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Last Thursday we opened up our second Mantle Project with a poem by 13th century poet Rumi which reads:

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.”

Our hope for our second event was that we could help create that field and thanks to our storytellers such as a Patrick (Tea Party supporter) who told us about a confrontation with his son and learning the true meaning of love, and Linda (Occupy supporter) who told us about a trek to Everest base camp and coming to realize that her slow shuffle was her truth, it certainly feels like we got closer.

For those of you who were able to make it: we appreciate your support and please help us continue to improve The Mantle Project by giving us your feedback (one lucky survey-taker will win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com). Click here to take our survey.

For everyone else, check out a few snapshots from our event, below. Click here to view the full album.

The Mantle Project is a team effort. A big thank you to those who volunteered their time and effort to make last Thursday possible, notably Allison Daminger who helped with outreach and story coaching, Amanda Cayo who helped with marketing strategy and promotion, and of course our four storytellers: Alex Ingram, Patrick Humphries, Linda Jenkins, and Tammy Weitzman.

With our next event coming up this Thursday, a little about the four good folks who have volunteered to share their stories with us.

They include one GOP supporter, one Tea Party supporter (who sits on the steering committee of the Greater Boston area group), and two Occupy Boston supporters (one of whom joined the camp in Dewey Square two weeks after it launched). More specifically they are (in no particular order):
– Alex, an Air Force Airman originally from Broxton Georgia who works in catering and as an internet radio producer
– Tammy, a Canada native who has lived in Boston for the last seven years and serves as an oncology social worker
– Patrick, a native of Iowa who works as a software engineer and has lived in Boston for the last 26 years
– Linda, a lawyer, mother, and grandmother who works as a Unitarian Universalist lay Minister

Every four years the Presidential election comes around and brings with it a unique moment of self reflection. We hope that our event this Thursday can contribute to that spirit through a fun, engaging, but also deeper exploration of the stories that shape us.

For more info on Thursday’s event and to RSVP come visit our Facebook event page.

We’d also like to show our storytellers as much support as possible so if you have any friends/family/colleagues who may be interested in our event we would much appreciate if you sent them our Facebook event link.

Thanks for your support and hope to see you this week!
Nabil

We’ve booked a venue, recruited storytellers, and are scheduling story coaching workshops — this can only mean one thing: the production of our second Mantle Project event is under way.

Our last event had over 40 attendees and almost half of you responded to our follow-up survey — thank you!

Of the feedback you sent in, two themes surfaced: offer stories from multiple political perspectives, and give the audience an opportunity to ask questions.

With your feedback in mind, for our next event we’ve expanded our recruiting to include storytellers from across the political spectrum (from the Tea Party to Occupy Boston), and we’ll include a moderated Q&A.

We’re excited to tell you more about our next event in the days ahead and, in the meantime, mark your calendars for The Mantle Project II on Thursday October 18 at 8pm at the Cambridge YMCA in Central Square.

Oh, and check out (below) our beautiful new venue 😀

With love-
Nabil

What’s The Mantle Project?
It’s a live events series where people from across America’s political spectrum share stories of meaningful life experiences and the values they surfaced.

Why the name Mantle Project?
The word mantle has several relevant meanings, including the layer of rock below the Earth’s crust (or the values that lie below surface labels/affilitations); a shawl or covering (or the stories that we wear and take with us); and a responsibility that passes from one generation to the next (in the same ways that values sometimes do).

What’s your purpose?
To bring diverse perspectives together and spark a deeper dialogue.

Is this a community organizing project or an art project?
An art project.

What’s the impact of an art project?
A timeless question! What’s the impact of a documentary, a play, or a concert? Some would say it’s negligible; others would say it it touches us deeply and gives us a language for talking about important issues. You can guess which camp we fall into 🙂

Why storytelling and not say organizing a BBQ or holding a rally?
American psychologist Carl Rogers once said “what is most personal is most universal.” Storytelling is unique in how it provokes tellers to share a part of themselves and listeners to relate this to an experience in their life.

How is this relevant?
Today our media and politics seems to be increasingly polarized. This project intends to introduce a different point of view.

What can I compare this to?
Some would say we’re like a TED for values, a Moth for politics, or a This I Believe with a live studio audience (all programs that we humbly admire).

What are your metrics for success?
Number of people who attend an event, net promoter score in post-event surveys. The less tangible (and frankly more important) metrics include the change in perspective this project brings about in those who’ve experienced it.

How can I get involved?
We never thought you’d ask! We’re always on the lookout for new production, sponsorship, and syndication partners, as well as folks who can give us a hand on the ground. Specific needs include event production, social media development, and recruiting assistance. Give us a shout if you’re interested!

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