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Tin Can Tales to return for 2nd year

Bianca Martin

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Creative Campus is bringing back its Tin Can Tales event Thursday to unite the Tuscaloosa community through a classic pastime: storytelling. Tin Can Tales will feature five speakers relaying stories with a common theme.

Katharine Buckley, a Creative Campus intern and one of the leaders of the event, said the Tales were inspired by storytelling broadcasts such as The Moth and This American Life.

“We were all obsessed with them,” said Buckley, a junior majoring in studio art. “We wanted to figure out a way to do it in Tuscaloosa. We figured there’s nothing better than hearing people’s stories in person.”

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The first installment was held in November 2013. Marissa Leshnov, another Creative Campus intern, attended the event and said she was impressed with the turnout.

“I really loved it because you could just see the way the audience was sitting,” said Leshnov, a sophomore majoring in physics. “There were people 80 years old sitting next to people who were 18 years old, and there were just no barriers.”

The premiere Tales’ theme was “First,” and each storyteller spoke about one of his or her memorable first experiences.

“They were really wonderful stories,” Leshnov said. “There were some about the first time one of our storytellers sold a script to Hollywood and the first time a student came out to his parents that he was gay. So really diverse things, but it really brought everyone together.”

The program is meant to connect audience members not only to the storytellers, but also to each other. The doors will be open early to provide time for attendees to meet and socialize before the stories begin.

“We encourage people to talk and get to know each other so that you make a connection with people you haven’t met before,” Buckley said. “We try to foster an atmosphere so you get to meet new people and hear their stories, even if they’re not on the stage.”

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Buckley said her hope for Tin Can Tales is that it does not just bring the people of Tuscaloosa together for a night, but that it allows them to build permanent connections.

“You may come as strangers,” Buckley said. “But you’ll leave, and then maybe one day you’ll see one of the storytellers, and you can go up to them and be like ‘I heard your story that one time,’ and you’re immediately connected.”

With a diverse group of people, from the storytellers to the audience, Tin Can Tales provides an opportunity for students to get in touch with the city of Tuscaloosa outside of the University’s campus.

“There’s so much going on here outside the University or the football team,” Leshnov said. “I think that can be overlooked by students like myself when our main priority is just to try to keep afloat in school. When you’re here, Tuscaloosa is your second home. You should get to know the people here and more about where you’re living.”

This Tin Can Tales installment’s theme is “A Night Out” and will include 10-minute stories from five speakers. It is a free event and will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cypress Inn Loft. For more information, visit creativecampus.ua.edu.

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Tin Can Tales to return for 2nd year