Speak Up, Rise Up is a storytelling festival that aims to amplify the voices of communities and people we don’t get to hear from. Through live, personal storytelling, we combine both traditional and non-traditional storytellers on the big stage for curated events that share personal experiences. The first festival was held in August 2017 at the off-Broadway Theater, the Connelly Theater.
Over 100 people took the stage throughout the week. The shows highlighted diversity in subject matter - immigration stories, stories of LGBTQ rights, stories of incarcerated people; and diversity of performers – the festival featured a majority of female performers and majority people of color. There were 7 community partners – Planned Parenthood NYC, Lady Parts Justice League, NYC Veteran’s Alliance, Razom for Ukraine, the Muslim Community Network, Theater of the Oppressed, and the Future Project – who all shared personal stories from their membership. These organizations were also offered personal storytelling workshops to their members, which were run prior to the festival.
To create a network of stories, sharing, and workshops to elevate disenfranchised communities’ stories via personal storytelling. Through live events, workshops, and connection to local community groups to tie people to community actions. Providing a space for people to develop, express, and share their stories that we don’t get to hear from.
A national network of stories, workshops, and live events that bring together people and causes. We will offer storytelling workshops to various community groups in preparation of the next live festival. The digital platform will host prior stories, and provide updates to community partner actions and causes to keep the network updated.
· In 2017, our community partners included: Planned Parenthood NYC, Lady Parts Justice League, the Future Project, the Veteran’s Alliance NYC, Theatre of the Oppressed, the Muslim Community Network, and Razom for Ukraine.
· Our sponsors included: Fwd.Us, the I Am An Immigrant Campaign, We Get Depressed, Babeland NYC, and Lagunitas Brewing.
· Our media partners included: Millennial Politics, the Action Group Network, Civic Hall, the Defiant Network, with additional promotion by NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.