The Men's Story Project


Building Strength, Creating Peace 

 

Please note -- we have a new, updated website: www.mensstoryproject.org

 

 About The Men's Story Project

The Men's Story Project (MSP) is a new public performance and community discussion project examining social/cultural ideas around masculinity, using the arts as a medium for community-building and social change. It aims to give voice to men's stories that are less often heard; to break silences on issues including sexism, racism, heterosexism and violence – and ways in which these interplay with norms around masculinity; to celebrate men’s beauty and strength; and to stimulate active discussion on what being a man can be all about. The ultimate aim of this replicable project is to help expand the presence of genuine personal expression, open dialogue, peace, and social justice in communities.  The project is getting started in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In each MSP performance, a diverse group of approximately 16 local men of all ages will share short pieces they have created about their own lives, on subjects including sexuality, romantic relationships, friendship, family, mentors and role models, rites of passage, HIV/AIDS, perpetration of and healing from violence, immigration, personal transformations, and the men they wish to be – all with a framing focus on examination of masculinity and men’s roles.  Performances will include spoken word, monologues, prose, music and dance, supported by local musicians and an emcee.  Visual art may be displayed depending on the venue.  Each MSP performance will be followed by a facilitated group discussion between audience and performers.

Most MSP presenters will be first-time performers; development of their pieces will be supported by established local artists and writers through group workshops and one-on-one meetings.

The MSP performance model is highly replicable, and we encourage replication of the Men's Story Project all over the planet! It's time to move the Men's Movement into a more public and open forum.

You can find a longer project description here: MSPsummary.doc

 

MEN'S STORY PROJECT PERFORMANCE #1

The first MSP performance will take place on August 17, 2008 at 7:30 PM at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA.  This performance includes a diverse group of men ranging in age from 21-67. Some topics addressed by the pieces include: expressing platonic love for other men; experience of male socialization growing up in Jamaica and the Bronx; experiences with saying no to sex with a woman; struggles with Islam, homophobia and HIV; bisexuality and internalized homophobia; men's public restroom rituals; a Latino man’s journey from domestic violence perpetration to anti-violence activism; refusal to continue intergenerational patterns of violence; a dance piece creating a rite of passage invoking African ancestry and hip-hop influences; multiracial identity; transgender identity and gender fluidity; relationships with fathers and other family members; and giving thanks to lifelong mentors.  Presenters include established local artists as well as first-time performers.

 

SUPPORTING THE MEN'S STORY PROJECT

The Men’s Story Project is an independent project in its initial stages. It has been consistently met with excitement by those with whom we have shared the idea, and submissions for the first performance have been steadily rolling in by word of mouth and personal recruitment efforts. I believe that we are onto something timely and powerful with this project, and that it has genuine potential to become a widespread performance movement contributing to social discussion and progress.

Each MSP performance will require approximately $3500, to pay performers, producer, director, and writing workshop facilitators, as well as to cover space rental, stage tech, and publicity.

The fiscal sponsor for the MSP is YES! (www.yesworld.org), an amazing and long-standing nonprofit organization that supports visionary youth activists and leaders from around the world.

A tax-deductible donation, made out to YES!/Men's Story Project, can be sent to YES!, c/o Men's Story Project, at 420 Bronco Rd., Soquel, CA 95703. 

Thank you for your support! Peace.

 

Some good links:

http://www.bhurt.com/

http://www.jacksonkatz.com/

http://fem-men-ist.blogspot.com/


Please contact Josie at jlehrer1@gmail.com with any q's or feedback.