The Moth

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The Moth Radio Hour
The Moth logo.jpg
Other names The Moth
Genre Storytelling
Running time 60 minutes
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates Public Radio Exchange
Hosted by Catherine Burns
Sarah Austin Jenness
Jenifer Hixson
Meg Bowles
George Dawes Green
Produced by Jay Allison
Executive producer(s) Sarah Haberman
Original release 2009 – present
No. of series 7
No. of episodes 96
Opening theme The Drift, "Uncanny Valley"
Website The Moth site
Podcast The Moth podcast

The Moth is a non-profit group based in New York City dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.[1] Founded in 1997, the organization presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad, often featuring prominent literary and cultural personalities.[1] The Moth offers a weekly podcast and in 2009 launched a national public radio show, The Moth Radio Hour, which won a 2010 Peabody Award.[2][3] The 2013 story collection The Moth: 50 True Stories reached #22 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-Seller List.[4]

Origins[edit]

The Moth was founded in 1997 by poet and novelist George Dawes Green, who wanted to recreate the feeling of sultry summer evenings in his native Georgia, when moths were attracted to the light on the porch where he and his friends would gather to spin spellbinding tales.[1][5] Green and his original group of storytellers called themselves "The Moths", and Green took the name with him to New York.[1] The non-profit organization now runs over 500 different storytelling programs a year in more that 25 US cities (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit) and four international cities (London, Dublin, Sydney, and Melbourne) offering the unique perspectives of both average, everyday people, and literary or cultural personalities.[6]

Live events[edit]

The Moth's live shows fall into several tiers of production, but each is dedicated to the art of unscripted, first-person storytelling.[1][7] Every show has stories based on open-ended themes (Such as "Hot Mess," or "Conviction").

Mainstage[edit]

The Moth Mainstage is their curated flagship program, which is a "staple" of the literary scenes in New York City and Los Angeles and regularly tours around the United States and the world as The Moth on the Road.[7][8][9] Storytellers at the Mainstages include renowned personalities, past StorySLAM or GrandSLAM winners, and average people who may have submitted their stories through The Moth Pitchline.

StorySLAMS and GrandSLAMS[edit]

The organization also hosts The Moth StorySLAM events, which is an open mic storytelling competitions open to everyone in cities across the United States, including but not limited to New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Louisville, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Miami, Cambridge, and Los Angeles.[7][10] The format was inspired by and is similar to poetry slams.

For the StorySLAM, ten participants are chosen at random from a pool of volunteer storytellers to tell a true story (without notes) in the five to six-minute range. Storytellers are scored based on the content of their stories, and their storytelling abilities, by three teams of judges—selected from audience members—on a scale from one to ten. The storyteller with the highest score wins the StorySLAM.

After 10 StorySLAMS have occurred in a city, the 10 winners then advance to The Moth GrandSLAM, which draws crowds of hundreds (or thousands) and as a result is held in a larger venue than the monthly StorySLAMs. The same rules apply to the GrandSLAM as in the StorySLAM.

Programs[edit]

In addition to live performances, The Moth conducts a variety of community, education, and corporate workshops that teach the art and craft of storytelling in various regions and communities.[11][12][13]

Community[edit]

Since 1999, the Moth’s Community Program strives to encourage the art of storytelling in communities typically under-represented by the mainstream media. They teach and inspire budding raconteurs to effectively tell their stories to those who are both willing and unwilling to listen, and they often feature workshop members on The Moth website and podcast.[12]

Education[edit]

The Education Program works with students, teachers, and professors from high-school through college to promote stronger community bonds within the student body and the administration. The overall mission is to prepare students for the world ahead of them by teaching crucial aspects of language and rhetoric, and to allow students and teachers to experience one another in a more intimate setting. In 2012 The Moth launched the High School Slam program, which brings StorySLAMs to public high schools in New York City. They currently hold SLAMs at twelve high schools in three boroughs, and an All-City SLAM that allows for inter-connectivity between students in all the boroughs.[11]

Corporate[edit]

The Moth’s Corporate Program conducts private workshops and custom shows for a variety of corporations (such as NIKE, Google, and Ford). Private workshops teach employees to utilize the power of storytelling to promote their business goals and ideas, while custom events to highlight the voices and mission of an organization in a unique setting.[13]

Broadcasting[edit]

In August 2009, the organization launched a national public radio show, The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and distributed by Public Radio Exchange.[2][7] In the fall of 2009 The Moth Radio Hour was licensed by more than 200 public radio stations, and it later won a 2010 Peabody Award.[2][3][7] Now, more than 400 public radio stations host The Moth Radio Hour,[2] which has over 1,000,000 weekly listeners.[citation needed]

The Moth offers a weekly podcast, which provides free audio of curated stories from live Moth events. The podcast has over 500,000 weekly downloads; in 2015, the podcast was downloaded over 30 million times.[7]

Publishing[edit]

The Moth: 50 True Stories
The Moth 2013 cover.jpg
Editor Catherine Burns
Author Various
Country United States
Language English
Genre Storytelling
Publisher 2013 (Hyperion Books)
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 432
ISBN 978-1401311117

