Telling stories in a group is one of humankind’s oldest activities. The anthropological record suggests the oldest known oral story is at least 10,000 years old–and it’s still being re-told around campfires among Australia’s aboriginal peoples.
 
The Social Voice Project helps community groups capture, preserve, and share their own storytelling, such as spoken word events, open mic nights, poetry readings, monologues, creative storytelling competitions, radio theater performances, festivals, banquets, conferences, and other gatherings.  Here is a sampling of community storytelling events recorded live and on location.   

What's Happening

The Pig Lady Festival is coming this Fall! Join us in New Galilee, Pennsylvania on October 22, 2021 for a night of local legends, lore, and other mysterious Beaver County tales, bluegrass music, games for the kids, and a community movie.

Community Storytelling - Live Events

“Loving My Black” Spoken Word Showcase

A special event celebrating Black History Month and the voices of Aliquippa and Beaver County. The “‘Loving My Black’ Spoken Word Showcase” was recorded live on February 26, 2021 at the Uncommon Grounds Cafe in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. It is hosted by Andrenna Williams and features a variety of voices and stories from the community.

This live event recording has been inducted into the Listening Library of Beaver County, a special multimedia collaborative project that captures, preserves, and shares the voices and stories of our time.


This. Is. My. Story. – A Spoken Word Showcase

On February 21, 2020, Uncommon Grounds Cafe presented a community storytelling and spoken word celebration in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.

“This. Is. My. Story.” is hosted by Andrenna Williams and features the voices and stories of Zabriawn Smith, Laturne Beasley Jr., Amber Dorsett, Jamie Smith, Jessical Jeffries-Spencer, Shane’na Jeter, Andrenna Williams, Melissa McKinney, Michele Witt, Jonathan MC, Scott Colburn, Laura Gilbert, Malkyah Bailey, Rich Brown, Yvonne Jackson, Taja Finley, Angelica Little, and Herb Bailey.

These stories will be archived with the Listening Library: Beaver County – a special community multimedia collaborative project that captures, preserves, and shares the voices and stories of our time.

Storyburgh: Stories of Struggle and Survival

 

On January 29, 2020, Storyburgh hosted a moth-style storytelling event at the East End Cooperative Ministry with the theme, “Stories of Struggle and Survival.” As part of its community podcasting initiative, The Social Voice Project recorded the event and presents it here in its entirety.

“Stories of Struggle and Survival” featured local storytellers, compelling narratives, and showcased the power of human spirit.  Pamela Monk and Kelly Mariska will host and Matthew Petronko will be performing musician.  Most of the five storytellers have experienced and/or are working in low wage/poverty/homelessness space: Rev. Kellie Wild, Kess Ballentine, Sharlene Dominick, Sarah Rashmee Souri, and Meg St-Esprit.

The Pig Lady Festival (2019)

On episode 26 of Tony Lavorgne’s Legends and Lore Podcast, we go on-location to Darlington, Pennsylvania to cover the 2019 Pig Lady Festival, hosted by Tony Lavorgne and featuring the Ohio Paranormal Investigation Team.

The Pig Lady Festival is a fall community celebration of local folklore in the tradition of the Gaelic Samhain “end of Summer” festival commemorated with games, bonfires, and ghost stories.

This year’s festival recreates Samhain with old Irish games like bobbing for apples, a costume contest, a bonfire, and local ghost stories told by paranormal author, researcher, and podcast host, Tony Lavorgne.  The evening included a discussion of the haunting of Gretchen’s Lock with Melissa Rhodes Hornbeck and  Claudia Lewis Esken of the Ohio Paranormal Investigation Team.  The evening ended with a film screen of Gretchen’s Lock, a Josh Menning film adaptation of the Little Beaver Creek legend.

Larry Bruno Foundation: 2019 Circle of Achievement Awards Banquet

On episode 8 of The Magical Coach Podcast, we present the 2019 Circle of Achievement Awards Banquet honoring Robert Blythe, Glenn Dennison, David Miller, Charlene Taylor, Ken Yonkee, the 2016 WPIAL & State Champion BFHS Football Team, and many others.

The Magical Coach Podcast is hosted by the Larry Bruno Foundation and features stories and community profiles of great coaches and student athletes.  For more, visit The Magical Coach website.

Community Storytelling @ Beaver Falls Coffee & Tea Co.

On episode 13 of the Beaver County History Podcast, we celebrate community storytelling with Bethany Canzenella Warren at the Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea Company. This event’s theme is “renewal,” featuring real-life stories by Jim Adams, Scott Colburn, and Kevin Farkas, with music by Craig Bennett. 

2018 Halloween Radio Show

Join paranormal researcher, author, and podcast host Tony Lavorgne and a cast of local actors for an evening of thrilling ghost tales and other strange stories of the unexplained and paranormal, performed before a live audience at the Rochester Borough Theater in Rochester, Pennsylvania.

2018 Comedy Radio Show

The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast presents its 2018 Comedy Radio Show, performed, recorded, and streamed to the internet before a live audience on August 18, 2018 at the beautiful Rochester Borough Theater. Featuring: Scott Reinard as host, along with The Cellar Dwellers, Ian Ray, and the Point Blank Comedy Club.

Inside Our Minds: Anonymous Open Mic, Featuring Writing Away The Stigma

 

This special Anonymous Open Mic held at Millvale Community Library on June 28, 2018 features readings by teens from Creative Nonfiction’s Writing Away The Stigma program, as well as named and anonymous stories by Pittsburghers affected by mental illness.

Anonymous Open Mic is a storytelling project working to build a community narrative around mental illness in Pittsburgh. Pittsburghers affected by mental illness can submit a short story, poem, or spoken word piece anonymously online. Community members can then volunteer to perform the anonymous works in front of a live audience.

Inside Our Minds is an organization that works to elevate the voices of people with lived experience of mental illness and madness in Pittsburgh.  Inside Our Minds is fiscally sponsored by New Sun Rising.

Larry Bruno Foundation: 2018 Circle of Achievement Awards Banquet

On episode 6 of The Magical Coach Podcast, we present an evening with the Larry Bruno Foundation 2018 Circle of Achievement Honorees: Jim “Gumpy” Ebersberger, Anthony “Tony” Esoldo, Dr. Jean Ann Higgins, Judge Richard Mancini, Dr. Eugene J. Palka, Robert “Rocky” Washington, and the 1961 BFHS Baseball Team.  For more about the 2018 honorees, visit the Larry Bruno Foundation.

The Magical Coach Podcast is hosted by the Larry Bruno Foundation and features stories and community profiles of great coaches and student athletes.  For more, visit The Magical Coach website.

 

VBC at Night: Beaver County (September 2017)

On episode 33 of Longest War: The Post-9/11 Veterans Podcast, we present a live recording of our Post-9/11 Veterans Storytelling event in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  Featuring the voices and stories of Ed Blank (Vietnam), Paul Cupp (Vietnam), Damien Gabis (Afghanistan), Michael Sabatasse (Desert Storm), Ryan Ahl (Iraq), and Pete Longstreth (WWII).

VBC at Night: Beaver County (December 2017)

On episode 45 of Longest War: The Post-9/11 Veterans Podcast, VBC presents an evening of live veterans storytelling in Beaver, Pennsylvania, featuring the stories and voices of Darell Jerome, Larry Googins, Gene Bradshaw, Steve Brittian, Timmy Kellerman, and many others.