‘Stories That Heal’: New project aims to heal trauma through songwriting

It looks like trauma is aplenty in 2022. From the ongoing opioid epidemic to rising rates of anxiety and depression and ongoing housing insecurity, while still recovering from a pandemic.

Northern Michigan’s new community wellness project, “Stories That Heal,” supports 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 partners with Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Network and artist Molly Sturges for the project. “Stories That Heal” will include a series of workshops where participants will create music inspired by personal challenges and how they were overcome.

A concert presenting the songs will take place at The garden theater in Frankfurt on May 15.

Interlochen Public Radio’s new podcast 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.

Frankfurt 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 suppliers.

How to get involved:

“Stories That Heal” pop-up chorus: This choir is open to people of all levels. It will meet every Thursday in April at 7 p.m. at the Garden Theater in Frankfurt. Please RSVP with Tim Jones at 323-244-0448 or by email at [email protected].

Creating a Healing Story Together: A Storytelling Workshop: Workshop participants have the opportunity to share ideas and experiences and create a story together that aims to help people feel better when times get tough. This workshop is open to people of all ages. It will take place on Mondays April 11 and 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Benzonia Library. Contact Amanda to RSVP via email [email protected].

Let’s do a Power Song workshop: During this workshop, participants will create a simple melody to help people through difficult times. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 13 and 20 at 3:30 p.m. at the Benzie Shores District Library in Frankfort. It is open to people of all ages. RSVP to Kaitlin Matesich via email [email protected].

Circle of listening and support “Stories that heal”: The past few years have been difficult for many people, and a “Stories That Heal” circle of support is looking to listen. Participants can share as much or as little as they want. It’s scheduled for Friday, April 22 at Grow Benzie in Benzonia. Contact Molly Sturges for more information at 505-660-9473 or [email protected].

Open call for storytellers and writers: Writers and storytellers of all ages are invited to share stories about a difficult time they have gone through or are currently going through, how they were affected, and what helped or helped them through it. Stories can be submitted anonymously. The deadline is Monday, April 18. Submit in writing to: Stories That Heal, PO Box 1543, Frankfort, Michigan 49635 or [email protected]. A $50 prize will be awarded to 3 writers. Winners will be notified by email or phone.

“Stories That Heal” artist interview with Molly Sturges: Join the Artistic Director of “Stories That Heal” for a discussion of her experience using music and storytelling to address trauma and support community wellbeing. It will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts in Frankfurt.

“Healing Stories” community concert and dialogue: This free concert features renditions of songs created by “Stories That Heal” participants. After the performance, an interactive discussion will take place. The concert will take place on Sunday May 15 at 4 p.m. at the Garden Theater in Frankfurt.

Project partners:

Healing Stories is a community partnership project of the Northwest Michigan Arts and Culture Network with funding from Midwestern Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Culture & National Foundation for the Arts.

Frankfurt 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 suppliers.

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