Library Takeover: Essential Stories Event
Essential: True Stories of Invisible Labor
May 14, 4-6 p.m. at Lisa Link Peace Park (452 State St.)
PLACE OF RAIN: Central Library
The Madison Public Library Library Takeover Program will kick off its final event of the 2021-2022 class on Saturday, May 14, from 4-6 p.m. The event, Essential: True Stories of Unseen Work is an opportunity for essential workers to share their stories from the pandemic and beyond. People from all walks of life are invited to attend and share a 5-minute open-mic story at this outdoor event.
“We want this event to be about unseen or underappreciated work, so people can share stories from the pandemic, but they don’t need to be so specific,” the Essential Stories team said. “If you work in food service, healthcare, education, etc., we want to hear from you. We hope to hear many diverse perspectives at this event, and to hear from those who may not have -not feeling brave or safe enough to share their story before.”
The organizing team also invited a handful of star storytellers to share a 10-minute story each at different times throughout the event. Guest speakers include:
- Andy cloudwho served as Native American Storyteller-in-Residence for the Madison Public Library in the fall of 2021.
- Marisol González-Rodriguez, a Mexican, writer, poet, storyteller, business owner, Spanish tutor, mother, wife and legal advocate.
- Rep. Francesca Honga restaurateur/owner who changed careers during the pandemic and is now the state representative for Wisconsin’s 76th Assembly District.
- Beverly HutchersonOutreach and Communications Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at UW Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.
- Wilson Seeleyteacher at White Horse Middle School and former winner of The Moth.
The event will be hosted by a local comedian Dina Nina Martinez and the event will be DJ-ed by Rob Dz. Sign language interpretation will be available throughout the event, including for open-mic stories. As people share their stories, a positivity board will be set up where participants can post positive comments, reactions and thoughts for storytellers to read and enjoy after speaking. The event will feature a take-home Storytelling Maker Kit, as well as a booklist curated by the Essential Stories team.
This event was planned and hosted by four local storytellers, poets and comedians: Dave Nelson, Mel Hammond, Charles Payne and Zachary who applied to be part of the Library Takeover program. Three teams applied and were accepted, eventually undertaking a 4-part event planning course and being mentored by local Madison movers over the past three months. The Madison Public Library provides funding, free space, and marketing for each event.
Library Takeover is funded by the Madison Public Library Foundation and in partnership with Downtown Madison. This gathering will follow all Madison & Dane County public health guidelines in effect at the time of the event.
Andi Cloud is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. His Ho-Chunk, waksikname is Nizuwi, Rain Woman. Andi has worked in education, teaching a variety of ages from toddlers to adults. She has also worked for her tribal government and served on different Ho-Chunk councils and task forces over the past few years. Over the past two years, she has learned the trades of sewing and beadwork. She sells both online, at craft fairs and through personal orders. In the fall of 2021, she became Madison Public Library’s first Indigenous Storyteller-in-Residence.
Marisol is Mexican, writer, poet, storyteller, business owner, Spanish tutor, mother, wife, and advocate for justice. She enjoys nature, camping, traveling, meeting new people and telling stories at storytelling events. She came to the United States at the age of nineteen to achieve the American dream. Her purpose in life is to put her voice and ideas on paper to fight for equity. She is changing the world by writing various children’s books and working on a collection of short stories about her life as an immigrant.
Rep. Francesca Hong
Born and raised in Madison WI, Francesca Hong is a first-generation Korean American mother, chef, and community organizer. In 2016, after the birth of their son, Francesca and her partner Matt opened the Morris Ramen restaurant in downtown Madison. Shortly after, Francesca co-founded the Culinary Ladies Collective (CLC) and is currently Chair of the Board. CLC is an organization that aims to empower women and non-binary food and beverage professionals through shared resources, networking, and fundraising for nonprofits. Francesca is also the first Asian American to serve in the Wisconsin State Legislature and represents communities in the 76th Assembly District.
Scientist-educator, motivational speaker, workforce strategist and diversity consultant Beverly Hutcherson, MS is the executive director of The Ladder and the outreach and communications lead for diversity and inclusion at UW Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Beverly Hutcherson, MS is passionate about connecting the biomedical community to the public through community education and outreach projects and is committed to approaching equity, diversity and inclusion work in all spaces with truth and compassion .
Wilson Seely (Bio) grew up in Madison, WI. He graduated from UW-Madison with a teaching degree and has over ten years of teaching at Whitehorse Middle School. Mr. Seely is married to his high school girlfriend, Samantha, and they are lucky to have his and her family with them here in town. He was adopted from South Korea as a baby, and this year he was reunited with his birth mother and ventured to Korea for the first time to meet her.
Dina Nina Martinez
Rob Franklin, also known as Rob Dz, is the Bubblerarian Media Projects for the Madison Public Library. As a Kennedy Center Certified Teaching Artist for the Making Justice program, his residency primarily focuses on hip-hop, personal branding, and speaking as a positive form of self-expression. Rob has held residencies with Madison youth at elementary, middle and high schools, community centers, Dane County Juvenile Detention Center and Juvenile Shelter, Neighborhood Intervention Program, Madison Jazz Consortium and with The Black Star Drum Line. As a musician he has performed with artists like Nas, Eminem, Common, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez and others. In 2017, he was inducted into both the American Folklife Center at the Library Of Congress and the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a member of The Story Corps program. Rob will be our DJ and is DO NOT tell a story.