THE MOTH BLOG

MothSHOP & Participant Media Bring Storytelling Workshops to High Schools

September 16, 2011
by Larry Rosen, MothSHOP Coordinator

This summer, the MothSHOP Community Education Program teamed up with Participant Media, an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing, music, and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives, to bring storytelling workshops to selected high school students in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Inspired by Participant’s release of the movie The Help – based on Kathryn Stockett’s novel about African American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi during the early 1960s who dare to tell their stories – The Moth/Participant Media Summer Storytelling Series focused on the theme of Standing Up.  Through the workshops students shared stories of standing up to peers, parents, teachers – and even to themselves and their circumstances during periods of difficulty or adversity.

Each 4-day workshop concluded with a public showcase featuring stories developed during the workshop.  Reporter James Rainey, who attended the Los Angeles showcase held at The Colburn School on Bunker Hill, wrote in the L.A. Times that “the Colburn crowd cheered with abandon, some rising out of their seats.”

Here is one of the workshop participants, Victoria Tsou, telling her story live in Los Angeles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90iGpnHTxFA&feature=youtu.be

The MothSHOP Community Education Program services high school students and marginalized adults in underserved neighborhoods throughout New York City.  Participation in the program’s workshops leads to enhanced social, analytical, and literacy skills that translate into improved academic performance, greater self-esteem, and a wealth of new possibilities.

Darnitrea Hunter Hood, from Chicago, tells about her experience regaining self-esteem after a bully threatens to take it away from her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlswmuvnHw8&feature=youtu.be

Abel Torres, also from Los Angeles, details his first time at “Saturday School”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yUOhvsc5Gk&feature=youtu.be

We would like to thank Participant Media for being an incredible partner on this journey, our volunteers who helped make it possible and especially the young adults who shared their lives and talents with us. Learn how you can support the MothSHOP Community Education Program.