Tag: Queens Council on the Arts

Happy New Year!

Like so many, 2020 was not what we expected. We were rehearsing for our first show at Sunnyside Plays and looking forward to an in-person Lambda Literary story swap when COVID-19 cases exploded in NYC back in March. Our future quickly became uncertain and we weren’t sure if we’d be swapping stories ever again.

Despite technical difficulties, a different genre of performance, and a huge learning curve, we were pleased to deliver two virtual story swaps. We hope listening to the stories provided a needed respite.

Storytelling has both the power to elicit empathy and create connection, and though we couldn’t physically be together we hope both of these things came through the screen. We’re especially grateful to everyone who came out to support the storytellers. And if you missed the shows, check out our podcast!

From top left clockwise: Heather Quinlan, Sokunthary Svay, Gail Thomas, Charlotte Marchant, Nita Noveno, Calvin S. Cato, Nancy Agabian, Nicole Shawan Junior.

Our virtual shows raised nearly $1000 for the Woodside/Sunnyside Community COVID-19 Food Relief Group – You can still donate here: Use the dropdown to indicate Covid 19 Sunnyside/Woodside Food Distribution (or Venmo @KellyJean-Fitzsimmons who will collect and donate).

In the spirit of giving, we appreciate any end-of-year donations you are able to make in support of  No, YOU Tell It! Make your tax-deductible donation directly here or through the DONATE button below – any and all amounts help make shows like “Precious” and “Coming  & Going” possible.

And LASTLY, thanks to all of our partners and elves behind the scenes who helped along the way, including but not limited to: The Brooklyn Book FestivalLambda LiteraryRevisionary Writing and Editing LLCAstoria BookshopQueens Council on the Arts, Amanda Sisk, Noah Diamond, Erika Marit Iverson, Mike Dressel, & Tim Lindner.

Until next time, check in on our podcast where you can listen to any of our past shows on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram @noyoutellit for the latest updates and information on upcoming events in 2021!

Wishing you all the best for a bright new year,
Kelly Jean

Episode 57 – Precious (Part 2)

Kicking off the second swap from our Precious show, our narrator time travels between Brooklyn and Oklahoma where she cares for her aging mother after her father’s death. Confronted with memories and physical artifacts from her past, she gains a new perspective on the hometown she had so desired to escape as her two worlds collide.

Our first story is “Home,” written by Gail Thomas and performed by Nita Noveno.

Top: Gail Thomas; Bottom: Nita Noveno

We’re not in Oklahoma anymore! Switching it up, our next storyteller reminisces on a ritual (insert animal) slaughter and roast in her Filipino community in Alaska, conjuring her fear and resistance to a cultural norm.

An homage to the gradual influence of tradition and its impact on one’s identity and the collective’s, our second story, “Gathering (1973)” was written by Nita Noveno and performed by Gail Thomas.

Similar to last week’s podcast, we asked the storytellers to draw what three grocery items have suddenly become precious since we last rehearsed in March. It becomes immediately clear how much they’ve (haven’t we all?) gained a new appreciation for basic necessities.

Huge thanks to our friend Amanda Sisk who directed the brush-up rehearsals for our virtual story swaps!

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

Episode 56 – Precious (Part 1)

The top five answers are on the board – name something that is Precious. Our first story delivers us right into the mind of its author. But this seemingly humorous daydream leads her to recollect lost lives and haunting memories that have shaped the way she lives and copes.

Written by Heather Quinlan and read by Sokunthary Svay, here is, “Survey Says”

As you will hear, we asked each of our storytellers to draw and present three grocery items (other than toilet paper) that have become precious to them since we last rehearsed in March when we had to postpone our original show as COVID-19 cases surged in NYC.

What became clear is how much we all have gained a new appreciation for basic necessities.

Top: Sokunthary Svay; Bottom: Heather Quinlan

Switching it up, we’re headed down to the Paradise City where two Cambodian refugee adolescents stumble upon Guns’n’Roses and experience a means of catharsis from Axl’s screeching voice.

