MISSION

Charlotte Storytellers was founded with a simple proposition in mind – to give a voice to amateur and experienced storytellers in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a year and a half of operation, Charlotte Storytellers has formed the following mission:

 

Provide a safe space to share, workshop and perform personal stories to in order to foster empathy in the local community.  This mission is embodied by the following operating principles:

 

1.  Creating a whimsical, unconventional, and caring environment for storytelling; and

 

2.  Workshopping personal narratives to find the “so what”: why a story is relevant to a much larger audience than the storytellers themselves.

THE TEAM

Nora Orton

Executive Director

After performing with a storytelling troupe at Brown University, Nora helped bring storytelling workshops to the Queen City through Charlotte Storytellers. Nora uses storytelling to help people understand the unfamiliar. Nora believes that the practice of storytelling teaches us about ourselves and gives us the tools to convey our findings to others. This ability to build empathy helps us explain complex ideas, prove a point and create camaraderie. 

Ramya Mahalingam

Creative Director

By day, Ramya is a user experience designer. By every other second, Ramya is a storyteller. Ramya works at the intersection of design and storytelling, and is very interested in the process of using these methods to solve problems. She believes that the human experience is thriving, chaotic, messy, and weird: designing for it will never be perfect, but will always be fun.

Heather Bartlett

Outreach Director

Heather is a professionally trained actress and theatre teacher. She believes has seen individuals come to life once they realize their story is worth sharing.  Heather is currently working on her Masters in Social Work at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pursing a career as a Registered Drama Therapist.  She is  focused on the healing power of narrative, and the experiential approach to creative arts therapies.

OUTREACH

Unlike other many performance storytelling groups, Charlotte Storytellers focuses principally on the storyteller.  Our workshops and performances foster empathy in the local community and encourage personal growth.  We believe that everyone should have access to this opportunity.  

 

Through our outreach program, we aim to serve those who may not have access to our Monday evening meeting, specifically focusing on, but not limited to, marginalized communities throughout the Greater Charlotte Area.  

 

Since its conception, Charlotte Storytellers has piloted two storytelling groups with Veterans, collaborating with Charlotte Bridge Home and a group of visually impaired veterans through the VA.

 

We have also served at the local YWCA with the youth in their after school programming, and look forward to working with other teen arts organizations in the fall. 

 

If you are interested in being involved with Charlotte Storytellers Outreach, or would like to inquire about having Charlotte Storytellers host a workshop or performance in your neighborhood or agency, please email Heather Bartlett.