Mothering stories: Glenwood Springs-based nonprofit Voices presents podcast of women’s voices for Mother’s Day
Local nonprofit Voices is launching its second women’s voices podcast this Sunday in honor of Mother’s Day. The project was created in collaboration with Writ Large and Circa 71 Productions, and features 10 local women retelling true stories of personal transformation. The storytellers featured are Gabriela Alvarez Espinoza, Suzie Brady, Kristin Carlson, Julie Comins Pickrell, Alya Howe, Amy Kimberly, Trary Maddalone Lamee, Barbara Reese, Marcia Weese, and MinTze Wu. The podcast will go live on Voices’ website May 9 and the first episode will be aired at 4 p.m. May 9 on KDNK. Post reporter Jessica Peterson caught up with Alya Howe to hear more about the local celebration of women.
Let’s just start with you introducing yourself and the role you had for the Women’s Voices podcast.
My name is Alya Howe and I’ve been running a storytelling series, Writ Large, in the valley for about 10 years. It was initiated by Kiley Michelle who was the proprietor of Justice Snows restaurant which was in the basement of the Wheeler Opera House. We ran the storytelling series every other month and it was just packed. People were hungry to hear and just listen, and hold our community’s stories. … Since Justice Snows closed, I was then picked up by … organizations like CORE, English in Action … it’s just been fantastic cultivating stories that support not just the mission of these organizations, but again still holding stories from our community members and beyond that.
Voices was obviously one of those organizations that picked you up, tell me more about the project you guys have been working on
“It’s part of the Women’s Voices Project … and the first year, I can’t remember what it was but I was one of the women who were selected to perform in the first Women’s Voices Project that was performed at the Thunder River Theater. This mission of Voices … is to hold women’s voices in creating new work in theater. There are a very small number of women who are produced as playwrights so it was an incredible opportunity. Voices intended to do it again but then Covid happened so they couldn’t do live, in-person performances with ease. So, Julie Comins Pickrell had this idea of doing origin stories and Voices picked it up. … (It’s) sharing origin stories which could be about your little birth story or where you felt like you emerged. And we all have different origins and maybe every single day is a rebirth of ourselves. … So, there are a mix of stories from a mix of cultures from different parts of the world. And a wonderful reflection on how our environment influences the choices we make, our belief system. A very powerful process.
What do you think the significance is of having this air on KDNK on Mother’s Day?
Well females, women, many of us are mothers. And women’s stories (grow from) the story of our mothers and our mothers’ mothers. And it’s absolutely pertinent to be aired on Mother’s Day of individual stories of their mothers, some of them, their grandmothers, being a mother and being a woman. The ability to mother a story into fruition, to be aired on the radio as part of the Voices podcast.
Can you give us a little bit of a preview to what your story is about that you share?
My story comes from the impact of World War II on my family. Both of my parents lost their brothers and sisters and the remaining parents were their mothers. So my story is about just revisiting my imagined, unresolved grief of my parents and their loss. And how that influenced that lens through which they lived and saw the world through.
After that how can people tune in?
It will be available on the Voices website and I do believe KDNK holds their recorded stories online for a certain period of time. … They will do smaller episodes, three storytellers this Sunday and then they will release the second and third episodes, which are nine storytellers in total, a bit later in May.
Is there anything you want to say to women on this Mother’s Day? You know women who can tune in or might feel that they have a story to tell but aren’t sure how to get started?
I do workshops from time to time and depending which, I know I’m going to be doing an open workshop with True Nature Healing Arts in the fall. So they can reach out to me personally. … What I would say to women is we were born with the gift of creating life within us so this creative force is an essence of who we are. Whether it’s in a spoken story about your origin story or another aspect of their life, just to encourage women to tap into their creative voice. If I can support that in any way, please reach out. And keep themselves in tune to what the Voices project is about, because they’re about amplifying voices in the valley. I think that’s what I’d like to say to women and mothers on Mother’s Day.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the podcast project or storytelling in general?
We’re humans, we’re a storytelling species, and when as an individual or as a strong community we don’t have a strong narrative to tell we really flounder as a community or for our sense of purpose in life. So the privilege of helping with a storytelling series is to help people clarify their voice, their driving purpose. And when an individual thrives within their story and the community too, we just get closer and tighter. Also, what I would like to say is that when we listen to stories of people from different origins and hear their perspective, we realize how much we have in common, and our differences just seem to melt away. Or, we learn more insight into understanding them and we can honor differences from a more knowledgeable perspective.
Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Glenwood Springs City Council will begin piecing together the vision for South Canyon during Thursday night’s city council meeting.