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Each day in our community, someone is making a decision that takes their life in a new and sometimes unknown direction.

Stories of "New Beginnings" are now available on the Des Moines Storytellers' podcast, which can be found for free on iTunes and Stitcher. Stories will also air on Mediacom's statewide channel MC22 throughout the month. 

These true, first-person stories were shared at a recent live storytelling night and are now available to the greater community. None of the six storytellers are professionals; they are our friends and neighbors.

You'll hear tales that explore what happens when we reach an unexpected turn in our road. 

Whether by choice or by chance, it's the trust we have in ourselves and our future — that when the metaphorical path diverges in a woods — we'll know what to do. 

The Storytellers Project believes everyone has a story worth telling, and everyone can tell a story. The project aims to cultivate empathy and build connection within our community. It started in Des Moines in 2015 and has grown each year.

Storytellers recently announced an expanded 2018 season, including doubleheader events with earlier and later shows, to allow more community members to experience live storytelling.

To purchase tickets for 2018 shows or to submit a story for consideration, go online to DesMoinesRegister.com/storytellers.

Stories of 'New Beginnings'

Emmett Phillips: A performer's choice

The steam engine of hip hop roars through Emmett Phillip's life, but when he reaches a crossroads professionally, he must look at the track he's on and where he wants to be.

About Emmett: A facilitator for the Children and Family Urban Movement’s Backyard Boyz after-school program, Emmett is a hip-hop artist, teaching artist, and actor who’s performed at The Julliard School. Emmett is passionate about sharing the transformative experience of performance with youth as a tool for empowerment and self-expression.

Jodi Jinks: The fallout of censorship 

Teaching the art of self expression to her drama students, Jodi Jinks encourages her college class to explore the controversial natural of gender politics — a lesson that challenges her personal convictions about free speech. 

About Jodi: Her first life was spent acting — on Broadway, a national tour, and throughout the regions. Jodi's second one consisted of teaching in higher ed and raising her beautiful son, Leo. Her current life is an exciting mystery, but she continues to teach and direct through her prison theater program, ArtsAloud. 

Christina Fernandez-Morrow: Of loss and love 

Mourning the death of her husband, Christina Fernandez-Morrow navigates the dubious world of online dating as a widow and discovers the expansive nature of love.

About Christina: A Chicago native who ditched corporate America, Christina now runs nonprofits and launches cool initiatives like the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival. She is a published author and blogger. When not writing, or negotiating band contracts, she bikes local trails with her daughter, knits and plans international adventures.

Robert Nishimwe: Finding community 

After immigrating to Iowa, Robert Nishimwe is surrounded by a new language and culture, and struggles to embrace his identity as an African and a black man.

About Robert: A senior at North High School, Robert serves as a student member of the Iowa State Board of Education and is the founder of North C.O.R.E. (Community of Racial Equity for Advancement). He has been recognized for his work within the community by the ACLU of Iowa. 

Nate Schultz: Project Nate 2.0

Returning from military deployment a changed man, Nate Schultz shares a humorous journey of personal growth that expands his culinary skills and shifts his personal perceptions.

About Nate: A military contractor who instructs National Guard units, Nate is originally from Dubuque and moved to Des Moines in January 2016. Nate lives in Beaverdale with his girlfriend and constantly speculates about future pets. In his spare time, he likes to mountain bike and play guitar.

Steve Taylor: The miracle of rebirth 

After being laid off from his factory job, Steve Taylor struggles with his career — until he hears an unexpected spiritual call that upends the trajectory of his life's work.

About Steve: Now retired, Steve lives in Pleasant Hill with Jean, his wife. He writes a column and covers Southeast Polk High School sports for the Altoona Herald. He enjoys sports and has been a runner for close to 40 years. Jean and Steve have two children and four grandchildren.

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Storytellers: 2018 Season

Tickets for the entire season are on sale at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers. Register subscribers can earn a discount on tickets by using their Insider credentials to unlock a special promo code at checkout. Anyone needing assistance can contact events@dmreg.com or call 515-619-6548.

We believe that everyone has a story worth telling, and everyone can tell a story. Register journalists coach storytellers for each of our events. Read our guidelines and submit a story online under "Speak." Please note that the stage is not guaranteed.

  • Everyday Miracles: Blind luck, spiritual moments and awakenings. Feb. 6 at Des Moines Community Playhouse, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Busted: Stories of when I got caught. April 5 at the Temple Theater, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Blended: Cultures mixing, changing and thriving in Iowa. June 7 at Curate, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Rural Life: Celebrating our roots and small-town squads. July 12 at the River Center, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Siblings: Love, rivalry and lasting ties. Sept. 20 at Forte, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • War Stories: Battles on the frontline and back home. Dec. 6 at the Tea Room, Des Moines. Shows at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Catch the stories 

Missed the event? You can still enjoy stories from "New Beginnings: Turning the page, taking a risk and starting a new."

TELEVISION: Medicom rebroadcasts stories from the show on MC22 periodically, check local listings for times

PODCAST: Listen to the Des Moines Storytelllers podcast, which is available on iTunes and Stitcher

ONLINE: Videos from this and other Storytellers events can be found at DesMoinesRegister.com/Storytellers under "Watch & Listen."

MERCHANDISE: Embrace storytelling with our new notebooks, mugs and apparel. Order online at ShopDMRegister.com/Storytellers.

 

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