Nice article on The Hearth by Caitlin Fowlkes at the Ashland Daily Tidings:

Many Ashlanders know and love The Hearth as an old friend who stops by several times a year for a glass of wine and a cozy evening of catching up.

Locals fill the parking lot of Temple Emek Shalom and surrounding fields to snag good seats. At the door, attendees are asked to donate to the local nonprofit benefiting from that night’s proceeds as an entry fee.

Entry usually is based on a sliding scale of $5 to $15, but nobody gets turned away.

Local wines are offered in the lobby along with baked goods from the Ashland High School Culinary Arts Program, and the place fills to standing room only within minutes of opening.

At each event, six community members tell their story based on a common theme; all are crafted with the aid of the nonprofit’s founder, Mark Yaconelli.

A local band plays before, in between and after the stories. Once that first individual takes the stage after the music ends, whether they’re a familiar face, the room freezes in anticipation, rapt with attention.

Yaconelli said the events aren’t about the quality of performances. They’re about the space it creates.

Read the rest of the article here….