In 2022, the StarNews is bringing together voices in the community for a series of live storytelling nights that feature true, personal stories told by people who live and work here.
The evenings will blend the authenticity and discipline of first-person stories with the community-building of great journalism.
Local editors and reporters will curate the shows as part of the USA TODAY Network Storytellers Project, coaching people from our community to share stories that reflect on the themes of growing up, neighbors, food and family, and holidays.
"Wilmington and communities along the coast are so rich with people who have compelling stories to tell," said Pam Sander, StarNews executive editor and Southeast regional editor for the USA TODAY Network. "These events are a great way to engage with each other and share the power of local voices."
Since its launch in 2011 at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, the Storytellers Project has helped more than 6,000 people tell brief, personal stories on stages in front of more than 60,000 people. During the pandemic, the shows were aired online, reaching millions since March 2020. In 2022, the StarNews will be part of 17 USA TODAY Network newsrooms in the project.
“We are so excited to pass the mic in communities across America, inviting everyday people to tell their own stories in front of their neighbors,” said Megan Finnerty, founder and director of the Storytellers Project, part of the USA TODAY Network.
“When people feel empowered to tell their stories and others feel excited about listening, a community changes,” she said. “People feel closer to each other. They feel more accepting of those unlike themselves. They feel more connected to their city and the people in it.”
Tickets, which are $8 and $12, may be purchased at https://www.storytellersproject.com/all-events/ and storyteller hopefuls can apply to tell a story on stage at https://www.storytellersproject.com/tell/.
June 7: Neighbors — You’ll feel heartened, uplifted, and more connected to the world and people around you as we share stories from the neighborhood.
Sept. 13: Food and Family — You’ll feel full of warmth, hopeful, and a wee bit sentimental as we share stories about food and our family traditions.
Become a Storyteller
We are looking for storytellers from all backgrounds who are willing to share their hearts, and jokes, with their neighbors. Tellers work with storytelling coaches to shape their true, first-person story around the theme of the night. Each story is 7-10 minutes and tellers receive between three and five hours of training to develop their stories.
Tellers begin working with the project coaches about two months before the event, but you can apply now as tellers will be selected in the coming weeks.
Tickets for Wilmington Storytellers
Tickets are now on sale for all 2022 shows. Purchase season tickets or individual shows. Seats typically sell out quickly and far in advance. To reserve yours today, visit https://www.storytellersproject.com/all-events/.
Dan Spears is the sports editor for the Wilmington StarNews, and Southeast Regional sports editor for the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at Dan.Spears@StarNewsOnline.com or on Twitter @DanSpears.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Wilmington hosting USA TODAY Network Storytellers events in 2022