Sunday, February 26, 2012

Qualia Lounge Book Worm Showdown: raising money to educate kids

Eric Forest, chef and storyteller at the Qualia Lounge

An email arrived in my in box this week from Eric Forrest. Inside the subject bar was written, 'a quest for storytellers'.

Reading on. I learned that Eric was hosting a week long fundraiser for Room to Read. This is a global organisation dedicated to promoting and enabling education through programs focused on literacy and gender equality in education.

Here's the thing ... for every poet or storyteller who was prepared to stand up and read, recite or tell, Qualia Lounge was offering to put $20 towards Room to Read.

Well who's gunna argue with that! By the end of the night we had over $160 in the hat. The money will go to a program in Laos supporting female literacy

But there was a twist ... at the completion of the performances folk voted (with monopoly money) for their highlight and the lucky winner received a $100 bar tab and had the privilege of wearing the worm!

Poet, Randall Stephens, was surprised by the announcement and perhaps wary about donning the worm. Before our eyes he transformed from happy poet to evil annalid.

The Qualia Lounge is a unique idea and my kind of place. I was welcomed like I was walking into a home. Its a place where strangers introduce themselves, hands are shaken and ideas and stories traded around wine and nibbles. And of course I had great fun sharing a story with my new best friends.

So ...
Details about Qualia Lounge here

Check out Randall Stephens here

And most importantly if you are interested in supporting Room to Read check it out here

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stories in pictures: Traffic signal boxes in Hobart

I've been enjoying a ten day break in Tasmania taking in the sights of Bruny Island and MONA, as well as enjoying the food and wine and open-hearted Tasmanian hospitality.

Stories are everywhere - in the air we breathe.

In Hobart, it pays to spend time waiting for the lights to change as so many of the traffic signal boxes have been painted with stories.

Here on the corner of Argyle and Davey Streets, artist Valentina Marshall has drawn our attention to the Australian Spotted Handfish.
At 12 cms, this species is listed as endangered - the Northern Pacific Seastar being one of the factors in its decline. Its home is the Lower Derwent River estuary, Frederick Henry Bay, D'Entrecasteaux Channel and the northern reaches of Storm Bay. This is one very sweet animal!

If you're handy with a paint brush and have a story to tell, you can decorate a TSB. Check out the Urban Smart website here and find out how.

Pictures are stories!


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