International Storytelling Nonprofit The Moth Comes to Memorial Hall


Illustration by Van Orton Design

This month, international storytelling nonprofit The Moth will set Memorial Hall aflutter with two nights of live, unscripted, first-person storytelling. In anticipation of the February 6 and 7 shows, we compare the details of The Moth to local storytelling nonprofit Cincy Stories.

The Moth

Experience: Holds a variety of events around the world, including StorySLAM (its storytelling competition) and Mainstage (performances such as what’s coming to Cincinnati).

Origin: Novelist George Dawes Green founded The Moth in 1997, and held the first show in his New York City living room. He was inspired by time spent drinking and telling stories in his neighbor’s garden.

Storytellers: Accepts stories from all people, spearheading initiatives like The Muslim Voices Project and The Immigration Project to help give a platform to underrepresented communities.

Community: Hosts workshops to help students and adults in underrepresented communities hone their personal storytelling abilities.

Outreach: Has presented more than 34,000 live stories, has a podcast with more than 61 million downloads a year, and broadcasts stories via 500 radio stations.

Cincy Stories

Experience: Hear uniquely Cincinnati stories told by local entrepreneurs, creatives, and community members during live events, the Cincy Stories podcast, and in neighbor- hood-specific Story Galleries.

Origin: Roughly five years ago, Shawn Braley and Chris Ashwell began hosting bimonthly storytelling events at MOTR Pub with the goal of bringing Cincinnatians together through story.

Storytellers: Seeks perspectives of Cincinnatians from all backgrounds, from residents of neighborhoods that are often overlooked to young people struggling to find their voice.

Community: Runs Street Stories, an ongoing project that collects neighbor- hood-specific stories of life in Walnut Hills, Avondale, and West Price Hill.

Outreach: Averages 250 audience members for live shows at the Woodward Theater. Recorded versions stream at and on Radio Artifact.

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