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StoryCraft part 2: Dance is my everything

wearing a pink tee shirt and holding a notebook, Tori Stinson reads her poem to a group sitting on chairs in a circle on the stage of the Grant Center auditorium.
Cass Herrington
Tori Stinson shares her poem during the StoryCraft summer storytelling workshops at the Grant Center.

In the second part of StoryCraft, artist mentors Elizabeth Garland and Micah Mackenzie introduce us to 15-year-old Tori Stinson. During our series of summer storytelling workshops at the Grant Center, Tori used the writing prompt “Who am I?” to examine how dance defines her as a person, how she calls on dance to help her through difficult times. Here’s an excerpt: 

Dance makes me calm.  

Dance is who I am, I am freestyle dance.  

Dance is my escape, it’s my escape from negative energy and bad things.  

Dance is my superpower.  

Tori kept building on her poem, writing about how dance was a constant through painful experiences. She said the StoryCraft workshops gave her the opportunity to "get the pain out of her body.” 

“I’ll give some friendly advice -- be yourself! You don’t have to change yourself for anybody. Be yourself, if you have pain, let it out, share it with somebody. Or what I just did, write it out on paper. It makes you feel so much better.” --Tori Stinson 

Click the audio above to hear StoryCraft Part 2: Dance is my everything 

Find links to the entire series and learn more about StoryCraft here

StoryCraft is featured in AWITSC’s annual El Arte de la Abundancia (The Art of Abundance) virtual showcase Saturday November 20th at 8:00 PM and in-person exhibit at the Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center November 19-21. Reserve your free ticket here; COVID safety protocols are in place with limited viewings Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 


StoryCraft’s 2021 talent includes: Liam, Age 13; Clement, Age 12; Anderson, Age 12; Lorelei, Age 13; Isaiah, Age 11; Davaughn, Age 13; Jaydin, Age 13; Azia, Age 14; Tamia, Age 14; Emily, Age 14; West, Age 13; Emillia, Age 14; Keiya, Age 13; Ahmaria, Age 12; Antonio, Age 15; Tori, Age 15; Zaryah, Age 13; Payton, Age 13

StoryCraft 2021’s artist mentors include CocoEva Soleil LuzGuerrero Alcazar, Elizabeth Garland, Micah Mackenzie, Cass Herrington and Catherine Komp. Project managers and producers include Sekou Coleman, Micah Mackenzie and Catherine Komp. 

Thank you to Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center Staff for welcoming StoryCraft during the summer 2021 program and assisting with the StoryCraft session: Jessica Johnston, Facility Manager; Alic Wynn, Facility Supervisor; Khadeesha Crumbly, Zuke Samon and Corden Floyd, Summer Program Staff.

StoryCraft is part of the America Amplified initiative, a national public media collaboration focused on community engagement reporting.

Funding for StoryCraft comes in part from: Asheville Writers in the Schools, BPR’s McGuire Fund for Journalism, America Amplified, Asheville Area Arts Council Grassroots Arts Program and the North Carolina Arts Council Arts Equity Project.

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.
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