Storytellers Appear at People's State of the Union

Feb 20, 2017

A group in Des Moines is staging what it calls a People’s State of the Union event Monday night at a local jazz club. The evening will consist of stories told by representatives from various minority groups.

Credit U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

The storytelling circle will be made up of someone who uses a wheelchair, a Latina, a Native American, an African-American, a Muslim high school student and a refugee from the Middle East. One of the organizers is Carmen Lampe Zeitler.

“Hearing people’s stories help us feel and understand things in a way that just reading about stuff, calling out issues, doesn’t have,” she says.

Lampe Zeitler says the six people will share their stories touching on one of three topics.

“Tell us a story about when you felt included, or a story when you felt excluded, or a story when you’ve gone out of your way to connect with someone who is different from you,” she says.

She says now more than ever, it’s important to hear from people who see life through a different lens. The stories begin at six at the jazz club Noce. The night is modeled after similar events across the country sponsored by the nonprofit U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.