Whether searching the library or recording cassettes, the discovery and pursuit of music lead the narrator to find her own voice, even if it takes a lifetime.

Here is “I Heard Some Chords” written by Sokunthary Svay and read for us by Heather Quinlan.

Huge thanks to our friend Amanda Sisk who directed the brush-up rehearsals for our virtual story swaps!

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

“Precious” Program

Dec 10 2020 @ 7:00PM

Tonight! Our storytellers first met in person back in March to turn out true tales inspired by the theme “Precious” on the page. Join us these many months later as they swap stories on the virtual stage.

Click here at 7 pm to join directly or “Join a Meeting” on Zoom with the Meeting ID: 973 9881 8640

Passcode: storyswap

Take a look at our “Precious” storytellers who will be trading their true-life tales.

For optimal viewing and listening experience, be sure to keep your video off, your mic muted and your non-video participants hidden. See instructions below for how to do this. When ready, verify you are in ‘Speaker View’ and enjoy the readings.
Hiding non-video participants: Click on the ^ symbol near the video icon in the lower-left and navigate to video settings. Verify the box next to Hide non-video participants is checked. 

Tonight’s Stories!

Survey Says written by Heather Quinlan and read by Sokunthary Svay

I Heard Some Chords written by Sokunthary Svay, read by Heather Quinlan

Home written by Gail Thomas, read by Nita Noveno

Gathering (1973) written by Nita Noveno, read by Gail Thomas

Listen carefully because we’ll be doing story trivia for a chance to win storyteller Heather Quinlan’s new book, Plagues, Pandemics and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to Covid-19. Click here to order the book now from our friends at The Astoria Bookshop!

At the end of the evening, everyone is invited to unmute and turn on their cameras to congratulate our storytellers and ask questions.

$10 suggested donation for tonight’s show to the Woodside/Sunnyside Community Covid-19 Food Relief Group.

Click here to donate directly. When donating use the dropdown to indicate Covid 19 Sunnyside/Woodside Food Distribution (or Venmo @KellyJean-Fitzsimmons who will collect and donate)

Huge thanks to our friends at The Astoria Bookshop and Queens Council on the Arts!

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

Event Information

Dec 10 2020 @ 7:00PM

ZOOM Meeting ID: 973 9881 8640 Passcode: storyswap

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is ON

Dec 10 2020 @ 7:00PM

In March, we postponed our No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” show as COVID-19 cases surged in NYC. It’s been a long nine months for all of us, and we’re grateful the four storytellers are ready to swap tales virtually on December 10th.

Inspired by the theme, “Precious,” the storytellers wrote, workshopped, and rehearsed their story swaps back in March. Now they are brushing up and readying to trade true tales on the Zoom stage. Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

Top left: Sokunthary Svay; Top right: Gail Thomas; Bottom left: Heather Quinlan; Bottom right: Nita Noveno

Join us for this special Queens edition of No, YOU Tell It! Bonus: Audience members will have a chance to win storyteller Heather Quinlan’s new book, Plagues, Pandemics and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to Covid-19. Can’t wait? Click here to order the book now from our friends at The Astoria Bookshop!

Storytellers include:

Nita Noveno

Heather Quinlan

Sokunthary Svay

Gail Thomas

$10 suggested donation to benefit the Woodside/Sunnyside Community COVID-19 Food Relief Group

Click here to donate directly. When donating use the dropdown to indicate Covid 19 Sunnyside/Woodside Food Distribution (or Venmo @KellyJean-Fitzsimmons who will collect and donate).

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Event Information

Dec 10 2020 @ 7:00PM

ZOOM Meeting ID: 973 9881 8640 Passcode: storyswap

Episode 54 – Coming & Going (Part 1)

Have you ever wanted to be someone else? The opening story of “Coming & Going”— our second team-up show with Lambda Literary — follows Calvin…or as he’d like to be known, Craig, as he travels to Florida to become someone new. This journey to overcome grief caused by a death, a breakup, and an unforgiving New York City reveals that what we seek might already be inside us, even if we have to imagine our future with a new set of eyes once in a while.

