A new kind of art comes to Standard Gallery
Standard Gallery owner Dustin Posiak-Trider is bringing a new kind of art to the community: the art of storytelling. Since June, the gallery has held a monthly event called Uncorked: Storytelling in Steamboat, which is based on the storytelling events hosted by New York-based group The Moth. Participants put their name into a fishbowl at the beginning of the night, and as they are called up to stage, they each take a turn sharing a five-minute story with the audience on that month’s chosen theme.
At Standard Gallery, past themes have included Romantic Misencounters, Run Ins with the Law and Being Afraid. On Wednesday, the topic will be holiday horrors, encouraging storytellers to share their most amusing holiday mishaps and disasters. In December, the theme will be service industry night, during which Posiak-Trider will invite members of the service industry — bartenders, kitchen staff, servers and more — to share their most hilarious, moving or amusing tales.
Sylvie Piquet, of Steamboat Creates, is the emcee of the event.
“The powerful thing about storytelling nights is how connected you feel to perfect strangers through listening and storytelling,” she said. “It’s always moving how the room full of people, with different backgrounds and beliefs, hold space for those who share to express humor, vulnerability and their true selves. It’s community at its best.”
What: Uncorked: Storytelling in Steamboat – Holiday Mishaps and Disasters
When: 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3
Where: Standard Gallery and Wine Bar, 907 Lincoln Ave.
While only three storytelling events have taken place, Posiak-Trider said he has seen participation grow each time, a fact he attributes to word of mouth and a supportive, encouraging space.
“The quality — and quantity — of stories keeps improving every month,” he said. “It’s pretty remarkable. We’re getting a lot of traction and positive feedback.”
While the first event saw five attendees share stories, last month’s event was so busy that not all participants got a chance to share.
“It’s a community-driven even, and we’re finding that it’s mostly locals that are coming in and talking about their experiences,” Posiak-Trider said. “In my opinion, there aren’t a ton of opportunities in this town for people to really connect with one another. It’s a fast-paced town, and we’re always in the grind. This is a really cool event that brings people close together, and people seem to love it.”
Posiak-Trider explained that there is a professional storytelling circuit — “that got decimated during COVID” — made up of storytellers who travel all over the country to different venues to share their stories. His goal is to bring professionals in one day to mix with the locals.
“We haven’t matured the event enough to attract those people yet, but it’s a goal for the future,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to displace locals, but the value that the professionals bring elevates the event a little bit; it creates a formality and can demonstrate how to communicate a really cool story.”
Posiak-Trider’s goal is to one day have the event be featured on The Moth podcast; that would mean inviting the podcast crew into the gallery to record a storytelling event. That event would then be shared nationwide on the podcast, as well as on their radio show, The Moth Radio Hour.
But, Posiak-Trider said, before that can happen, they need to prove consistent turnout, structure, quality and framework — which they are well on their way to doing.
“The goal was to create a platform for the community to get to know one another, and the need and demand for these cultural events is great here,” Posiak-Trider said. “We wanted to create something that was accessible to everyone.”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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