Into the Wild: True Tales from Environmental Activists in Austin

The Hearth Austin is hosting INTO THE WILD:TRUE TALES FROM ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS this Thursday, May 25th 7:30 to 9:30pm at The North Door. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli with music by bluegrass band Steel Betty and Justin Stewart. The event will present true stories by 6 local young adults involved in environmental activism in Austin. Tellers include Dave Cortez from Sierra Club, Amy Stansbury from EcoNetwork, Aly Tharp from The Festival Beach Food Forest, Josh Blaine from InGredients, Lukus Ebert from Texas Impact, and Kendra Bones from Austin Zero Waste Alliance. $5 suggested donation at the door goes to support The Festival Beach Food Forest. Hope all my Texas friends can make it out. Co-sponsored with The Front Porch.

Survival Stories to Support The Geos Institute Thursday Night!

Come out and practice community with us on April 20th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland. Together we will listen to six local folks share a true story of survival. Tellers include Ellie Holty, Helen Jucevic, Alan Journet, Chris Hardy, Molly McKissick, and Ginny Auer. Hosted by Cat Gould. Music by Duane Whitcomb, Carly Joss, Isaiah Brown, and Wendi Stanek. $5 suggested donation. All proceeds at the door will benefit The Geos Institute a local non-profit committed to climate change solutions.

Spring Hearth Presents “Survival Stories” April 20th

Our Spring Hearth will explore the theme “Survival” with proceeds benefiting The Geos Institute a local non-profit committed to climate change solutions. Come out and practice community with us on April 20th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland. Together we will listen to six local folks share a true story of survival (in ten minutes or less). Tellers include Ellie Holt, Helen Jucevic, Alan Journet, Chris Hardy, Molly McKissick, and Ginny Auer. Hosted by Cat Gould. Music by Duane Whitcomb, Wendi Stanek, and friends. $5 suggested donation. Friends we need volunteers to help set up chairs and run concessions. Please email mark@thehearthcommunity.com if you can help!

“Growing Up Girl” for December 8th Hearth Gathering!

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Our winter Hearth event will seek to counter some of the misogyny present within the rhetoric of the recent presidential campaign by focusing on the stories of women. Titled “Growing Up Girl,” six local women will share personal stories of growing up female. Proceeds from the event will benefit Stories Alive–an arts-integrated literacy instruction organization in Southern Oregon. Storytellers include Julie Gillis, Teresa Cisneros, Ana Byers, Nancy Linton, and Alicia Hwang. Our December 8th Hearth event will happen from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom(1800 E. Main St.) in Ashland, Oregon. This event is open to all ages. Please bring your sons and daughters!

Mark Yaconelli Trains Hearth Communities in Wales

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In the spring of 2015, The Heath founder Mark Yaconelli was invited by The Church in Wales to lead a day-long workshop on community storytelling in the town of Bala. The invitation came because the Church in Wales, was concerned about the decline of “social capital” (the network of relationships that allows a community to address problems and increase a sense of well being). Although the Church in Wales has a religious mission, they felt that The Hearth model (non-religious) could help communities address the increasing loneliness, alienation, and breakdown of social relationships.

In February of 2016, Mark accepted an invitation to do a six month residency as a “Community Innovator” for the Church in Wales. Central to his role will be to train twenty teams to develop their own local community storytelling projects in North Wales. In an interview with the BBC, Mark highlighted the importance of storytelling within communities: “When we tell stories in community settings we increase understanding, bridge differences, reduce shame, and uncover the values that matter most. The Hearth is simply a new packaging of a set of old medicines. When people gather together to share stories, food, song, and service they discover meaning, purpose, and a sense of belonging. Communities that have a healthy sense of belonging have less addiction, less violence, less loneliness and are more likely to address suffering and promote the common good.”

