Weaving From the Fringes Winter Storytelling Series | WisCommunity

a live-online, three event storytelling series featuring 13 tellers exploring the transformative powers of storytelling.

All concerts start at 7pm CST.
January 23rd - Shine - with Laura Berlage, Michael Williams, Laura Simms, Howard Lieberman and Tracy Chipman
Next concerts; February 27th - Flow and March 27th - Grow

This winter's live-online storytelling series will explore stories as tools for transformation, change and regeneration.

Our first storytelling evening on January 23 at 7pm CST features tellers around the energy of "SHINE".

Laura is a contemporary Renaissance woman living and working on her family’s century-old homestead farm outside Hayward, WI. From fiber arts to creative writing, music to storytelling, she never tires of the magic of transforming idea into form and overlapping narrative and visual. Laura’s spirit is called by medieval and ancient stories and experiences, weaving their understanding and teachings into the current existential experience. Completing her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College in 2011, Laura continues her lifelong passion for learning and creativity with performances and teaching in a plethora of mediums.

Michael Williams left his hometown of Hamilton, Canada as a teenager to work underground in the mines of Northern Ontario. It was there that an old-timer urged him to return to the surface and pursue his dream of becoming a writer of stories. That turned out to be a long, circuitous journey across North America, Europe, and through a variety of occupations before getting married and starting a family.
In the late 80s, Michael moved his family to Scotland where he studied for a Ph.D. in English Literature. A teaching career followed and it was during this period that he discovered the art of oral storytelling. In 2005, Michael left full-time teaching to become a therapeutic storyteller, supporting the health and wellbeing of young people and adults as well as corporate and community organizations. In 2017, Michael returned to Canada where he continues to serve his passion for storytelling. He is currently writing short stories and working on a memoir.

Laura is an award winning performer, writer, and educator advocating storytelling as compassionate action for personal and community transformation. She performs worldwide combining ancient myth and true life story for adult and family audiences.  She is the Artistic Director of the Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center in NY and the founder of The Center for Engaged Storytelling (new).   She has been  a Senior Research Fellow for the International Peace institute at Rutgers University Newark under the auspices of UNESCO.  As a spokesperson for storytelling she presents keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events. She is a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan, and a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation.  Laura received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, CHOICE award for best story collection and Sesame Street’s SUNNY DAYS award for work with children worldwide. In 2011 she recieved a Life Time Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Netwrok.  She is co-faculty with Terry Tempest Williams’ at University of Utah, consults with ETSU’s CANCER STORIES project, and is spoken word consultant for Foundations, NGOS working in post disaster and conflicts. She recently appeared at the Newark Peace Summit and the Conference on World Peace and Values in Monterrey, Mexico. Her Most recent book is OUR SECRET TERRITORY: The Essence of Storytelling (Sentient Publications, June 2011).  She is completing a new work:  THE SANCTUARY OF A STORY (TBA).  Laura is the mother of best selling author Ishmael Beah.

Grew up on the North Side of Chicago with a professional tap dancer for a father and a math teacher for a mother, which may explain his wild mood swings. In 1971 Howard left the Midwest to find fame and fortune as a corporate attorney in New York City; happily, he found neither. 20 years and one child later, Howard moved to staunchly Republican Stillwater, MN. Although he makes his living as a headhunter for attorneys, Howard’s unique blend of performance art and personal narrative storytelling has made him a fixture in the global (thank you Zoom) performance world. Before the pandemic Howard could be found most weekend mornings at the Daily Grind Coffee Shop where he offered his opinions on everything while doing New York Times crossword puzzles with his posse of aging white men. Now he talks politics with himself and anyone else in earshot.

Is a Wisconsin native who has roamed and roved far and wide and now resides here, once again in the land of red granite, dark wild woods and clear lakes. She stepped onto the path of storyteller 25 years under an Oregon hazelnut tree and has never looked back. Deep listening, wild imagining and getting out of the way for the story to tell itself are the tools of her trade.

Storytelling & stories are set deep in our human bones. More than ever we need people mythically awake. We need to listen deeper, to imagine well beyond the coding of colonization and we need to find our way back to awe!

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Jan 23 2021 - 7:00pm