LISTEN: Storytellers depict life in Walnut Hills

Posted: 1:23 PM, Mar 25, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-25 13:25:40-04
LISTEN: Storytellers depict life in Walnut Hills
LISTEN: Storytellers depict life in Walnut Hills
LISTEN: Storytellers depict life in Walnut Hills

CINCINNATI — Building community through narrative is what Cincy Stories is all about.

The bimonthly storytelling event got its start a year ago, when Executive Director Shawn Braley and Creative Director Chris Ashwell brought together Cincinnatians with the goal of listening to their neighbors and getting to know each other.

This month, Cincy Stories narrowed in on residents of a single neighborhood: Walnut Hills.

About 65 people packed into the dimly lit Greenwich Jazz Club on Gilbert Avenue that Tuesday evening to listen to five of their neighbors share personal stories about life in Walnut Hills.

Stories ranged from The Greenwich’s owner Mark Yates’s unwitting close encounter with a well-known Cincinnati businessman, Frederick Douglass Elementary Schools resource coordinator Sheena Dunn on growing up biracial in small-town Kentucky and former minor league baseball player George Smith’s first brush with racism in the Deep South of the 1980s.

Braley hopes to eventually cover all 52 Cincinnati neighborhoods, saying “There’s no neighborhood that’s off-limits for us.”

In addition to its live monthly shows, Cincy Stories produces short documentary films on Cincinnati residents available on its website and YouTube channel.

Cincy Stories goes back to its citywide format at 7 p.m. April 5 at MOTR Pub, but its next neighborhood-focused event will zero in on life in Price Hill. Catch it at 7 p.m. May 10 at the Warsaw Avenue Firehouse.