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  • Writer's pictureDennis cho

A Powerful Evening of Storytelling, Art, and Healing

On Tuesday, March 12, Create CommUNITY, in collaboration with several local organizations, hosted an incredible event titled "What's in a Name? Global definitions and local experiences" at the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud. The evening was filled with powerful storytelling, artistic expression, and a sense of community healing that left attendees feeling inspired and connected.

One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity for participants to process their emotions and thoughts through various forms of art. After listening to the four storytellers share their experiences with terms such as genocide, apartheid, the war on terror, and legacies of enslavement, attendees were invited to visit three art stations set up throughout the library.

At these stations, local artists guided participants in creating poetry, collages, journal entries, and sculptures in response to the stories they had heard. The room buzzed with creative energy as people of all ages and backgrounds immersed themselves in the therapeutic process of making art.

The poetry station was particularly popular, with many participants eager to express their feelings through the written word. Guided by talented poets from Lyricality, attendees crafted moving and thought-provoking pieces that captured the essence of the evening's themes. Some chose to share their work with the group, while others opted to keep their words private, finding solace in the act of putting pen to paper.

Another engaging element of the event was the use of "feeling sticks." These colorful wooden sticks, each labeled with a different emotion, were distributed to participants throughout the evening. As the storytellers shared their experiences and the artists guided the creative process, attendees were encouraged to hold up the feeling stick that best represented their emotional state at that moment.

The feeling sticks served as a powerful visual representation of the collective emotional journey that the group underwent during the event. It was moving to see the sea of sticks rise and fall in response to the stories and the art, creating a tangible connection between all those present.

As the evening drew to a close, participants were invited to return to the storyteller who had inspired their art and share their creations. This moment of connection and sharing was a beautiful reminder of the power of storytelling to bring people together and foster understanding and empathy.

The "What's in a Name?" event was a testament to the incredible work that Create CommUNITY and its partner organizations are doing to promote healing, unity, and positive change in St. Cloud. Through the combination of storytelling, art, and community engagement, the event created a safe space for individuals to explore difficult topics, process their emotions, and find support and connection with others.

As we move forward, it is clear that events like these are more important than ever. By coming together to listen, learn, and heal, we can begin to dismantle the systemic racism and discrimination that continue to plague our society. Create CommUNITY's ongoing commitment to this work is an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact they will continue to have in our community.

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