Upstream Arts was thrilled to once again collaborate with the acclaimed storytelling organization The Moth. Thanks in part to a generous grant from Headwaters Foundation, we were able to bring in a team of facilitators from The Moth to lead a storytelling workshop with our community.  

Over the course of a weekend, members of our community gathered together to learn and practice the craft of storytelling. The event culminated in a Story Share, where the workshop participants had the opportunity to share their true 5-minute stories in front of an invited audience on Sunday afternoon.

The result was a beautiful and powerful experience, at times joyful, intense, humorous, and moving.  

Upstream Arts continues to explore the many ways that we communicate, particularly what storytelling may look or sound like with our community members who don’t speak with words, or who communicate in non-traditional ways. 

During this workshop, we were excited to collaborate with visual artist Julie JAO, who worked with the storytellers to create a visual representation of each story. Julie painted these illustrations live while the storytellers spoke, and then revealed them to the audience after, as another way into the story.

The Moth considers the sharing of
our stories to be an act of bravery and generosity; listening to others is an act of empathy and kindness. We believe storytelling and listening to one another’s stories are also a way to break down barriers and undermine the stigma that continues to separate individuals with and without disabilities.


Huge thanks to everyone who made this incredible workshop happen: Headwaters Foundation, the storytelling facilitators of The Moth, Upstream Arts Teaching Artists and staff, support staff, family members, live illustrator, and of course, all of the participants who shared with vulnerability and heart.

About The Moth: The Moth is a nonprofit that works to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience. Through its ongoing programs, The Moth has presented over 23,000 stories to standing-room-only crowds worldwide and currently produces more than 500 live shows each year. The Moth podcast, which has featured stories developed during our last collaboration, is downloaded over 44 million times a year, and each week, the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour is heard on over 450 radio stations worldwide.

If you believe in the power of multi-modal storytelling, you can support continued collaborations like this. Ensure that every story can be shared and heard by investing in Upstream Arts today. 

Click here make a tax-deductible contribution to Upstream Arts’ community programming.