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‘Stories That Heal’: new project works to heal trauma through songwriting

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It seems like trauma is abundant in 2022. From the ongoing opioid epidemic to increasing rates of anxiety and depression and persistent housing insecurity, all while still recovering from a pandemic.

The new northern Michigan community wellness project, ‘Stories That Heal,’ is supporting healing by creating collaborative music. Community members will participate in the songwriting process, but no musical experience is required to get involved.

Interlochen Public Radio is partnering with the Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Network and artist Molly Sturges for the project. ‘Stories That Heal’ will include a series of workshops where participants create music inspired by personal challenges and how they were overcome.

A concert showcasing the songs will take place at The Garden Theater in Frankfort on May 15.

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The new Interlochen Public Radio podcasting series, ‘Stories That Heal’, will launch later this year. The podcast will follow the creative process during the workshops and tell the personal stories behind the songs.

Frankfort artist Molly Sturges created the project in partnership with Interlochen Public Radio, The Garden Theater, Benzie Shores District Library, Grow Benzie, Benzonia Public Library, Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts Center and other local providers.

How to get involved:

‘Stories That Heal’ Pop-up choir: This choir is open to people of all experience levels. It will meet every Tuesday in April at 7 p.m. at The Garden Theater in Frankfort. Please RSVP with Tim Jones at 323-244-0448 or by email at timljones723@gmail.com.

Creating A Healing Story Together: A Storytelling Workshop: Workshop participants have an opportunity to share ideas and experiences and create a story together that aims to help people feel better when times get hard. This workshop is open to people of all ages. It will take place Monday, April 11 and 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Benzonia Library. Contact Amanda to RSVP by emailing benzonialibrary@gmail.com.

Let’s Make a Power Song Workshop: During this workshop, participants will create a simple tune to help people get through hard times. The workshop will be Wednesday, April 13 and 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the Benzie Shores District Library in Frankfort. It’s open to people of all ages. RSVP to Kaitlin Matesich by emailing kmatesich@benzieshoreslibrary.org.

‘Stories That Heal’ Listening & Support Circle: The last few years have been hard on many people, and a support circle from ‘Stories That Heal’ is looking to listen. Participants can share as much or as little as they like. It’s scheduled for Friday, April 22 at Grow Benzie in Benzonia. Contact Molly Sturges for more information at 505-660-9473 or mollysturges@gmail.com.

Open-Call for Storytellers & Writers: Writers and storytellers of all ages are invited to share stories about a hard time they’ve faced or are currently facing, how they were impacted and what helped or is helping them get through it. Stories may be submitted anonymously. The deadline is Monday, April 18. Submit writing to: Stories That Heal, PO Box 1543, Frankfort, Michigan 49635 or mollysturges@gmail.com. An award of $50 will be given to 3 writers. Winners will be notified by email or phone.

‘Stories That Heal’ Artist Talk with Molly Sturges: Join the artistic director of ‘Stories That Heal’ for a discussion about her experience using music and storytelling to address trauma and support community wellness. It will take place Tuesday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts in Frankfort.

‘Stories That Heal’ Community Concert & Dialogue: This free concert features performances of songs created by ‘Stories That Heal’ participants. Following the performance, an interactive discussion will be held. The concert is Sunday, May 15 at 4 p.m. at The Garden Theater in Frankfort.

Project Partners:

‘Stories That Heal’ is a Community Partnership project by the Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network with funding from Arts Midwest, Michigan Arts & Culture Council & National Endowment for the Arts.

Frankfort artist Molly Sturges created the project in partnership with Interlochen Public Radio, The Garden Theater, Benzie Shores District Library, Grow Benzie, Benzonia Public Library, Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts Center and other local providers.

Kendra Carr joined IPR as the All Things Considered host in 2019. She previously worked at WMOM in Ludington as the News Director. In 2017, WMOM received the Michigan Association of Broadcasters "Station of the Year" award.