Amy Stein-Hansen
Ashlee Cowles
Carol Murray Jewelry
Cindy McSurely
Deborah Crandell
Diane Frederick
Elizabeth Calcutt
Greta Bolger
Heather Harris-Brady
Helen Grove
Holly Polich
Ian Jones
Ingrid Andrews
Jim Young
Joe Thatcher Thatcher
Judy Zorn
Julie Avery
Kate Korroch
Kristi Wodek
Laura Quackenbush
Laurie Sears
Leslie Donaldson
Linda Gits
Lora Frankel
Lisa Ventimiglio
Marcia Conlon
Mark Bowyer
Mary Dye
Megan Holtrey
Melanie Olsen
Melissa Johnson
Mercedes Michalowski
Molly Thompson
Helen Raica-Klotz
Raizel Coiman
Renee Hintz
Sharon Hubbard
Sharon Mick McAuley
Tamara Hoffbauer
Tami Maisel
Terry Beamsley
Ginny Hawkins
Walter J. Lee
William Lindemann
Yvonne Sage

NW MI Arts & Culture Network

Stories That Heal Addresses Trauma, Community Wellness in Benzie County

Music will be made with Stories That Heal this spring in Benzie County thanks to a unique partnership project that harnesses the power of the arts to address trauma, recovery and community resiliency. Stories That Heal is a music, storytelling and community wellbeing project sponsored as an Arts Midwest Community Partners project through the Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network in collaboration with Interlochen Public Radio, the Garden Theater, Benzie Shores Library, Grow Benzie, Benzonia Library, Oliver Arts Center, facilitator and musician Tim Jones, contributing instrumentalists Stone Folk, local providers and Frankfort artist Molly Sturges.

The project is led by artistic director and composer Molly Sturges of Frankfort and is drawing community partners, intergenerational participants, and the power of the arts to convene, raise awareness and engagement in mental health challenges and community wellness. Story gathering, music creation, performance and participatory creative experiences are used to begin healing journeys while also raising broader awareness for such critical issues as suicide prevention, addiction recovery, generational trauma, systemic trauma and more.

Stories That Heal includes several public forums, group story circles, private sharing, a pop-up chorus, new music and many opportunities to participate during April and early May. All will culminate in a final free community performance and discussion on May 15 at the Garden Theater in Frankfort. A four-part podcast series led by Interlochen Public Radio will showcase the stories, issues and musical work created during the process. A full list of workshops and events follows below.

Sturges is a recording artist, musical researcher, and leader of creative music ensembles and projects. She specializes in creating and leading improvised musical healing activations integrating improvisation, composition, social healing and story-making. Sturges has worked around the globe with individuals, organizations, and communities at the intersection of music, community organizing, social healing and education for over 28 years.  She is currently a senior fellow and consulting faculty with The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at George Washington University.

The Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network received one of 12 Community Partner grants awarded in Michigan by Arts Midwest and Michigan Arts & Culture Council (MACC). The Community Partners program goal is to encourage community collaborations with artists and culture bearers to explore local issues, where collaborative artmaking is integral to daily lives and is valued as a tool for community development. The awards by Arts Midwest and MACC were funded through the National Endowment for the Arts with American Recovery Program funding. Additional funding was received by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.

Stories That Heal Workshops & Events

Stories That Heal Pop-Up Choir
Tuesdays, 7pm: April 5, 12, 19 & 26
The Garden Theater, Frankfort
RSVP: Tim Jones, 323-244-0448, timljones723@gmail.com
Singers of all-ages and experience are invited to join a pop-up choir for Stories That Heal, a music, storytelling and community wellbeing project taking place in Benzie April-May 2022. No formal training is required, and all skill levels are welcome. We will meet on Tuesdays April 5, 12, 19 and 26 at The Garden Theater at 7pm with an opportunity to participate in a concert & community event on May 15th at The Garden Theater. Please RSVP to: Tim Jones at 323-244-0448, timljones723@gmail.com

Open-Call for Storytellers & Writers of All Ages
Stories That Heal: Helping Each Other Get Through Hard Times
Submit: Stories That Heal, PO Box 1543, Frankfort, Michigan 49635 or mollysturges@gmail.com
Writers and storytellers of all ages are invited to share stories about a hard time you faced or are currently facing, how you were impacted and what helped or is helping you get through it. Anyone who is willing to share their is invited to submit to Stories That Heal, a music, storytelling and community wellbeing project taking place in Benzie County during April-May 2022. Three awards of $50 will be given to stories of honor. Winners will be notified by email or phone. Stories may also be submitted anonymously. Deadline is 4/18.

