Last Friday, students gathered in the Sayles Hill Lounge for cookies, coffee, and storytelling at Carleton’s live storytelling event, The Cloth.
The event, organized by Carinna Nikke 0’18, was inspired by the not-forprofit organization The Moth, which celebrates the art of storytelling through live shows all over the world.
Created in 1997, the Moth seeks to show the depth of the human experience through stories. Each show has a theme, and the storytellers often confront the theme in a variety of unexpected ways. While some of the stories tell stories of pivotal moments, others capture life’s ordinary moments.
Nikkel has long been interested in podcasts and radio shows and wanted to bring the power of storytelling to the Carleton campus. For Nikkel, “stories are such a powerfully human way of connecting. They’re the best way to share your life with someone.”
The theme of Carleton’s event was “firsts.” Students told stories without notes, showing a wide spectrum of “first” experiences ranging from “the first time I got in trouble” and “my first prom” to “the first time I got high” and “the first time I learned the difference between cornea and a clitoris.”
Veronica Child ’18 noted that the stories had “the right amount of humor and inspiration.”
The stories were recorded during the event and broadcasted on KRLX.
The intimate setting of the Sayles-Hill Lounge was the ideal atmosphere for students to feel comfortable opening up and telling their stories in a relaxed, casual environment.
Naomi Borowski ’18, one of the many students who told a story, found that “the Cloth had the perfect story telling vibe. I hadn’t really practiced but it felt comfortable going up there to tell a story.”
The Cloth event had a fantastic turnout and enthusiastic audience response. Part of this is due to storytelling’s ability to bring people together and expose them to bits and pieces of each other’s lives.
Nick Leeke, a fan of The Moth’s live storytelling events and attendee of The Cloth is drawn to storytelling because of stories’ abilities to transport lis- teners to other places. Ella Fade- ly, another attendee of the event, finds storytelling compelling be- cause it gives her an insight into people’s lives.
Borowski said, “I’ve been to lots of fun events at Carleton but I haven’t had a chance to learn anything new about others. After this event, I feel like I learned new things about everyone who told a story. We’re on this amazing campus surrounded by 2,000 people who all have amazing stories to share.”
Nikkel is pleased with the outcome of The Cloth’s first event and plans to continue the event in the future, hopefully hosting one storytelling event each term.