Marfa Public Radio brings storytelling event to Odessa

All across the Permian Basin, from under pumpjacks and between the mesquite, West Texas has its stories to tell.

Marfa Public Radio wants them to be heard.

The station is set to host a live storytelling event and happy hour April 2 at The Rose Building downtown, continuing an ongoing event series with its first stop in Odessa.

The theme for the Odessa event is ‘All or Nothing,’ with participants encouraged to take to the microphone to share stories with the room about taking risks and going for broke.

Events are recorded with stories broadcast on air, and uploaded to Marfa Public Radio’s website.

“We see storytelling as one of the most democratic arts,” station producer Diana Nguyen said over the phone Monday. “The whole point of the storytelling event is to bring people closer together.

“You find out things about your neighbors, or people you see every day, that you don’t necessarily know about them. We get people to tell true stories about themselves, and it’s really fun.”

This event will mark the third of its kind in 2018, after events themed around love were held in Midland and Marfa in February. Last year, the station held storytelling events in Alpine and Marfa, plus a ‘Ghost Town Ghost Stories’ event on Halloween in Terlingua.

“We’re trying to do them all over West Texas. The idea is to get a really diverse range of experiences, because people are different all over West Texas,” Nguyen said, adding that the series is hoping to return to Alpine and get to Fort Davis.

“We want to do them in as many places as we can.”

But now, Nguyen said she is excited to see the event push into Odessa.

“It’s a good way for us to connect with our listeners, but a way for us to kind get people to connect with each other,” Nguyen said. “We’re really excited to have it at the Rose Building.

“We have a grant from Odessa Arts, and they help sponsor these events that happen in the Permian Basin,” she added. “What it’s kind of turning out to be, every couple of months, or every few months, we’re trying to do one in either Midland or Odessa.”

For Monday’s event, doors are set to open at 6 p.m. for the happy hour party featuring a live DJ, with stories beginning at 7:30 p.m. Beer will be provided by program sponsor Big Bend Brewing, Co.

The event is free with donations encouraged, as the event runs in conjunction with the start of the station’s spring membership drive.

“We are hoping to get some new members and meet some more people,” she said.

Those interested in the series can listen in on past events HERE. Nguyen said the station is always looking for more storytellers, and those interested in participating can email storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.

If You Go
  • What: Marfa Public Radio live storytelling series
  • When: 6 p.m. Monday happy hour event, 7:30 p.m. storytelling begins
  • Where: The Rose Building, 415 N. Grant Ave.
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