Storytellers Project


Natalie is a coach and teller and the lead organizer for the Salem Storytellers Project. Along with former project lead Abby Luschei, the two launched the program in the fall of 2018.

The Storytellers Project is a series of live storytelling nights curated by USA Today Network newsrooms across the country. The national project began in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2011.

Each event includes a handful of true, first-person stories told by you — our neighbors. The purpose of the project is to show everyone has stories to share and by telling them, we foster a deeper sense of connection and empathy in our community.

In its first year, the Salem Storytellers Project hosted four events to nearly all sold-out crowds around the themes New Beginnings; Romance, or Not; Our Family, Our Culture; and the Outdoors. The project’s second season launched in November 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all local events after the February 2020 event were canceled. The Salem team worked with other sites across the country to put on virtual events on YouTube, continuing through 2021.

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#SalemStorytellersProject #everyonehasastory #shareyourstory

Here is a look back at the 2019-20 season: 

Night #1: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

The Statesman Journal is kicking off the second season of the Salem Storytellers Project at Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre with a night about things that seemed like the right choice in the moment, and the lessons learned.

  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.
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Night #2: For Your Entertainment

A night of stories about art, music, theater and all things entertainment at the Willamette Heritage Center.

  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.

Night #3: You are What You Eat

*This event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.*

A night of stories about restaurants, agriculture, traditions and all things food at the Marion Polk Food Share.


Night #4: Growing Up

*This event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.*

A night of stories about family, awkward years, school and all things growing up at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.


Night #5: Grateful

*This event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your patience. We hope to see you next year!

A night of stories about all the things we’re grateful for — our families, friends, careers, health, shelter, epiphany, you name it. This event will be held in the Grand Theatre ballroom in downtown Salem.

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