles, and ended with a mini-workshop from SURJ about practical skills to address white fragility.

 Embracing Cultural Diversity: A Community Discussion

Tosa's All-City Read logo, which shows a cartoon book wearing glasses and reading a smaller book, with a city in the backgroundWednesday, February 15, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, First Congregational Church, 1511 Church Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Tosa’s All-City Read intends to bring neighbors together, and this event did so by exploring some of the themes of the book “A Man Called Ove.”  The evening began with true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows. Then, attendees shared their own observations in small group listening circles directed by fellows-and-facilitators-logoprofessional facilitators from the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.

Whiteness and Privilege

fellows-and-facilitators-logoTuesday, March 7, 2017, 6pm to 8pm, Workshop Architects, 201 E Pittsburgh Ave

​The evening began with true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows. Then, attendees shared their own observations in small group listening circles directed by professional facilitators from the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion.

Breaking Boxes: An Identity Summit

fellows-and-facilitators-logoSunday, March 12, 2017, 2pm to 5 pm, Zeidler Center at 19th/Wisconsin

How do our various identities (race, gender, sexuality, class, age, etc.) shape who we are? What kinds of boxes do we find ourselves in? How do we break those boxes? This 3 part event included stories, facilitated dialogue and an interactive workshop about our identities.

Racial Justice: The Courage to Act with Chris Crass

Saturday April 1, 2017, 8:30 am – 4 pmFlyer, see for text, Alverno College’s Bucyrus Conference Center

As part of this day long conference featuring UU social justice activist and write Chris Crass, the Fellows presented an afternoon workshop about an important action that we can all take: share our stories about our personal social justice journeys – as a way to engage others and further our own learning.

Fair Schools: a Community Conversation

fellows-and-facilitators-logoThursday April 27, 2017, 6pm to 8pm, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay

​A community conversation about equity, diversity and educational achievement. The event included a brief keynote from Reggie Jackson, stories from Ex Fabula Fellows, and small group dialogues facilitated by the Zeidler Center. Sponsors included: Parents Advocating for Educational Excellence (PACE), From the Same Dust Baha’i, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay.

Talking to Kids about Race

Talking to Kids About Race headerSaturday May 13, 9:30am – 11:30 am program, Plymouth Church

At this highly interactive event, attendees heard 3 true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows and then reflected on those stories and shared their own experiences in small group conversations. Then, Dr. Erin Winkler spoke about how young children start to notice race and how we can talk to them age-appropriate ways. After a Q&A with Dr. Winkler, the group envisioned next steps to empower our children and ourselves to be anti-racists. The event ended with socializing and opportunities to connect with local anti-racist groups. This event even had childcare available at no cost!

Creating a Welcoming Community in Bay View

Wednesday May 31, 6:30 – 8 pm program
Sugar Maple, 441 E Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee WI 53207

Presented in partnership with the Bay View Neighborhood Association. Bay View is currently experiencing a lot of growth and change, making it the perfect time to reflect on our past, present and future. Event attendees heard 3 true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows. Then, attendees reflected on those stories and shared their own experiences in small group conversations facilitated by the event emcee. Finally, we regrouped to share ideas for next steps – and then adjourn for socializing.

2016-17 Fellowship funders

The 2016-2017 Fellowship was supported in part by a grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; a $20,000 grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation‘s Douglas L.P. Hamilton Fund, George and Evelyn Gay Family Fun, and Jerry L. Tollefsen and Jessica J. Suhr Memorial Kacynski Family Fund; and a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Northwestern Mutual logoGreater Milwaukee Foundation logoWisconsin Arts Board logoNEA_logo

Interactive Performances with 2015-16 Fellows

A White woman speaks with a microphone          22 people, both men and women of multiple ethnicities gathered to smile for a group photo.          A Chinese man gesturing with open hands

In Fall 2015, Ex Fabula kicked off the first Fellowship, which brought together a diverse cohort of community members who worked with Ex Fabula Storytelling Coaches to identify, craft and share stories about privilege and oppression. The Fellows then shared the stories at the following interactive outreach performances that allowed Milwaukeeans to listen to and reflect upon the stories.

Community Conversation Series: “Whiteness and Privilege”

November 24, 2015 at Workshop Architects
Ex Fabula Fellows shared true, personal stories; then attendees shared their own experiences as part of a small group dialogue with Zeidler Center facilitators. The topic: dismantling racism by exploring and interrogating the ideas of whiteness and privilege. Event photos.

Whiteness and Privilege -- Zeidler Community Conversation

December Spectacular: “Never Again”

Thursday December 17, 2015 at Turner Hall Ballroom.This non-competitive program of true, personal stories featured 3 Ex Fabula Fellows as well as 4 other storytellers selected by a jury of Ex Fabula volunteers. Audience members also participated in 2 brief dialogues. Event blog Event photos

Ex Fabula December Spectacular

Community Conversation Series: “The Welcoming Church: Race in our Faith Communities”

Tuesday January 26, 2016 at the Zeidler Center
This facilitated listening session for individuals from all faiths explored welcoming in our faith communities, specifically across racial lines. The event included true, personal stories followed by facilitated, small group dialogue.

The Welcoming Church -- Zeidler Community Conversation

Welcome to Whitefish Bay: A Listening Session on Race and Community

Tuesday February 23 at Bayshore Lutheran Church
This event included a community meal, stories from Fellows, and facilitated dialogue about perceptions, experiences, and how to make the Whitefish Bay community more welcoming.

Whitefish Bay Flyer SMALL

Community Conversation Series: “Interrupting Racism”

Tuesday March 8 at the Zeidler Center
Fellows shared personal stories that explored ways to “interrupt” racism, and then attendees split off into small groups for small group dialogue with Zeidler facilitators.

Interrupting Image

Ex Fabula Fellows @ Plymouth Church: “What role does race play in our lives and what can we do about it?”

Sunday March 13 at Plymouth Church
The service included a dramatic presentation of the passion story, a performance of the song “Strange Fruit” (made famous by Billie Holiday), and a spoken word piece about violence in our society. Attendees then participated a Coffee Hour that explored the role that race plays in our lives. Ex Fabula Fellows shared personal stories, and then attendees broke into small groups to reflect and share their own experiences in small groups.


Translator Lab: “Race in the Workplace”

Thursday, March 24 at Translator
This Lab explored the difficult and multifaceted topic of Race in the Workplace through true, personal stories from Ex Fabula Fellows, small groups reflection, and a Q&A with UWM professor Dr. Belle Rose Ragins that focused on actions that we can take to make our workplaces more inclusive and to leverage the talents of all Milwaukeeans.

Race in Workplace copy

Designing Change: Maurice Woods and Ex Fabula

Wednesday, April 6 at 88NINE
The Greater Together Spectrum Lecture Series is a collection of speaking engagments featuring national designers of color exploring the world of design, business and social innovation. This event featured 2 stories from Ex Fabula Fellows as well as a talk by Maurice Woods, Yahoo’s nationally acclaimed Creative Director, who shared his story about using design to change people’s lives.

Designing Change

Kervin W. Brisseaux: Futurist with Special Guests Ex Fabula Fellows

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 88NINE
This Greater Together Spectrum Lecture Series event started out with 2 stories from Ex Fabula Fellows. Then, Kervin W. Brisseaux spoke about design, dedication and culture.


Stories of Inclusion: a Cultural Commons event

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 88NINE
Ex Fabula Fellows shared stories and then attendees participated in small group dialogue.
Read the 88NINE blog post or listen to a clip from an audio story.


2015-16 Fellowship funders

Wisconsin Humanities Council logo    Wisconsin Arts Board logo