First Person Arts StorySlam comes to Northwest Philly

For the first time this Saturday evening, Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill played host to a First Person Arts StorySlam.

For Saturday’s event, FPA worked in conjunction with Woodmere’s current exhibition “Women and Biography,” on display until June 1, to focus the evening’s StorySlam on “celebrating women.” Hosted by Lansie Silvia, a 2012 Summer Grand Slam contestant, the evening included presentations by Kitty Hailey, a professional investigator and FPA storyteller, as well as Marjorie Winter, the 2012 First Person Arts Grand Slam winner and standup comic.

A crowd of approximately 35 people gathered in Woodmere’s exhibition hall to witness the presentations and share some stories of their own. With the perfect balance of humor and emotion, FPA storyteller Marjorie Winter told of her first experience in the world of standup comedy: being the only middle aged woman in a workshop full of young, and arrogant, men and her struggle to overcome the female plague of always wanting to be accepted.

“For an event like the Woodmere Slam, the FPA storytellers are really just a resource for catalyzing the energy,” Winter said. “We hope through our example we can encourage and inspire the audience to share their own experiences.”

Following the curated presentations, audience members went on to tell stories on everything from humiliating teenaged experiences to their eternal love for moms.

“With a noncompetitive event like [tonight] it really opens the window for sharing some intimate moments,” storyteller Kitty Hailey said of the evening. “Woodmere is the perfect venue and it’d be great to have more here in the future.”

First Person Arts, an organization founded in 2000, serves as an outlet for artists and everyday people to share their stories and life experiences through spoken word. With a mission that states, “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that sharing our stories connects us with each other and the world,” the First Person Arts organization hosts a variety of regular events, competitions and workshops throughout the year.


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