“Sometimes it is easier to try and make sense of the world one story at a time. And when we do dare to listen, we remember that there is no 'other' there is only us, and what we have in common will always be greater than what separates us.” -Catherine Burns, Artistic Director for The Moth

The Power of Stories, Bringing Us Together…

Ellis Island, Mixed Media by Lisa Kagan

This December I had the great pleasure of going to see The Moth Mainstage at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. A sold-out crowd gathered to listen to true stories told live by the people who had actually experienced them. From a juvenile court judge in Nashville, Tennessee to a wilderness guide in Alaska, these men and women shared their vulnerability, courage, humor and humility. The audience was brought together as a sea of listeners, awakening our collective compassion and inspiration, bound together by the rich tapestry of the human experience. The spirit of that evening is embodied in The Moth’s new book All These Wonders, True Stories About Facing the Unknown, a collection that I would highly recommend for your winter reading list and as a source, which might spark some new ideas for your own life story project.

As we begin the New Year, I have been reflecting on the ways in which sharing our stories offers us the opportunity to connect more deeply with ourselves, our families, and our communities. Over the last twelve years, through the work we do at Family Heirloom Arts, I have witnessed estranged siblings reconnect through creating a book about their parents’ stories. I have held space for people to record their immigration stories, preserving their culture and heritage for future generations. I have seen the younger generation of a family band together to honor their father by creating a retirement book celebrating his life’s work. I have supported families to create books honoring the lives of their loved ones who have passed away. In the process, I have seen my clients discover new parts of themselves and deepen their sense of pride in where they come from.  Each time I am honored to be part of their journey and humbled by their wisdom, commitment, and dedication to telling their stories.

Moving into Action

With the start of 2019 I have been receiving inquiries from new clients, some of whom have been working on writing and researching their family stories for many years and are ready to create a finished legacy book, and others who are just getting started and can’t wait to jump into the initial project planning and begin the oral history interview process. I am excited to discover what new stories and connections 2019 will bring. If you are considering delving into your own illustrated heirloom book project this year,  contact us to set-up a free initial consultation. Through a guided discussion we will help you clarify your vision for the project, identify your intentions and goals, and explore options for the final product.

Register Now! Only a few spots left for the January Art of Resilience Workshop…

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus

Art of Resilience

Renewal, Mixed Media by Lisa Kagan

In this workshop you will have the chance to explore what resilience and renewal mean to you in the context of your own healing journey. Utilizing creative writing, drawing, painting and collage you will learn how to create narrative images as a way to access your own inner wisdom and share your personal stories. No previous art or writing experience is necessary.

Date & Time: Saturday January 26th, 1-5:30pm
Location: Family Heirloom Arts Studio, SE Portland (in the Woodstock neighborhood)
Cost: $80  
Registration: Contact Lisa Kagan at Lisa@FamilyHeirloomArts.com or call (503) 347-1391. This workshop is offered in collaboration with Portland Women Writers and is designed for women of all ages and life stages.

“I really appreciated the dedicated time for creative work, the open and accepting environment in a safe group space and the provocative themes.”
– Lyssa, workshop participant

Oral History Interviews
Writing & Editing
Book Layout & Design