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UW-Eau Claire welcomes national storytelling tour ‘Dear World’ on Sept. 28

| Denise Olson

Photo caption: Joann Martin, coordinator of student activities for Activities, Involvement and Leadership at UW-Eau Claire, has had the opportunity to take part in 'Dear World' and is happy to have this professional portrait to remember the experience.

The national touring organization called Dear World asks participants one very important question:

“If you had the chance to share one story about yourself with the world, what would it be?”

On Sept. 28, students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will have a unique and interactive opportunity to tell that one story as part of a presentation to campus that will showcase portraits and quotes designed to tell the story answering, “Who is UWEC?”

Dear World is a nonprofit interactive portrait project that allows students, staff and faculty to tell their individual stories and unite together through powerful messages written on their skin. Their work has been published in more than 30 countries and featured on ESPN, the "Today" show, CNN, PBS and in the New York Times and Washington Post magazines.

This Dear World visit is sponsored by the University Activities Commission (UAC), a commission of Student Senate. As coordinator of student activities for Activities, Involvement and Leadership, Joann Martin assists UAC with event planning, and has had the chance to take part in Dear World events.

“I am honestly thrilled to help make it happen at UW-Eau Claire,” Martin says. “I have taken part twice, and it is an incredible process to experience and witness. We all have a story to tell, and now more than ever, I believe we all are craving connection and a greater sense of community.”  

Brett Farmer, a second-year student senator and director of the UAC, describes what participants can expect.  

“It will be an all-day event in two phases,” the sophomore communication major says. “Students can take part in the Davies Student Center Marketplace from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. They will have a brief one-on-one session with a Dear World staff member, discussing what it is that they think ‘makes them who they are,’ followed by an artistic portrait shoot that reflects that story. The culmination of the day’s event is the Story Celebration combining the portraits and stories into one presentation.”

That celebration takes place at 7 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium. Farmer says that this event is open to any students, staff, faculty and community members who want to see the stories of campus. He hopes that attendees will leave “with a deep sense of emotion, vulnerability and pride in themselves and the campus community.”  

No registration is required to participate in Davies, but RSVP for the evening event is recommended as space is limited. For full details about the Dear World visit and links to RSVP for the Story Celebration event, follow this link.