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!
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.
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
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.
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.