The Nehemiah Foundation

Share Your Story {Heirlooms: An Evening of Spoken Word, Story, and Legacy}

Help us find, curate, and coach five of the best stories about Heirlooms & Legacy in our county.

As we come into proximity with others, as we consider the power of storytelling, and as we tell people “your story matters,” we are creating a platform, curating beauty, and celebrating the power of story at our event, Heirlooms: An Evening of Spoken Word, Story, and Legacy at the John Legend Theater.

Here are the details to get you started on your gold-mining and story-finding quest!

Nehemiah Foundation Presents…
Winter Spotlight: “Heirlooms: An Evening of Spoken Word, Story, and Legacy”
7:00 PM – Tuesday, March 5 @ the John Legend Theater
Doors open at 6:00 PM

The Most Powerful and “Winning” Stories Are:

  • Told without notes (though we will not be using the word “memorized!” This implies that it must be told the same way every single time, which makes people anxious AND keeps them from “running it, running it, running it” and getting comfortable with small changes each time! There is an entire art to storytelling, and we want to cultivate that in our community!
  • Told in the “First Person” (from the storyteller’s point of view)
  • Told in five minutes or less (we insist!)
  • Told without racism, sexism, stereo-types, “fake” accents, etc.
  • Told as true stories – not “sermonettes,” motivational speeches, or any attempts at philosophizing or interpreting for others. The five-minute story, told well, is a little piece of art, and it WILL speak for itself. We do not have to explain or unpack or tell people what we want them to think or “take away.”
  • Told as “Heirlooms” we pass down – stories should be about our event theme – “Heirlooms.” Storytellers should find a way to tie the theme into their story. Our mission for the evening is to help our community members realize that every story matters, that THEIR story matters, and that their very life is a story that can be read by others to impact the next generation for good! Special NOTE: These “heirloom” stories can celebrate the non-biological ways of passing down an amazing legacy and investing in the next generation – highlighting the beauty of foster care, adoption, mentoring, social services, education, etc.
  • Told in creative and paradoxical ways! Stories can be true and still be symbolic and innovatively told! Stories can be inspirational without being inauthentic. Stories can provoke deep thought and still be funny! Stories can lead to challenging critique balanced with energizing hope!
  • Told in visually stunning ways – storytellers can utilize props, costumes, simple and portable backdrops, etc.
  • Told by more than one person – Stories can be told by a multi-generational troupe, for example, a grandparent, parent, and grandchild. As long as the story flows and stays under the five minute time limit and follows the other guidelines, we will allow the story to be told by 2-3 people for special “legacy” or dramatic impact.
  • Told in ethical ways – Stories should be told following wonderful ethical guidelines. Though we love the element of “surprise!” and we love to honor people in the audience or may not even know that they will be featured in a story, we will expect all storytellers to follow foundational ethical guidelines. For example, there may be a profound and touching story that involves someone who is a client, student, beneficiary of some type of social service provider, etc. In that case, someone from the organization should find a way to tell the story from their point of view and keep any confidential information intact. If you think you have the perfect story, and you’re not sure how best to “tell it,” let me know, and we can talk through it!

Please contact Amy Willmann ([email protected]) if you would like to “pitch” your “heirlooms” story to be featured at this event at the John Legend Theater on March 5