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 later in 2023, stories on the themes of "In The City" and "Food For Thought"
Storytelling about "Dreams" took place at the Exchange Gallery, 24 East Main Street in Bloomsburg, Pa, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023. Watch the video here.
Visit our Calls for Entry page for information on each Gallery show.
If you have a story that you would like to tell or a song to sing on any of our themes -- or if you have a theme that you would like us to consider for a future Gallery show and/or Storytelling event -- please get in touch: 570-317-2596 and Exchange@ExchangeArts.org.
To reserve a seat in the audience for any of our storytelling events, call or e-mail us.
Thanks to our videographer and soundman, William Jay; photography and video editing by Exchange executive director Oren B. Helbok. thanks to Brooks Williams for allowing us to use his music in the videos.
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.
In conjunction with the Exchange Gallery exhibition "Creatures & Critters", The Exchange hosted an evening of spoken word as our friends and neighbors shared stories about animals they have known around the world. Gina Dignazio, Linda Dietrichson, Sheila Dignazio, Tara McNeish, and Oren B. Helbok told their animals stories.
In conjunction with the Exchange Gallery exhibition "UFOs", our friends and neighbors shared stories and a song about UFOs -- objects unfinished, unidentified, and more. Participants included Tara MacNish, Paul Loomis, Leon Kass, Mary Lapos, Kat Holdren, and Magdi Jacobs, emceed by The Exchange's executive director, Oren B. Helbok. Thanks as always to our soundman and videographer, William Jay.
In conjunction with the Exchange Gallery exhibition "Dreams", we hosted an evening of spoken word as our friends and neighbors shared stories and poetry about DREAMS -- good dreams, bad dreams, visions, and aspirations. Those who shared included Marguerite Chamuris, Randy Watts, Bob Walz, Sheila Dignazio, Karen Rose, and Oren B. Helbok.
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. Come tell it here.