The Fairview Branch will be presenting their first ever ‘Your Story’ Project this week as part of a Moth inspired storytelling night.

The Moth is a national non-profit storytelling organization that launched in 1997. The organization has presented countless number of personal stories live and its content provides a template for organizations to use when creating their own live events.

“What really attracted me to pilot this program was the way The Moth can bring people together,” said Jennifer Boyce, a Youth Services Librarian in Santa Monica. “There is a certain kind of human interaction that happens in storytelling that often time leads to friendships.”

‘Your Story’, is modeled after The Moth, as they both honor and celebrate the ability to tell personal stories. The stories involve diversity, experiences, and most importantly human connection.

The Moth began in Georgia where poet, best selling novelist and founder, George Dawes Green would spend evenings swapping stories with friends. The program formalized in 1997 in New York City and since then it has presented more than 20,000 stories lives.

Boyce put together workshops for possible participants in advance of the show. The first workshop introduced The Moth storytelling concept, while the second workshop gave people a chance to practice telling their story and receive feedback.

“It was great to see an older gentleman receive such positive feedback from a young high school student,” said Boyce. “The program is intergenerational, so I am looking forward to hearing stories from various age groups.”

Just like The Moth, the event has a theme. ‘Your Story’ will present a five-minute story about identity, with every story relating to that specific theme.

Boyce believes identity is the perfect theme for the night, especially with it being the first event. She explains that identity can be interpreted in many different ways, either directly or abstract.

“The theme gives everyone the opportunity to take their story in many different directions,” said Boyce. “It can be about race, gender, or even where you come from. It can all be very interesting.”

With the program’s intergenerational appeal, the event is expecting students from Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and community members. Judges include an SMC Professor, Samohi Librarian, and Santa Monica Librarian. Stories will be judged each storyteller’s performance, presentation skills and more.

Storytellers will compete for prizes, along with bragging rights to be the winner of the first ever ‘Your Story’ Project.

“I believe the event of storytelling is a great opportunity to connect with people within the community,” said Boyce. “I am looking forward to hear the stories about identity from different generations.”

Seating is limited and free tickets will be available thirty minutes before performance. Event takes place on Mar. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Fairview Branch Library.


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