SRU’s Stone House Center for Public Humanities offers literary program series


Slippery Rock University’s Stone House Center for Public Humanities, In recognition of National Arts & Humanities Month, will host “Plot Device: Media & Storytelling” at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29 at Beans on Broad, 141 S. Broad Street, Grove City.

Oct. 23, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Stone House Center for Public Humanities, in recognition of National Arts & Humanities Month, will host "Plot Device: Media & Storytelling" at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29 at Beans on Broad, 141 S. Broad Street, Grove City.

The event will feature a program focused on the art of storytelling featuring three speakers who construct their narratives "through unorthodox and unique mediums" according to Aaron Cowan, SRU associate professor of history and co-coordinator of the CPH.

"We have a trio of storytellers who will speak about how they use unique storytelling methods that are being popularized in modern culture to share their narratives," Cowan said..

Speakers include Tommy Thompson, '19, who is the writer and creator of the "Dirty History" podcast, which explores historical topics that are often considered taboo; Stephanie Strasburg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, whose work explores storytelling through the evolving landscape, economic and sociopolitical conditions of the Rust Belt; and Joe Wos, a nationally recognized cartoonist, author and storyteller.

"Bringing in these professionals from different disciplines helps people to think about what stories really are and who is telling them," said Anna Potter, a sophomore English writing major from Grove City and CPH student worker. "This event is meant to break the stereotype of what a storyteller is and how a story is told because everyone, in their own unique way, is a storyteller."

Cowan and Shelby Heisler, CPH program coordinator, see the event as an opportunity to advocate for the humanities.

"Surprisingly, a lot of people - and educational institutions as well - don't see much value in the humanities," said Heisler. "It's because of that that a lot of schools have either cut the budgeting for those programs or (cut) the programs all together.

"We hope that through offering these types of programs, we are providing people with an enriching experience that will be memorable and thought-provoking."

National Arts and Humanities Month is a national collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. The celebration was launched 30 years ago by Americans for the Arts as "National Arts Week" in honor of the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, it was reestablished by Americans for the Arts and national arts partners as a month-long celebration, with goals of focusing on the arts at local, state and national levels; encouraging individuals and organizations to participate in the arts; allowing governments and businesses to show their support of the arts; and raising public awareness about the role the arts and humanities play in our communities and lives.

While the event is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted to fund future collaborative CPH community programming.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 |