May Guild Show
7pm Saturday, May 7
Artichoke Café welcomes the Portland Storytellers’ Guild as it resumes live storytelling performances after two years online.
Finally! LIVE! TOGETHER! is a collection of true life stories, unfolded by Guild members Mike Devenney and Chuck McConnell. Their personal narratives explore the sometimes twisty paths they followed to get from “there I was,” to “here I am.” They come to the Storytellers’ Guild stage from different directions. Mike, a former priest, is now an athletic coach, tennis referee. After Chuck retired from a career in association work, he served two Peace Corps tours in Ukraine. Twisted paths make good stories.
The best part of the show, they say, is that “we’ll all be together, tellers and audience, in one place, face to face, sharing stories.”
Advance tickets for in-person $15. (Venue may sell out.) However, simultaneous livestream with tip jar will be available at https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtichokeMusic/ and on https://www.facebook.com/artichoke.music/live_videos/ (log on 5 minutes before the event).
About the tellers:
Though he’s been here for a dozen years, Chuck McConnell still considers himself a new Portlander. “I’m still learning the city’s stories,” he says. He came to Portland from Ukraine, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Before that, two decades on the headquarters staff of a nationwide trade association. These days, he stays busy as a volunteer mediator for Multnomah County small claims court and producing trivia games for OMSI’s Science Pubs. A "personal narrative" storyteller, he’s been on the Portland Storytellers’ Guild board since 2019.
Mike’s first full sentence was “Tell me a Story.” Well, that might not be exactly true. His Mother maintains his first words were, “I didn’t do it!” He went on to become a Youth Minister and then a College Campus Minister at UCLA, Gallaudet College, Clemson University and the University of Tennessee. He spent the next 30 some years as a Middle School and High School teacher.
As a schoolteacher story weaved throughout his curriculum. In 2004 the National Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education named Mike the National Teacher of the Year based on his creative use of storytelling to help students form their own story in a way that would create healthy and happy lives.
Mike retired from teaching in 2018. But he couldn’t stop himself. He joined the Portland Storytellers Guild and has served on their Board. He has told stories in Bars, School assembles, Classrooms, Corporate meetings, Senior Centers, Community Centers, Libraries, Churches, and in 2019 he won a Moth Story Slam (Sponsored by National Public Radio) and went on to compete in the Moth Grand Slam. In 2021 Mike was selected to be a keynote teller for the One Book One Beaverton Festival.