At the February 2022 storytelling event at the Exchange Gallery,
Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble founding member Laurie McCants read a poem of her own composition
Coming up on Tuesday, July 19th: "WILD: Unbelievable Animal Stories"
Coming up on Tuesday, September 20th: "UFOs: UnFinished, UnExplained, and Extra-ordinary"
Click on each link for more information about each night's theme.
If you have a story that you would like to tell or a song to sing on either of those themes, please get in touch: 570-317-2596 and Exchange@ExchangeArts.org.
Likewise, get in touch if you have a theme that you would like us to consider for a future event; check our Calls for Entry page to see if any of our upcoming shows inspire you.
To reserve a seat in the audience for any of our storytelling events, call or e-mail us.
In conjunction with the Exchange Gallery exhibition "Watermark: A Community Album of the 2011 Flood", which marked the tenth anniversary of the worst deluge in the history of our hometown -- Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania -- The Exchange hosted an evening of spoken word and music as our friends and neighbors shared stories about disasters that they have faced. Musician Paul Loomis shared homegrown songs, and Laurie McCants, Tim Pelton, Mary Lenzini Howe and Michael Howe (in the photo above), Tara MacNish, and Oren B. Helbok told their stories of floods and other trials and tribulations.
In conjunction with the exhibition "Smite/Smitten", The Exchange hosted an evening of spoken word as our friends and neighbors shared stories and poetry about love, and hate, and things that they used to love that now they hate, and everything in between. The event took place in the Gallery on the evening of February 15th, and the storytellers included Karen Rose, Cindy Bane, Linda Dietrichson, Anne Cosper, Laurie McCants (in the photo above), and Mary Lenzini Howe.
The Exchange looks at our storytelling events as opportunities to build a shared sense of this community's and this region's identity -- what, after all, does "Columbia-Montour" mean to you? Even for those of us who live here (and who love living here), that name does not instantly evoke the same sort of clarity and certainty that "The Poconos" or "Lancaster County" or even "The Endless Mountains" does.
But, we believe, if we tell our stories to each other, and share what we find important about this region, we can start to build the sort of "brand" that those other regions have.
Storytellers Linda Dietrichson, Cindy Bane, and Anne Cosper at The Exchange, February 2022
Don't get us wrong: We do not want to convince legions of people to come live here -- we do not want to overrun the rural aspect that makes our home counties so attractive and appealing in the first place. But we do want to continue to develop a sustainable and diversified economy that can rely on visitors who come here, have a good time, spend money, and leave. (Think Knoebels on a larger scale -- although at close to a million and a half visitors a year before COVID, Knoebels drew a massive number to begin with!)
Whether or not it leads to greater visitation, an identity for our region that its residents share will only do us good, because it can help us make long-term decisions about what does and does not work here. We see The Exchange's storytelling series as one small tributary of the larger river that we can follow to a better future.
And we see YOUR story as a key part of that. Join us in July and again in September for Episodes 3 and 4 -- "WILD: Unbelievable Animal Stories" and "UFOs: UnFinished, UnExplained, and Extra-ordinary". And enjoy the first two episodes here and here.