On September 3, 2013 Hyperion Books published The Moth: 50 True Stories, a collection of stories from the group's performance history. In December 2013 it reached #22 on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Best-Seller List.[4] A second book, All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown, was released by Crown in March 2017.[14]

Moth Ball and Moth Award[edit]

The organization's annual fundraising event is called the Moth Ball. William McGowan of The Wall Street Journal called the ball the "hottest and hippest literary ticket" in 1999,[15] and more recently Jen Carlson of Gothamist called it "NYC's Best Gala".[16] At this event they present the Moth Award, celebrating the art of the raconteur. Past awards have gone to Garrison Keillor,[17] Salman Rushdie,[18] Anna Deavere Smith,[19] Calvin Trillin,[20] Spalding Gray (posthumously),[21] Martin Scorsese,[22] and Albert Maysles.[23]

Storytellers[edit]

As of Fall 2016, over 18,000 stories have been told at The Moth.[1] Storytellers include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "About: The Moth". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "About: The Moth Radio Hour". TheMoth.org. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Peabody Awards: Winner 2010 - The Moth, Public Radio Exchange, Atlantic Public Media". PeabodyAwards.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "BEST SELLERS (Paperback Nonfiction): December 29, 2013". NYTimes.com. The New York Times. December 29, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ The Moth: The Story Behind the Storytellers (PODIUM: The Art of Oration). @radical.media/THNKR. May 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Moth | Live Storytelling Events". The Moth. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "About: The Moth Programs". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Don't Look Back: The Moth in Portland". Portland5.com. Portland's 5 Centers for the Arts. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "About: The Moth Mainstage". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  10. ^ The Moth: The Best Storytellers in the World (PODIUM: The Art of Oration). @radical.media/THNKR. April 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Education Program". The Moth. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Community Program". The Moth. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Corporate Training". The Moth. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ "All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown". The Moth. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ McGowan, William (January 29, 1999). "Saloon Stories". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  16. ^ Carlson, Jen (April 29, 2016). "NYC's Best Gala, The Moth Ball, Is Happening SOON". Gothamist. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  17. ^ Hendrix, Jenny (November 19, 2010). "Honoring The Bard of Lard". The New Yorker: Page Turner. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  18. ^ Anderson, Arison (November 25, 2008). "Salman Rushdie and the Legend of the Moth". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2009. 
  19. ^ Anderson, Ariston (November 19, 2009). "Storytelling Comes Alive at Moth's Black & White Ball". Luxist.com. Luxist. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Moth Award 2010 Presented to Calvin Trillin". January 20, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2013. 
  21. ^ Lerner, Sarah (November 4, 2011). "The Moth Raises The Roof". ElectricLiterature.com. The Outlet. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ Carlson, Jen (March 29, 2012). "The Moth Ball Returns This May, Honoring Martin Scorsese". Gothamist. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  23. ^ Vilensky, Mike (May 15, 2013). "The Craft of a Story: Storytelling Is Celebrated at the Moth Ball". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Jonathan Ames". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Slaying King George at The Moth". MauriceAshley.com. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Wesley Autrey: 1000 Voices New York". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Elna Baker". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Mike Birbiglia". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Thomas Dolby". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Andy Borowitz". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  31. ^ Martin, Adam (September 14, 2011). "Padma Lakshmi Burps and Other Highlights from The Moth's Food Night". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  32. ^ Sotomayor, Eva (March 7, 2013). "The Moth continues the tradition of storytelling". The Marquette Tribune. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  33. ^ Reeves, Jim. "DAN CHOI SPEAKS AT THE MOTH, PORTLAND OREGON, JAN 18, 2010". Queerlandia.com. Queerlandia. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "Kimya Dawson". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Rachel Dratch". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Ophira Eisenberg". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Ed Gavagan". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  38. ^ Sotomayor, Eva (March 7, 2013). "The Moth continues the tradition of storytelling". The Marquette Tribune. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Adam Gopnik". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Lisa Jackson". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Ava Kay Jones". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Garrison Keillor". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  43. ^ Martin, Adam (September 14, 2011). "Padma Lakshmi Burps and Other Highlights from The Moth's Food Night". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Faye Lane". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Janna Levin". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  46. ^ Gutelle, Sam (November 6, 2012). "Storytelling Series 'The Moth' Hosts Expansive YouTube Channel". Tubefilter.com. Tubefilter. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  47. ^ "George Lombardi". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Michael J. Massimino". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Darryl "DMC" McDaniels". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  50. ^ Sotomayor, Eva (March 7, 2013). "The Moth continues the tradition of storytelling". The Marquette Tribune. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Edgar Oliver". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Steve Osborne". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  53. ^ "George Plimpton". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  54. ^ "Sherman "O.T." Powell". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  55. ^ Tumin, Remy (October 25, 2012). "In Unexpected Twist, Love Came Late In Life Yet Right On Time". Vineyard Gazette. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Molly Ringwald". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  57. ^ "Daisy Rosario". Futuro Media Group. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  58. ^ "Salman Rushdie". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Dan Savage". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  60. ^ "Al Sharpton". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Satori Shakoor". TheMoth.org. The Moth. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  62. ^ Borden, Jane (November 19, 2008). "The Moth Ball: Lili Taylor, Salman Rushdie and John Turturro love stories". Time Out New York. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 

Further reading

External links[edit]