Help Support Live Storytelling
“Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of life & human connection. Tell Us Something provides a space to share.”
-- Tell Us Something listener & attendee
Tell Us Something has been awakening imagination, empowering storytellers & connecting the Missoula community through the transformative power of personal storytelling for over 5 years now.
Since launching the event to a crowd of around 100 people at The Missoula Art Museum in December of 2011, Tell Us Something regularly packed the Top Hat with crowds of 250 people. In December of 2015, we graduated to The Wilma, selling it out to a crowd of 620 people. In March of 2016, we restructured the seating arrangement to accommodate more people, and 710 listeners gathered to listen to stories.
The stories are compelling & authentic & encourage, as storyteller & board member Susan Maruca said, “deep listening” on the part of the audience.
I don’t want to grow the audience at live events much bigger. I want to keep the intimacy there. Storytellers & audience members have a real sharing experience. Anything bigger will jeopardize that experience.
Storytellers’ stories are recorded and produced into a free weekly podcast. We’ve also got 5 years worth of stories on video that we are gearing up to release on YouTube. Every story is released. Every story matters. Every story is valuable.
We are effectively building an oral history of Missoula, Montana with the stories are being told & recorded.
As storyteller Jaime Stathis puts it:
“Tell Us Something sends a clear message that our stories are important. Storytelling is an effective vehicle to bridge the gap between past & present, present & future. For many decades we were so focused on new technology, but it’s become apparent that a return to our American storytelling roots is exactly the direction we need to be going in, & the message is clear: sometimes returning back is a deliberate move forward.
...Tell Us Something & other live storytelling events are precisely what the world craves & what I hope it receives through generous contribution & participation.”
Last year, I sat in a cubicle in a basement answering phones in a call center for my day job. The entire time I was there, I was thinking of the power of stories, thinking of how to make Tell Us Something better.
For the first 4 years, Tell Us Something events were free. I reluctantly began charging the modest price of $5 at the door in 2015. I say reluctantly because I want Tell Us Something to be affordable & accessible to everyone. Between ticket sales & sponsorship from The Bookstore at the University of Montana, Tell Us Something has grown & thrived, and it is still not sustainable.
I am a full-time volunteer. Tell Us Something cannot continue as it is without your support. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to Tell Us Something May 3rd during the online giving event Give Local Missoula County. You don’t have to live in Missoula to donate. Every dollar helps.
To donate, you can go here:
“Live storytelling is hard wired into our psyches as the primary form of learning.” -- Tell Us Something listener & attendee