Storycatchers Theatre Raises $130,000 at “I Am My Own Story” Benefit

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Annual benefit helps empower justice-involved youth by taking control of their personal narratives

Storycatchers Theatre Executive Director Priya Shah (left), and founder Meade Palidofsky (right) with radio personality Ira Glass at the Storycatchers Theatre annual benefit.

Storycatchers Theatre, a non-profit dedicated to empowering justice-involved youth through musical theatre, raised more than $130,000 at their annual benefit held at the Casino Club in Chicago. Money raised from the event will go towards programming for the organization which includes performances, training, jobs, and community engagement.

Highlights from the benefit included:

  • The honoring of American public radio personality Ira Glass with this year’s Storycatching Award
  • A live auction in which sold items included a multi-course dinner by a personal chef, tickets to Ira Glass’ upcoming show at the Auditorium Theatre, and tickets to a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Performances by Storycatchers youth comprising their personal stories

"This day was all about a community of supporters—including our friend Ira Glass—coming together to celebrate and honor the stories of Storycatchers youth,” said Storycatchers Theatre Executive Director Priya Shah. “It was inspiring to see so many people committed to building a more compassionate, just, and fair future."

Ira Glass, who once described Storycatchers Theatre as creating the greatest moment he ever witnessed on stage, was honored with this year’s Storycatching Award.

Glass said that it's been really inspiring to see the evolution of Storycatchers Theatre over 20 years, from small and scrappy when he first met the organization, to today providing employment to 72 young people.

Last year, Storycatchers Theatre raised $122,498 at their annual benefit and awarded the inaugural Storycatching Award to Superintendent Judy Davis of the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville.

In 2018, Storycatchers Theatre

  • Organized 127 performances for the Chicago community for 5,162 audience members
  • Employed 72 current or formerly justice-involved youth within their organization
  • Laid the groundwork to expand its programming with CPD recruits to improve police-youth relations

For the latest news on Storycatchers Theatre, visit http://www.storycatcherstheatre.org or follow them on Facebook.

About Storycatchers Theatre
Storycatchers Theatre is a non-profit that works with youth inside incarceration facilities, detention centers, and post-release programs to write true personal stories, overcome traumatic experiences, and empower their individual growth. Often influenced by traumatic life events, youth turn their narratives into powerful musical theatre performances for the community, which facilitates discussions that create change in themselves and their audience. Storycatchers Theatre also offers job-readiness and transitional employment to participants.

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Andrew Nuno
Finn Partners for Storycatchers Theatre
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