Nicole Shawan Junior reads “Becoming Someone Else in Florida” written by Calvin S. Cato.

Nicole’s reading was directed by Amanda Sisk.

Bonus: For this, our first virtual show, we asked each storyteller that if we, the listeners, wished to summon them directly to our room what three items might we place in a magic circle to do so. As you see and will hear, a wide variety of ingredients are needed to complete the spell.

Top: Calvin S. Cato, Bottom: Nicole Shawan Junior

Switching it up, our next story takes us on a trip to the west coast where two lovers seek comfort in each other’s sanitized arms during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the backdrop of 2020’s chaotic energy, the two women must navigate their coping mechanisms, fears, and ultimately their love for each other in order to confront their futures — together or on their own.

Nicole Shawan Junior’s timely story, “Finding Our Way Back Home,” is read for us here by Calvin S. Cato.

Calvin’s reading was directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.

No, YOU Tell It! “Coming & Going” was AN OFFICIAL 2020 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT and made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Shout Out to Queens Storytellers

We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received from the Queens Council on the Arts over the years.

Here are some updates from No, YOU Tell It! alum storytellers living in the epicenter of Queens.

It’s hard to believe but our eight-year anniversary is coming up on May 8th.

Our planned “Coming & Going” show is on hold for now, but we do have some social-distanced surprises in store.

LIKE our Facebook page and FOLLOW us on Instagram for updates on how to celebrate and perhaps win a Bookseller’s Choice Bundle from The Astoria Bookshop.

2020 QAF Grant and First Show of 2020!

Mar 12 2020 @ 7:00PM

Proud to share that No, YOU Tell It! is a recipient of a 2020 Queens Arts Fund Arts Access Grant. Our first show of 2020 No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is coming up soon.

Join us on March 12th at Sunnyside Plays at 7 pm. For this special Queens edition, four storytellers have come together to develop their own stories inspired by the theme “Precious” on the page. They will then trade tales to present each other’s story on stage.

top left: Sokunthary Svay, top right: Gail Thomas, bottom left: Heather Quinlan, bottom right: Nita Noveno

Storytellers include:

Nita Noveno (co-host, Sunday Salon)

Heather Quinlan (documentary producer and director, If These Knishes Could Talk)

Sokunthary Svay (poetry editor, Newtown Literary)

Gail Thomas (storytelling instructor, The Story Studio, Legal Outreach)

One drink minimum (beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages available)
$10 suggested donation

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Event Information

Mar 12 2020 @ 7:00PM

Sunnyside Plays (43-09 48th Avenue, Queens, NYC)

Student Story Swap at Legal Outreach

Mike Dressel, Erika Marit Iverson, and Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, the three-headed dog of NYTI, are headed to Legal Outreach today for a student story swap working with participants in their College Bound program to help strengthen their personal essays for college applications.
 
This event is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Episode 47 – Crafty (Part 1)

The stress of planning and executing a family vacation to Las Vegas leaves the narrator of Vaughn M. Watson’s story with a need to escape, resulting in a low-key cannabis caper.

From the first half of our “Crafty” show performed live at The Astoria Bookshop, whoosh of the nearby N train and all, here is Marianthy Karantzes reading “Getting Crafty at the Dispensary.” Directed by Erika Iverson.

Top left: Marianthy Karantzes, right: Vaughn M. Watson

Switching it up, the familiar of rhythms of vacation life on the coast of the Ionian sea lull the protagonist of our next story into a sense of security, until the clues that something may be amiss become too hard to ignore.

Vaughn M. Watson reads “Her Own Personal Ithaca” by Marianthy Karantzes. Directed by Mike Dressel.

Stories were performed live on 2/27/19. Podcast episode narrated by Mike Dressel.

No, YOU Tell It! “Crafty” was made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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