“Vignettes” is a series of three storytelling experiences sponsored in partnership by three organizations in Charlotte: First Congregational Church UCC, the Charlotte Community Library, and Evelyn Bay Coffee Company. Each event features a professional storyteller sharing a story. The storytelling is followed by a workshop led by the storyteller on how to tell one’s own story. Each event has a unique theme. Locations will rotate among the three sponsors’ buildings. Presentations will begin at 6pm, followed by a workshop at 7pm, and will take place on the third Monday of January, February and March. The public is cordially invited.

Monday January 17, First Congregational Church

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The Life and Times of Sojourner Truth performed by storyteller/actress Madelyn Porter on Monday January 17 will be the first in the series. Our church will host it in the Church Lounge from 6-7:30pm. Ms. Porter will dramatize events and quotes from the former slave / abolitionist / activist who spent her last years in Battle Creek, Michigan. In the workshop segment of the presentation, attendees will learn about telling their own stories or the stories of others.

Ms. Porter performs historical reenactments at Henry Ford/Greenfield Village among many locations. She has received a number of awards, including Kresge Artist Fellow in 2019.

Watch the performance now.

Monday February 21, Charlotte Community Library

The second of the Vignette series will feature storyteller/author Judy Sima at the Charlotte Community Library in the Spartan Room on Monday, February 21, 6-7:30pm. Her presentation is called My Mother’s Voice, describing her mother’s encounters with the Gestapo, her escape from Germany during World War II, and her adjustment to life in America.

Ms. Sima uses a series of “conversation starters” to help the audience bring their own memories to life. She also teaches educators and children the art of storytelling. She has written numerous articles on the subject and has received awards from library and reading associations.

Monday March 21, Fay’s Evelyn Bay

For the final performance, Poet Masaki Takahashi will share his story, including the challenges of being a first generation Asian-American and new father. Presentation will be at the Evelyn Bay Coffee shop in downtown Charlotte.

Mr. Takahashi has led many workshops and events, notably for the South Lansing Library, the Lansing State Journal, and Poetry Out Loud. His mentees have been featured on LCC Radio and on The Poetry Room stage, where their poetry is met with resounding applause. He also holds workshops at Everett High School in South Lansing, where he teaches teenagers how to express themselves using the written and spoken word.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to the the Charlotte Generosity Fund for the grant that made this event possible.

All performances are free to the public, and everyone is welcome. Participants are encouraged to wear masks, and social-distancing and other precautions will be observed.