team vocalo

Meet the new storytellers:

Nicole Rohr  works for WYCC PBS Chicago in Englewood doing community outreach on the South Side of Chicago.
Mayra Elisa Buitron is interested in telling stories through various platforms such as social media/video/radio/print and giving a detailed picture of something that is happening in Chicago’s immigrant communities.
Nick Walker has lived in Chicago for the past seven year and works as a mental health advocate on the north side.
Sam Zelitch is “like a Mike Daisey, minus the controversy”, “the white Tyler Perry”.
Amanda Cortes is (a lawyer) from Little Village, she volunteers with Pros Arts, Yollocalli, Casa Aztlan, Pilsen Open Studios and with the National Immigrant Justice Center on expungement workshops and immigration issues.
Arika Rogers  is a writer at heart. She would like to experiment with writing for radio.  
Matt Linas is a volunteer and member of L.U.C.H.A. (Latin United Community Housing Association) and  the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign (C.A.E.C.)
Alexander Rojas recently was head writer on a community based theater project with The American Theatre Company that required writers to interview residents from Logan Square and Humboldt Park.
Dannette Chavez says storytelling is a passion  that she’s only  indulged in her personal life. She has worked at the Chicago Reader for 9 years, doing everything except writing. 
Jamie Smith is  a member of Pride Films and Plays, a 3 year old non-profit theater centered in Uptown. Part of their mission is to “use storytelling to build a cultural bridge to understanding”.

Nicole Cipri 

Why did you become a Vocalo Storyteller?
Stories are my life and my passion. I love playing with different formats, but have never had the chance to explore working in radio. The workshop was too good an opportunity to pass up. 

Your piece in 20 seconds:
The Leather Archives and Museum has been a Chicago institution for more than twenty years, preserving and displaying artifacts and ephemera from the BDSM, kink, and leather communities. I wanted to explore why museums dedicated to sex and sexual subcultures are important for everyone. To that end, I also interviewed my mother about the time we went to the Museum of Sex in New York. (Spoiler: it was awkward, but fun.) 

Why did you tell this story?
I’ve always been fascinated by museums, and how they shape narratives about people, cultures, and the past. The LA&M is an academic institution devoted to a subject that is still very taboo. Because of this, I think there’s a defiant and celebratory edge in the nature of their work. These are people who know from experience that the stories that are not told or otherwise archived get swept away by time. Also, I wanted to ask my mom about her experience at MoSex. Despite going to the museum together, we never really talked about how she’d felt about it. 

How are you better storyteller and producer?
This project challenged me to tell this story from a few different angles, and to talk about a taboo subject without alienating listeners by the content. It also gave me a chance to really play around with juxtaposition of vastly different materials: archival audio from the 50s, interviews, music, and speeches pulled from Youtube. I was able to experiment with different forms, and that experimentation really shaped the final product. 

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