Kind Stories in Concert May 7th

  • May 7, 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 May 7, 2023 are Diane Ferlatte Bill Harley and Leeny Del Seamonds.. Our esteemed emcee is Jackson Gillman.

Date: May 7, 2023

Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm EST

(Open Mic Story Share and Reflection: last half hour)

Format: The story session opens with a concert of seasoned tellers and community tellers sharing stories with themes of kindness. During the second half of the gathering, audience members are invited to share a story, moment, or reflection about kindness that emerged for them as listeners.

Purpose: We all need a little more kindness in our lives. Perhaps a story can take us there.


About the Artists

Bill Harley is well-traveled, well-read, well-educated, well-spoken and well-loved. Accompanied by his guitar, his narrative songs and stories, both original and traditional, are a celebration of our common humanity. Best known for his work with children and families, his ability to navigate through a confusing world with humor and wisdom is evident in his masterful storytelling as well as his numerous award-winning recordings and books. A two-time Grammy winner, he is vibrant, outrageous, unpredictable and genuine with songs and stories about growing up, schooling and what it is to be human—our connections with one another and with the planet we share. Recognized by audiences and peers as one of the finest performing storytellers in the country, his work has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators. Bill tours internationally as a performing artist, author and keynote speaker from his home in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Diane Ferlatte’s storytelling background began as a child listening to neighbors and family swap stories, lies and tales on her grandparents’ porch in Alexandria, LA. After her family migrated to Oakland, CA, she played the piano in her church and studied American Sign Language. Her true calling was discovered in 1980 after she and her husband adopted their second child. She was determined to release him from the bonds of television. Her skill at telling stories developed a special relationship with her son while creating a bond with people around the globe. For over thirty-five years Diane has travelled internationally captivating audiences while using songs, sign language, humor, and audience participation. She has wowed audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, and in virtually all 50 states of the U.S. Diane shares historical and personal stories, as well as folktales and other forms of the oral tradition to illustrate the struggles and triumphs of the African American experience. While also relating stories of the African Diaspora, she loves to tell stories from across the globe that touch upon our common humanity. Diane has received numerous honors, including The National Association of Black Storytellers’ Zora Neale Hurston Award, The National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Circle of Excellence Award, and accompanied by her musician Erik Pearson, all of her recordings have received awards including a Grammy Nomination.

Leeny Del Seamonds is an internationally acclaimed performer, coach, author, multi award-winning recording artist and professional Voice Actor. Her animated and uplifting tales and tunes reflect her love of people and desire to embrace life to its fullest. From a prized television show to a village in Gengcun, China, to the Comix Club in NYC to the National Storytelling Festival and Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival, Leeny encourages listeners to rejoice in human and cultural diversity, inviting them to share in her Cuban-American sense of humor and joy of performing. Winner of the National Storytelling Network ORACLE Circle of Excellence Award and awarded the title 2002 National Storyteller of the Year®, Leeny Del Seamonds is recipient of Parents’ Choice Gold & Silver Awards, a Storytelling World Winner Award and an iParenting Media Winner Award. She is celebrated and sought-after for engaging, interactive performances for all ages and hands on skill-building workshops.


Jackson Gillman magically transforms himself into a wide array of eccentric characters through his many talents as mime, actor, songsmith and storyteller. As adept with children as he is with adults, his interactive performances are seasoned with skillful dialect, song, dance, mime and sign language. Shining through Jackson's wit and extraordinary versatility is his bemused, warm-hearted honesty. Jackson's humor evolves from finding that which is funny in human beings trying to be human and often tripping over their own being in the attempt.

In 2013, Jackson was featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee for the fourth time. He has thrice been Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center and has performed at festivals and schools throughout the country. For twenty years Jackson hosted a summer concert series of comedy, music and New Vaudeville on Mount Desert Island. Presenting a new thematic program each year, he set up comedy/music shop every summer and toured the rest of the year. Year-round he now brings his unique brand of one-man theater to diverse audiences across the nation. Whether performing on concert stages, at colleges, business functions, festivals, school assemblies or libraries, Jackson Gillman delights his audiences with his inventions while touching them with his personal warmth.

Community Tellers

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

Emily Gottlieb is a Chicago native and lover of vegan cooking, Latin music, and art-based education.  Emily identifies as interfaith as well as both Puerto Rican and Jewish and loves to actively connect with both of these communities and cultural traditions.  She is a school social worker who believes in the therapeutic power of spoken word and storytelling.  She loves running team builders and group games with her students and out-running them on the playground.  Emily volunteers mentoring first generation college students, and also works part time for a non-profit that works to distribute plant-based food to folks who are food insecure.       

Gregory Eftimie is a massage therapist and the vice president of Member Services of Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound, TX, near Dallas. He comes from a blended family of Romanian, Greek and Rroma, and is one of four siblings. He is bilingual in Romanian and English. Romanian was his first language. Greg learned to crochet and knit from his mother and grandmother when he was about 8 years old. He loves learning languages, needle arts, gardening and herbalism.



For more information, contact:

Lani Peterson: or Heather Forest


Date & Time

Sun, May 7, 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.