Movement 2012

The Magazine

May 24, 2011

The Moth Invades Ann Arbor

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The moth “cracks up” the Ann Arbor Summer Festival
by David Nassar

Since its meager beginnings in founder George Dawes Green’s New York living room in 1997, The Moth Mainstage has been reviving the art of live story-telling to packed rooms around the world, and will be hitting the main stage at this year’s Ann Arbor Summer Festival on Thursday, June 23.

The Moth is a critically acclaimed, not-for-profit organization that promotes and fosters the art of story-telling and celebrates the lived-experiences of story-tellers.  Over the years, participants have included celebrities like Ethan Hawke, Moby and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, as well as other well-known figures in journalism and the arts.  But the true power of The Moth lies in the voices of real people telling real stories about the human-experience.  According to, “Moth stories dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes.”

During the Summer Festival’s incarnation, five renowned story-tellers, including local talent Allison Downey and Holly Hughes, will spin their ten-minute yarns around the theme of “Cracked Up: Stories of Comedies and Calamities,” live and without notes.  While all stories revolve around the established theme, what makes the event so engaging are the unique, revealing and unexpected ways in which the story-tellers pull it off.  And, since every story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate and often enlightening experience for the audience.

Since October 2009, The Moth StorySLAM has been embraced by standing-room-only crowds the first Thursday of every month at Detroit’s historic jazz club, Cliff Bell’s.  The Moth StorySLAM is an open-mic style competition that invites locals to share their true-life experiences on stage in front of a live audience.  In addition to The Moth Mainstage and StorySLAM, the organization also reaches out to students and disenfranchised adults in underserved neighborhoods, giving a platform to voices that might otherwise have gone unheard through the MothSHOP Community Education Program.  The Moth also holds a free, weekly podcast that is downloaded over a million times a month, and the Peabody Award-winning, The Moth Radio Hour, airs weekly on Michigan Radio and is carried by more than 200 stations across the country.

Tickets to The Moth Mainstage at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival start at $25. The show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, visit and

About the Author

Tim is the publisher of iSPY and co-founder of Pakmode Media + Marketing. He's a social, vegetarian geek who recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into his family. For any questions or suggestions in regards to design, ad sales, web, content or anything at all related to iSPY, Tim's your guy.

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