Let’s Make A Power Song Workshop for All-Ages
Wednesdays, April 13 & 20, 3:30pm
Benzie Shores District Library, 630 Main Street, Frankfort
Contact: Kaitlin Matesich, kmatesich@benzieshoreslibrary.org
Young & old (and all caregivers and parents) are invited to come together to create a power song to help us get through hard times. WHAT IS A POWER SONG YOU MAY ASK? A pow
er song is easy to sing and helps us find our way when we are going through challenges.  During this workshop we will have the opportunity to exchange stories and ideas about what helps us get through.

Creating A Healing Story Together: A Storytelling Workshop for All-Ages Mondays, April 11 & 18th, 4:30 pm Benzonia Library Contact: Amanda, benzonialibrary@gmail.com No experience needed and appropriate for all ages.  Through sharing ideas and experiences, we will create a story together that helps people feel better when times get hard. Come to either or both sessions.  Everyone is welcome.

Stories That Heal Listening
& Support Circle

Friday, April 22 (Time, TBA)
Grow Benzie, 5885 Frankfort Highway, Benzonia
Contact: Molly Sturges, 505-660-9473, mollysturges@gmail.com
Through sharing our stories we can lessen some of the shame and isolation that often goes with mental and physical pain that many of us are facing during these challenging times. If it would feel supportive and positive to listen to others or share a story, please feel free to come. Sharing our stories can help us all heal. There is no pressure to participate in a certain way and all are welcome. Childcare option is available.

Stories That Heal Artist Talk with Molly Sturges
Tuesday, May 10, 2pm
Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts, Frankfort
Join Stories That Heal artistic director for an interactive discussion on her work and experiences in using music, storytelling and art to work through trauma and support community wellness.

Stories That Heal: Community Concert & Dialogue
Sunday, May 15, 4pm

The Garden Theater, Frankfort
Free admission, food following
Join community members for a free concert featuring performances of the music and songs created through the April story circles, submissions and gatherings. Following the performance, an interactive post-show community discussion will be held.

Interlochen Public Radio: Stories That Heal Podcast Series
Available for streaming and on-air beginning in May.
A four-part podcast series led by Interlochen Public Radio will showcase the stories, issues and musical work created during the process.

PO Box 1859
Traverse City, MI

Our Members


Charlevoix Circle of Arts

Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology

Dennos Museum Center

Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts

Good Hart Artist Residency

Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra

Leelanau Historical Society

Michigan Legacy Art Park

National Writers Series


Traverse City Dance Project

Glen Arbor Arts Center

Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum

Jordan River Arts Council

Mash-Up Rock & Roll Musical

City Opera House

Benzie Historical Society

Harbor Springs Festival of the Book

Downtown Development Authority

The Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee

Northport Art Association

Voices Without Borders

Blissfest Music Organization

Raven and Lotus LLC

Traverse City Arts Commission

Crooked Tree Arts Center

Up North Arts

Cadillac Visitors Bureau

Parallel 45 Theatre Festival

Old Town Playhouse

Twisted Fish Gallery

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Traverse Symphony Orchestra

Rachael Harrell – Drama Kids

The Croft Residency

Drama Kids – Rachael Harrell

Michigan Museums Associations Scholarships & Conference


Gary Gatzke

Ian Jones

Jim Young

Kristi Wodek

Mark Bowyer

Mary Gillett

Megan Heator

Molly Thompson

Renee Hintz

Susan Wenzlick

Ted Alan

Greta Bolger

Edward Kocher

Nick Walsh

Heather Harris-Brady

Monica Stokes

Amanda Kik

Mercedes Michalowski

Sharon Hubbard

Leslie Donaldson

Elizabeth Calcutt

Maia Hausler

Becky Lancaster

Linda Dewey

Melissa Johnson

Daniel Stewart

Walter J. Lee

Michelle Bien

H. Eleanor Jones

Tom Kaufmann

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