For the past three years, I've been working to lower the barrier of connection between people through the art of storytelling.
My first storytelling project, Pedal to Porch, is a neighborhood bike ride that includes stops to along a route where residents use their front porch as a stage to tell their story.
Its purpose is to encourage neighbors to get to know each while celebrating neighborhood history and inspiring deeper conversations about community change.
We've been successful at garnering community support. Here are a couple of newsworthy articles here:
- Hester, Jessica Leigh. "When Cycling and Storytelling Mingle." City Lab, December 2, 2016.
- Riley, Rochelle. "Welcome to Core City, right here in Detroit."The Detroit Free Press, September 5, 2015.
Please watch this video to virtually experience Pedal to Porch:
We have organized Pedal to Porch events in 6 different neighborhoods in Detroit, and each experience has taught us a valuable lesson: everyone has a story worth sharing.
My reason for launching a Kickstarter campaign is to support my newest project called, Dinner for 30.
Dinner for 30
Dinner for 30 is a multi-sensory experience that encourages people to bridge cultural gaps through live storytelling and cooking.
Essentially, a cook is invited to prepare a dish that is connected to a fond memory and tell a story about it. At the end of the story, the audience of 30 gets to taste the dish.
We will host and film five (5) events and will design a Detroit story cookbook as well as add event video summaries to our YouTube Channel.
Storytelling events like Dinner for 30 helps to bridge gaps, teach lessons, inspire action, illustrate commonalities, preserve history, impart wisdom, restore spirits, activate the imagination, and infuse hope. Storytelling can help create a more creative, connected, and just world.
Since making the announcement about Dinner for 30, we've been invited to write guest articles about the experience. Please see the articles here:
- Lane, Cornetta. "Combining storytelling with a meal to create a cultural exchange in Detroit." The Renewal Project, September 7, 2017.
- Lane, Cornetta. "Your story is worth sharing." Allied Media Project, September 12, 2017.
We're looking forward to launching and hosting the 2018 dinner series.
- February 24
- March 23
- April 28
- May 26
- June 30
In August 2017, I prototyped Dinner for 30 with a talented group of individuals participating in the National Arts Strategies Fellowship in Vermont. I received some crucial feedback that helped me reshape the experience.
On September 30, 2017, we hosted a final prototype dinner in Detroit to fine-tune the experience and promote the upcoming season.
October 2017 - January 2018, our team will confirm all cooks, venues, and strategic partners for the 2018 series.
By February 2018, with new insights and an awesome line-up of cooks, we will officially launch the Dinner for 30 series.
We intended to raise $8,500 to pay for food cost, stipends for the cook and storyteller, and, partially, videography services. We will record short segments of each event and post them on YouTube as part of a Dinner for 30 web series. We will pay for design and editing services for the Detroit story cookbook.
Some of the rewards include:
- A digital download/printed copy of the Detroit story cookbook featuring five (5) simple recipes that are connected to 5 family stories in Detroit. The cookbook is for the novice and expert cook alike. Anyone who appreciates home-cooked meals will want to own a copy of this fun, easy, and meaningful cookbook.
- A private cooking lesson with a featured cook and a custom Detroit Denim Apron.
Doesn't that sound appetizing?
About the Founder
Storytelling transformed my life.
In 2015, my father was tragically killed, and I fell into a depression. A fog settled over my head that I couldn't shake. One day, I wrote a list of happy pursuits, and "tell my dad's story" was one of them.
That same day, I reached out to Satori Shakoor, my mentor and founder of Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, and asked if I could tell a story on stage to honor my father. Satori agreed and helped me shape my story.
As I formed the story, I noticed a shift in my mood. I began to reconnect to old memories of my father and transformed them into a loving, compassionate image of him. When I shared my story on stage, the fog completely dissipated. I was renewed.
Since then, I've dedicated my work to helping people to craft and tell their stories because storytelling is a tool to heal, transform, and connect.
If you enjoy storytelling and love food, I hope you will support this project!
You may find additional information on our website: http://dinnerfor30.strikingly.com
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to design an experience and product that connects people to the beautiful stories and delectable recipes. We recognize that we might have challenges with the live events, i.e., the technology not working properly, the storyteller may not be well rehearsed, the food may not be as tasty as the recipe sounds. However, we have developed a process to minimize these challenges and have incorporated a feedback loop to gain insight on how re-work the plans for the next dinner.
We firmly believe that we have the right people in place to turn this dream into a reality. If you are as passionate about live storytelling and cooking as we are, please support this campaign. Many thanks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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