"Stories are my passion, and I hold the firm belief that everyone has a story that deserves to be told. Through the sharing of diverse voices and perspectives, we are able to create a true sense of community and belonging."
Storytelling is not only one of the oldest communal art forms but also the means by which we are able to connect through the sharing of experiences. When everyone's story is given equal space at the table, we are able to better understand not only each other and the world around us but ourselves and how we fit into a bigger picture.
My passion for stories and storytelling developed at a young age, but it wasn't until many years later that I began working alongside social justice organizations and had the opportunity to begin speaking and telling my own personal stories that I realized the profound impact that this kind of sharing, listening, and learning could have.
The first time I told a personal story live, it was for an event appropriately themed "Origins." It was personal, vibrant, and there was a charged energy that had me hooked. I continued to tell stories and soon after began to host a recurring open-mic style story event for the nonprofit Super Heroines, Etc., which has now been running for over two years.
Hosting storytelling events with as well as continuing to speak on panels nationally, both on topics such as mental health diversity and the importance of diverse representation in media, allowed me to realize just how vital holding space for these conversations are. People desperately want connect over these issues, share their experiences, and know their experiences are shared. Time and time again, however, when I would ask a friend or colleague to speak at one of our storytelling events I would hear how they didn't think they were a good storyteller or that they didn't have a story to tell.
Now if you've spent any time looking around the site you'll have had plenty of chances to see me say that I believe - and I do - that everyone has a story that deserves to be told. I also believe that no lack of learnable skill or opportunities should keep stories from being shared, especially when many who may feel the lack of representation and opportunity tend to be those from historically marginalized communities.
My wheels began to turn, but I had my first opportunity to develop and create a storytelling workshop when I won an artist grant from The Gateway Burners in mid 2018.
From there, I've continued to explore how storytelling methodology can be used in different ways to teach communication skills, community building, diversity and inclusion practice, self-discovery and empowerment, and beyond. It was from here that The Story Bee was ultimately born.
The Story Bee is a storytelling incubator in which participants are trained in a variety of focused workshops that include: walking individuals through the guided process of picking a topic, writing a story, and learning to tell that story live; storytelling as a way to bridge small group dynamics in organizations and the workplace; methods of self empowerment and acceptance through the practice of engaging with one's own story.