After all the rain that we have had, the Story Garden neighbors were thrilled to have a perfectly cool evening in September to host the Spoken Word event. About 25 community members showed up for healthy snacks and a bonfire, and enjoyed four local artists who brought their passion, power and honesty in their work. Joe Davis, S’sence, AC and Seth Bielefeld created a space that gave permission for folks to think and feel hard things. They called attention to their own personal pain, struggle, injustice and healing.
When the performances were over, Davis led the group in a collective creative writing session where each participant received a free journal and pencil. This was an important piece of the evening in the effort to reaffirm that each individual have a voice; that they have a story worth telling. When audience members feel connected to an experience, it is critical to help guide them in honoring the moment by having a space to process it; to reflect on our own feelings towards our own story, our own pain, our own healing.
Writing can be a powerful tool towards empowering youth to free their voice and see their truth. The Story Garden feels strongly in aiding all people in the pursuit of their story and sharing it with others. The Spoken Word event will be the first of many, as we also look at other ways we can create storytelling and sharing culture that fosters a stronger neighborhood, empathy, understanding and empowerment. Learn more at facebook – story garden, or contact Dani at email@example.com.
On August 27 the Story Garden also hosted the Garden Follies. There was a dunk tank –featuring councilmember Blong Yang and neighborhood kids—that was never left empty. There were pony rides, massages and meditation classes in the garden, bounce houses, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, henna tattoos, extreme balloon animals, and arts and crafts. The Boys to Men Club built an old fashion lemonade stand for the garden and raised money for the Folwell 10U Football team! We had four hours of live music and spoken word and drumming and dancing.
The Story Garden is located at 35th and Humboldt Ave. N. You can follow the garden events and happenings on Facebook and Ourstorygarden.com. Want to participate? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.