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Kindling Community Connections Through Story

July 24, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Serving as the opening event for the 2014 National Storytelling Conference (being held in Mesa, AZ), this participatory panel discussion will examine storytelling and its abilities to explore the human condition, connect communities, and foster civil dialogue.  In the words of Gene Knudsen-Hoffman, “An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard.” 

This program event is supported by a grant from the Arizona Humanities.

PG - Storytelling Conference July 2014FireAndLight300From the National Storytelling Network website:

Opening Ceremony & Panel

Thursday, July 24th, 7:30-9:30 pm
Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa
1011 W. Holmes Ave., Mesa, AZ. 85210

Kindling Community Connections through Story

A panel of three presenters from diverse backgrounds will present successful projects and techniques using storytelling to build community understanding. Liz Warren, director of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, will moderate the panel, including an opportunity for your Q&A.

Panelists include:

Doug BlandDoug Bland serves as pastor of the Tempe Community Christian Church, known as “the storytelling church.”  Doug and the church offer storytelling programs “as a way to explore the human soul.”  Twice the congregation has received the Martin Luther King Diversity Award from the Tempe Human Relations Commission.  Storyteller and teacher, Doug also is the chairperson of the Arizona Interfaith Power & Light which mobilizes people to reduce the causes of global climate change.


Queen NurQueen Nur (Karen Abdul-Malik), nationally renowned storyteller and teaching artist, has received “Mid-Atlantic Artist as Catalyst” grants for her work with teens-at-risk and women’s shelters.  Queen received NSN’s Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling for her “Sustaining Culture and Traditions through Storytelling” project, designed to use storytelling and folk arts as a tool for the community’s voice on social justice issues, to build community partnerships and collaborative arts practices, to forge intergenerational relationships and to ignite change.


Kiran SirahKiran Singh Sirah is the Executive Director of the International Storytelling Center, an advisory member to UNESCO, a Rotary Peace fellow, storyteller and poet.  Kiran uses the power of human creativity to establish discourse and dialogue, empowering communities to address issues related to gang violence, sectarian and ethnic conflict, poverty and other forms of human rights violations.  In 2012 Kiran was invited to give an address at The United Nations Headquarters, “Telling Stories That Matter.”



July 24, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa
1011 W. Holmes Ave.
Mesa, AZ 85210 United States
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(480) 833-5555
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