Mark is holding a number of training events across North Wales. The culmination of the training will be a Hearth event in the town of Llangollen. The theme will be “Strangers in a Strange Land” and will include stories from recent refugees seeking asylum within the United Kingdom. Proceeds from the event will benefit Share, an organization working in North Wales and England to assist homeless and refugees.

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The Hearth Holiday Gathering: Collected Stories with Mark Yaconelli

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December 17th from 7:30 to 9:00pm at Temple Emek Shalom

The Hearth founder Mark Yaconelli will share some of his favorite stories at this special holiday fundraiser. Accompanied by musicians Kim Starkey, Daniel Sperry, and Duane Whitcomb, the evening promises to be a mixture of true, heartwarming tales set to live music. If you want to laugh from the belly and cry from the heart then you won’t want to miss our special Hearth Holiday Gathering. Suggested donation is $10-$20 at the door. This is our yearly fundraiser for The Hearth so bring your friends and your checkbook.  Mulled wine, spiced cider, and homemade holiday treats will be available. Doors open at 7pm

Special Hearth Event November 14th “Rising to the Challenge”

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The Hearth is hosting a special storytelling event in support of The Ashland Climate Challenge. The theme is “Rising to the Challenge” and we have 6 storytellers from Ashland and across the west coast who will share true, inspiring stories of facing difficult challenges. This is co-sponsored by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and will be held at the Thomas Theatre on Saturday, November 14th from 7 to 9pm. Cost is $5 and funds will support renewable energy projects for the Ashland school district. The event will be hosted by Mark Yaconelli, tellers include Tonya Graham, Lesley Adams, Shaun Franks, Jacob Lebel, Scott Denning, and Leslie Becknell Marx. Music by Mysha Caruso. Only 275 seats, so show up early and bring your neighbors. This will be an important event for mobilizing to reduce and prepare for climate change.

Down and Out This Thursday Night!

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The Hearth will present “real stories by regular folks” on October 29th from 7 to 9pm at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland. The theme is “Down and Out” and proceeds from the event will benefit Uncle Food’s Diner–a weekly community meal for the homeless and economically disadvantaged. Tellers include Claudia Alick, Lucinda Weatherby, Kay Brooks, Leigh Madsen, Kelly Cruser, and Fred Grewe. Music by Mark Gostnell, Wendi Stanek, Duane Whitcomb and friends. Hosted by Mark Yaconelli. $5 suggested donation.

Klamath Falls Holds Opening Hearth on Friends: Lost and Found

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Every seat (over 80) was filled at the Klamath County Library to hear six local members of the Klamath Falls community tell true stories on the theme Friends: Lost and Found. This was the inaugural event for The Klamath Falls Hearth, a program which seeks to help communities build relationships, eradicate shame, and support local non-profits through personal stories. Three community members from Klamath Falls received training from Mark Yaconelli, founder and director of The Hearth in Ashland, Oregon last spring as part of a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation. The opening event presented a mix of heartfelt stories of friends found in Tibet, a birthing class, a hospital ward, and a car accident to friends lost in childhood. The music, by a series of local musicians, presented a beautiful mix of folk and classical pieces that matched the stories. The Klamath Falls Hearth will now be a regular storytelling series sponsored by the Klamath County Library. Congratulations to Charla Oppenlander, Ruth Chamberlin, and Debbie Plummer for all of their work in organizing this important community gathering.

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Opening Night for The Grants Pass Hearth

IMG_0394The Hearth received grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation to train three communities in The Hearth storytelling model. Last June, Scott Valley held their first pilot Hearth event on the theme “Summertime.” Last night, Grants Pass had over 150 people turn out for their first Hearth event on the theme “Treasured Objects.” It was a beautiful night of singing, sharing stories, and raising funds for the Josephine County Library. On October 9th, Klamath Falls will host its first Hearth event on the theme “Friends: Lost and Found.” The event will be held at the Klamath Public Library. Grateful to all the volunteers in Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, and Scott Valley, CA for working to create these events. We hope to offer future training events to interested communities in 2016.

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