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Big Hearts for Seniors seeks storytellers for annual fundraiser

Application deadline is Feb. 1, 2021

Playwright Marc Holland presents his story at the 2020 Big Hearts for Seniors event. (Big Hearts for Seniors)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Have a good story to tell?

Big Hearts for Seniors is searching for community members willing to share their stories at its annual fundraiser.

The event raises money for five community-supported programs: Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels, Housing Bureau for Seniors, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Silver Club Memory Programs and the Turner Senior Wellness Program.

Funds raised help the programs to assist older adults with sustainable housing, home-delivered meals, relief from social isolation and support for independent living, among other services.

Storytellers wanting to share their personal and true tales can apply until Feb. 1. A virtual storytelling workshop will be held on Jan. 16, 2021 to help potential applicants refine their ideas.

Those interested can submit an application here along with a 250-word description of their story.

The Big Hearts for Seniors: Generations event will happen virtually on May 27, 2021.

“Big Hearted Stories 2021 is going to be an event filled with heart and connection. Our theme “Generations” will allow our storytellers to share memories of connection and tradition,” said Big Hearts for Seniors artistic director Breeda Miller.

“We are excited to take this event to a new level of entertainment and impact with special guest storytellers and a few surprises. Our need for connection and honoring the generations before us will make this year’s event an extraordinary experience. As it will be virtual it will be accessible to audiences around the world. We can’t wait!”

Here are some dates to know:

  • Feb. 1: Last day for story submissions.
  • Feb. 15: Announcement of which stories will be heard by the selection committee.
  • Feb. 27-28: Storytellers present their story ideas to the selection committee at Pitchfest.
  • March. 8: Finalists revealed.

Applicants whose stories are selected by the committee will work with coaches on March 20, March 27, and April 10 to refine their storytelling. During the week on April 12, storytellers will record their stories in front of a small audience which will be shown at the Big Hearts for Seniors: Generations event in May.

Find more information about the event here.

Questions can be emailed to Jennifer Howard, director of the Turner Senior Wellness Program, at jwhoward@umich.edu, or by calling 734-998-9353.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.