“The Willingham Story Slam @ MUSE Winston-Salem” will host a virtual storytelling event on Thurs., Feb. 11, 2021, at 7 pm, with the theme “For the Love of It.” Guests are invited to tell their best stories about romance, objects of affection, passion projects, or anything else that’s revved your engine! This month’s featured storyteller is a double whammy as Karon and Jason McKinney bring their multifaceted talents to the Story Slam “stage.” Don’t miss this chance to hear them tell a story and perform a song or two.

The McKinneys, under their new name for virtual performances, KAJ Ventures, are bringing their music and banter to a screen near you. Jason, a vocalist and clarinetist, is a Milwaukee native and graduate of the UNCSA School of Music. He has performed at The Kennedy Center, The White House, Preservation Hall and other national and intl. venues. He played the title role in “Porgy and Bess” with the Skylight Music Theater and has created and performed biographical musical dramas about Paul Robeson and Frederick Douglass. Karon is a lifelong vocalist and has performed in venues around the world. She is the founder of the band Karon Click and the Hot Licks. She is also a co-organizer of the Friday Night Music Club, a group that presents musical performances for charity; and a performer and board member with Carolina Music Ways.

The evening will be emceed by Larry Barron, aka LB the Poet, award-wining poet, host and author. We welcome local storytellers (novice or experienced!) to join our special guests and interpret the prompt “For the Love of It.”

Storytellers have five minutes, and stories must be true to the teller’s best recollection. We will choose eight to ten individuals to share their true, relatable stories with our audience as they route for each storyteller.

Advanced registration for our free community event is required for storytellers and observers. Donations are welcome. Further details are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/willingham-story-slammuse-winston-salem-for-the-love-of-it-tickets-136747430245.

The Willingham Story Slam @ MUSE Winston-Salem is a partnership between the Willingham Theater in the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center and MUSE Winston-Salem.


For more on the partnering organizations: www.musews.org


About the Willingham Slam:

The Willingham Theater Advisory Council (of the Yadkin Arts Council) continues their commitment to storytelling in all of its forms by presenting the Willingham Story Slam – showcasing community members performing a live recollection and reflection from their own life experience – a true story. 

Tell a story or just listen!

Stories are probably as old as language. Come participate in one of the most fundamental and enduring human experiences – live storytelling!

What Happens at Story Slam Events

• Volunteers from the community will vie to enthrall you with a story, told live.

• All stories at each slam event will be linked to a common theme, announced in advance. 

• When the slam begins, storyteller hopefuls will put their names in a “hat.” Names are picked at random, and storytellers will take the stage one by one. 

• Storytellers whose name is not drawn will have an opportunity to deliver their first “hook” story line to the audience at the end of the slam. 

• At some slam events stories are scored by teams of judges selected from the audience. 

• Storytellers are judged on sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and having an engaging story. 

Please note

Although admission is not age-restricted, please consider that slam events are open mic. We do not control or know the story content in advance. Some stories may be explicit and meant for an audience aged 16 years and older.

Do you have a story to tell?

What we want to hear: 

Bring us into your experience. Ensnare us in your narrative web. Make us care about you and the journey you have taken. Help us understand the situation you were in. Describe what you observed. Tell us about your fears, your joys, worries or hopes. Include the irony, humor or pathos we can all relate to. What decisions did you make? What were the consequences? What did you change? How were YOU changed?

Story slam guidelines for storytellers

• Stories should be true.  Nonfiction only.

• Stories are told “by heart.” No notes or props. Practice your performance so that you do not need support.

• Adhere to the theme. The story you tell should be strongly linked to the announced theme for the date.

• The story must be yours –not someone else’s. Stories are usually better if you were present and involved in a significant way. 

• The story should reflect action and consequences. Tell us what was at stake, what was gained or lost, the obstacles or conflict you encountered, and how your actions affected you or the outcome.

• Adhere to the time limit. Stories should be 5 minutes long. There will be a one-minute grace period so you do not need to bring a stopwatch.

Please avoid:

• stand-up routines, stereotypes, rants, essays, religious sermons, how-to’s, confessions, lectures, or fiction.

• No one wants to hear hate or derision aimed at a person or a group. Build a bridge with humanity, not a wall.