Kind Stories in Concert January 8th

  • January 8, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Eastern Standard Time

Ticket Price Free This event is now over

Kindness is having the ability to speak with love, 

listen with patience, and act with compassion.”

-Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Join the Healing Story Alliance for a special gathering to share and explore stories of kindness in its many faces and forms. Through folk tales, personal, and historic stories, we will dive deeply into multiple experiences of kindness. What is it? How does it impact us and our relationships to ourselves, to each other, to the world? Come and listen to “kind stories” shared by both professional tellers and community members and see what memories of kindness emerge for you. Featured tellers on Jan. 8th, 2023 are Elizabeth Ellis, Olga Loya, and Ben Cunningham. Our emcee for the evening is Jo Radner.


Elizabeth Ellis is a storyteller who doesn't mince words. Filled with hilarious and poignant honesty, her stories deliver down-home wisdom, southern style. Hers is a voice that finds the heart and the funny bone, riveting audiences of every age wherever she goes. Designated an American Masterpiece Touring Artist by the National Endowment for the Arts, Elizabeth is also a recipient of both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network. She is a frequent favorite at the National Storytelling Festival and the Teller-In-Residence Program of the International Storytelling Center.

Ben Cunningham is a multifaceted Artist and Storyteller whose recent story aired on the Growing Up Black episode of Stories from The Stage. This powerful episode is the 2021 winner of the 25th Annual Webby Awards in Virtual & Remote: Arts & Culture.  The tone of Ben’s work is ever-expanding: ranging from humorous to heartfelt stories about bullying, childhood nostalgia, coming-of-age, and loss. It clashes between Subculture & Pop culture, while interweaving topics of race, gender, and other social issues. 

Olga Loya grew up in the barrio of East LA, where family rituals and Mexican traditions were the center of her emotional life, She has mastered the expressive vocabulary of artful storytelling. With her poetic eloquence Olga's stories are an impassioned quest to keep alive not only the fabric of her family but the larger Latino culture, richly robed in folktales, ancient myths, and history. Olga envisions a world of passionate kindness, supported by my mission of using stories to help people overcome emotional and cultural borders. It is her fervent belief that stories reveal the commonality and individuality in our lives, that diversity offers opportunities to embrace the richness of cultures, that there is wisdom to be found in stories shared with fierce honesty, and, most telling of all, that laughter softens hearts.


Jo Radner has been studying, teaching, telling, and collecting stories most of her life, and has performed from Maine to Hawaii to Finland.  After 31 years’ teaching at American University, Jo moved back to her home region of western Maine as a freelance storyteller and oral historian. Her new book will be out next spring: Wit and Wisdom: The Forgotten Literary Life of New England Villages. She is past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network.

Community Tellers


Also featured will be Community Tellers who will share anecdotes of kindness from their lives and work.


Dr. Courtney Horvath is mom to 11-year-old cancer survivor, Colby. Colby bravely battled lymphoma for 800 days after his diagnosis in March of 2020.  Colby’s journey inspired Courtney, a toxicologist and drug development professional, to become a passionate advocate for childhood cancer patients. Courtney and Colby recently gave a TEDx talk called “Surviving the Cure” and have started multiple philanthropic efforts to raise awareness of the desperate need for more targeted, accessible, safe, and effective therapies for childhood cancer patients. 


For more information, contact:

Lani Peterson: or Heather Forest


Date & Time

Sun, Jan 8, 2023 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Healing Story Alliance

Healing Story Alliance is a not-for-profit, educational, arts organization which provides online resources and concert, workshop, and community programming in support of storytelling as a healing art.