Holiday Storytelling Spectacular

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Welcome to the show! Arizona Storytellers Project presents "Holiday Storytelling Spectacular" at 7 p.m. MT on Dec. 21.

The holidays can be a time of gleeful surprise, gratitude, wrapping paper disasters or family mishaps. Join The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating the moments that unite our communities, faiths and families.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

Megan Finnerty, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona
Kathy Cano-Murillo of Phoenix, Arizona
Teresa Strasser of Phoenix, Arizona
Liz Warren, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona
Ernesto Ortiz, 43, of Phoenix, Arizona
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THIS
VIRTUAL EVENT
Megan Finnerty, 40, of Phoenix, Arizona | The Best Christmas Present Ever

What do you hope listeners take away from your story?
Oh, it’s a small story about appreciating our parents. And hoping that we can live up to them as we start our own families.

Who or what inspired you to tell this story?
Parents are miracle workers at the holidays. And I am so thankful.

Kathy Cano-Murillo of Phoenix, Arizona | The Lost Ring and a Miracle

What do you hope listeners take away from your story?
TBD

Who or what inspired you to tell this story?
TBD

Teresa Strasser of Phoenix, Arizona | A Very Hippie Hanukkah

What do you hope listeners take away from your story?
I hope the listeners will plan some deliciously devious way to surprise their kids this holiday season. And I hope they can conjure a memory of some small thing a parent did to turn an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one.

Who or what inspired you to tell this story?
There were facets of Judaism and Jewish customs hardwired into my parents, and that my mom had provided for our own little family a mini miracle, and that’s one way to look at Hanukkah. It’s a time to see miracles in small things.

Liz Warren, 66, of Phoenix, Arizona | Strength for the Holidays

What do you hope listeners take away from your story?
The strength and resilience that is required to make it through the holidays.

Who or what inspired you to tell this story?
My father served as Santa Claus in our farming community of Gilbert for many years. Although I was shocked at age five when I first saw him in his Santa suit, I realize now what a hard thing it was to be Santa and what an act of service he provided.

Ernesto Ortiz, 43, of Phoenix, Arizona | Childhood Wishes Do Come True

What do you hope listeners take away from your story?
Life is full of challenges, both big and small. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, step back and laugh.

Who or what inspired you to tell this story?
Storytelling is a wonderful tool that helps create community. I think that is beautiful. It's important to share and connect with others--in person or online.

VIDEOS

Past videos from the
Storytellers Project

Storytellers Project - Love and Heartbreak show

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "Love and Heartbreak" at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET on Feb. 16.

Whether you swipe right or meet cute, or are still looking for “the one,” dating and everything that comes next is complicated and joyful. Join USA TODAY for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating the breakups and makeups that define us.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

I Am series from Storytellers Project - I am Black

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "I am Black" at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET on March 2.

Join the us for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating the ways race and ethnicity weave through American identities.

This is the first in a series of five storytelling nights called “I Am” to more fully tell the stories of America. “I Am Black” features personal stories from people who identify as Black. The shows promise insightful, entertaining stories that invite listeners of all identities to consider what we all have in common, and what divides us — a mix of touching moments and hard truths.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

Storytellers Project - I Made This - Stories about the Arts show

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project will present "I Made This: Stories about the Arts" at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on March 16.

Music. Movies. Memes. Art is all around us and this event explores the creatives behind the culture. Join USA TODAY for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating the arts.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Storytellers Project founder Megan Finnerty will emcee live!

West and Sunbelt Storytellers Project - Growing Up

Welcome to the show! The West and Sunbelt Storytellers Project, which includes Phoenix, Arizona; Tucson, Arizona; Ventura County, California; Reno, Nevada; and Salem, Oregon, presents "Growing UP" at 4 p.m. PT on March 4.

Many of us know from experience that growing up doesn’t come without sometimes awkward, sometimes funny and sometimes even heartbreaking moments. For some of us, it happens all at once. For others, it's a series of subtler moments. And it often comes at the unlikeliest of times.

Join the USA TODAY Network for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating our youth and the rites of passage on the way to adulthood.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Wendy Leung and Brett McGinness, will emcee live!

Storytellers Project - New Beginnings show

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "New Beginnings" at 4 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 12.

We could all use a fresh start. Sometimes, it can be as small as getting a new haircut, having a baby, deleting a number or a big career pivot. Join USA TODAY for an hour of true, first-person stories about the choices, discoveries and accidents that change our lives.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

10 Years Later: Conversations about courage and resiliency with Gabby Giffords and friends

Welcome to the show! USA TODAY, Arizona Daily Star and The Arizona Republic present "10 Years Later: Conversations about courage and resiliency with Gabby Giffords and friends" at 3 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 7.

Featuring:

Gabby Giffords.

Dr. Fabi Hirsch of the Aphasia Center of Tucson and Arizona Republic journalist Karina Bland.

Arizona House Representative Dr. Randall Friese with former Arizona Daily Star journalist Stephanie Innes, now at the Arizona Republic.

Arizona House Representative Daniel Hernandez.

Survivors Mary Reed and daughter Emma McMahon.

Surviror Patricia Maisch and Sarah Garrecht Gassen, Opinion Editor at the Arizona Daily Star.

Arizona poet laureate Alberto Rios, Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Holidays

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "Holidays" at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET on Dec. 15.

The holidays can be a time of gleeful surprise, gratitude, wrapping paper disasters or family mishaps. Join USA TODAY for an hour of true, first-person stories celebrating the moments that unite our communities, faiths and families.

Our storytellers will share their personal stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

I am an American

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "I am an American" at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Oct. 29.

These are tough times, but we'll get through it together. Join us for true, first-person stories from the lives of your neighbors, reflecting on what it means to be an American. They will tell their stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

Entrepreneurship and Hustle

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "Entrepreneurship and Hustle" at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Oct. 1.

These are tough times, but we'll get through it together. Join us for true, first-person stories from the lives of your neighbors about life, the grind, and the sacrifices of building something all your own. They will tell their stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!

Farthest You'll Ever be from Home

Welcome to the show! The Storytellers Project presents "Farthest You'll Ever be from Home" at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Oct. 21.

These are tough times, but we'll get through it together. Join us for true, first-person stories from the lives of your neighbors, who just happen to be scientists and astronauts, about dealing with loneliness and isolation in space and how that translates to life on Earth, and persevering through it all. They will tell their stories from their homes, using their devices, and Megan Finnerty, will emcee live!


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