Any reading series that fosters the art of skillful and generous performance is successful. I believe that this art form in it’s highest purpose can transform both the teller and the listener through the act of sharing, and that this is accomplished when authentic generosity is present. To me what differentiates a story that can wake me up, inspire me, move me to tears from a story that has me grinding my teeth praying for it to be over, is not just the artfulness of it’s telling, but whether the teller has a clear wish to give something or to get something by telling it. That’s a hard thing to hone in on as a performer, and it’s even harder to foster as a producer. But seeking to cultivate an actual generous instinct is worth it.
Founded more than three years ago by Janna Sobel, Here, Chicago has an unmistakably cozy vibe. Participants (everyone is involved in this storytelling series) are encouraged to bring a dish or two to pass, an ear to listen, and a story to tell. The result is a series that is unlike any other on the scene today. Anyone who attends Here, Chicago comes away feeling moved, with new friendships and a warmed heart.