THE STORYHOUSE: April 2016
Imagine sitting shoulder to shoulder with a load of strangers in complete silence, fully focused on a storyteller in a small house in Nashville & you've got one of the things I look forward to most each month
My first time at The Story House was back in November of 2015. Within the first 5 minutes, my heart might as well have jumped out of my chest. The room filled up with songs, poems, spoken word, and laughter to pull in and inspire each person in the room. This night marks an incredibly pivotal point in my time here in Nashville.
So, here's what Story House is/was: On the first Thursday night of each month, from 7-10, you and all the closest friends you didn't even know you had cram into a house on Granny White Pike and listen intently to your fellow humans bear their souls in story form. For the first half of the night there is a schedule of storytellers, but for the second part of the night, any bit of predictability is thrown out the window. Throughout the night, you have the freedom to put your name into a jar to be drawn out of for the second part of the night. This part of the night always seems to be the most fun. So many surprises have come out of the jar and it speaks deeply of the Story House culture. A beautiful mix of people gather, but there is a fair amount of Belmont students/post-grads in the room. All kinds of stories come out of this group, whether rehearsed or not. At each gathering, there is a great variety of story to be told and each side of the story is told wholeheartedly.
Most importantly now, the story behind The Story House. A Belmont student named Austin Ban hosted the first Story House almost a year ago. The idea stemmed out of inspiration from The Moth podcast (a storytelling podcast) paired with a desire to form community based on honesty and shared experiences. Austin has a history of planning events and bringing places to life - he truly is a cultivator for community and inspiration. Austin has an incredible team alongside him to make this all a reality. Along with putting together this gathering, this team has brought together their finances and time to publish a collection of works from House community. At the core of the vision for Story House is collaboration. That is plainly seen as soon as you walk into the room. From decorations to tea to stories. From shared laughter to quiet tears.
NOTE: Although Story House is no longer meeting this story of what it was for 1 year remains an inspiring vision of what others might be called to create.