Spoken Word Festival

Wednesday, Nov 8 – 11, 2023

1957 Sheridan Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

The Art Center Highland Park Launches its first-ever Spoken Word Festival in partnership with local groups from Wednesday, November 8, through Saturday, November 11, 2023

“Poetry and Storytelling groups have been meeting all over the area lately”, says TAC Executive Director James M Lynch, “so we figured let’s start an annual festival to give them a centrally located platform for their work.”

Starting at 7 PM on Wednesday, November 8, monthly poetry producer Lynn West will present ‘Native American Heritage: Footsteps into Culture’, featuring poetry, music, storytelling, and visual art highlighting Native American Heritage. Featured will be Vincent Romero, performance poet, storyteller, and lecturer, Mark LaRoque, storyteller and poet, William Buchholtz who performs on a Native American flute, and Margoth Moreno, silversmith, and painter. There is no fee for this event.

Friday night, November 10 from 7-9 PM, there will be a Spoken Word & Poetry Open Mic hosted by Janea D. Harris, author, poet, speaker, and TAC Board Member. Creative word artists are invited to share their work with the community and work toward the goal of connecting our collective communities through the arts. Everyone is welcome to attend. Sign up to read and/or recite during open mic upon arrival. Please register to attend using this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spoken-word-poetry-open-mic-tickets-746315398447

There is no cover charge but donations to TAC are accepted and appreciated.

Saturday, November 11 has two events for participants. At 10 AM join workshop leader Lou Greenwald for an exciting Storytelling Workshop that will provide you with the tools and techniques to weave engaging tales that will leave your audience spellbound. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned storyteller, this workshop is perfect for you. Lou has taken workshops from Donald Davis, Jay O’Callahan, Chicago’s Scott Whitehair, Beth Horner, Megan Wells, and many others and has performed on stage at Storylab, This Much is True, Short Story Theatre, The Moth in Chicago, Madison, Phoenix, and many other venues. Lou’s plan is to make this workshop informative and lively, with hopes that each participant will love storytelling as much as he does and will wind up being one of Short Story Theatre’s future storytellers. The class will be limited to 12 participants. The fee for this 3-hour workshop is $65 and all proceeds go to TAC. Registration in advance required: REGISTER

Saturday at 7:30 PM, Short Story Theatre presents a full evening’s program. Mike Leonard, a Winnetka resident, and former Today Show Feature Correspondent, will share his story “A Rough Head Start.” Mike will reveal how a childhood blow to the head on the streets of Glencoe altered his way of thinking and oddly made it possible for him to succeed in the broadcasting business. Ellen Blum Barish tells a story entitled “Thank You, Mrs. Rosensweig.” Ellen recalls how as a six-year-old, she grappled with the existence of God after being taunted by a classmate and her first-grade teacher. Glenview resident Larry Glazer tells a story about faith, devotion, and a son’s perseverance in his story “Early Education.” Bill Stewart, a Lake Barrington resident, recalls his Meister Brau summer and his encounter with a bird in “Bird Brain.” Nadia Felecan, originally from Romania, Transylvania, shares how her middle-school French teacher unknowingly helped her cope with her family situation and inspired her to become a French teacher. Her story: “Love of My Life.” Tickets are $15, cash or check at the door, depending on availability. The show often sells out so advanced reservations are suggested. To guarantee a reservation, purchase tickets with this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/735906555317

All events take place at The Art Center Highland Park, 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, Illinois, 60035. The Art Center Highland Park, a not-for-profit organization, is the North Shore’s home for artistic discovery and creative exploration. Through innovative programs, exhibitions, and classes designed for all levels and ages, The Art Center provides a welcoming space for our diverse communities to experience and participate in the arts.

Above: Janea D. Harris, author, poet, speaker, and TAC Board Member, will host a Spoken Word & Poetry Open Mic at The Art Center Highland Park on Friday night, Nov 10, 2023. Photo Courtesy of Janea D. Harris.