Hyde Park Storytelling

A refreshing space for honesty, compassion, and vulnerability, Hype Park Storytelling brings Austinites together one shared experience at a time.

As COVID-19 forces millions to self-isolate and remain apart from those they love, communities like Hyde Park Storytelling remind us of the gift that is being together. Tune in to this special Party For ONE podcast episode, featuring this Austin, TX storytelling group, and return to simpler days.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud

WELCOME TO HYDE PARK STORYTELLING

Five years ago, Erin Givarz and Matthew Stoner became roommates in Austin, TX, after crossing paths via Craiglist. Realizing they held the same love for sharing human experiences through storytelling, Matt and Erin decided to do something radical; invite hundreds of Austinites to gather in their own back yard, every couple of months.

At Hyde Park Storytelling, local storytellers share their real-life experiences all centered around one common theme. On March 7th, the theme of the night was lucky, but unlike other storytelling events that are highly curated, no one knows exactly what these storytellers will share until the moment they reach the mic.

And I’m like “Oh my God, you look so amazing,” and she looks up from her phone and  she says “thanks” and it was Jennifer Lopez, you guys.

– Michelle, Storyteller

As a stand-up, comedian, co-founder Matthew hopes Hyde Park can be an empowering space for those who wouldn’t otherwise have the stage, because  “everyone’s stories matter”. From heart-wrenching tales of love and loss to hilarious moments with a loved one or simply once in a lifetime moment of pure luck, these storytellers captivated the audience.

More than an outlet for simply sharing these captivating moments of life, Hyde Park Storytelling is a community that unifies Austinites of all walks of life. For Matthew and Erin, it’s all about bringing people together. “It’s really hard to hate people when you hear their stories,” Givarz explains.

I’ve since discovered that only 4% of attorneys in Texas are Asian, and I’m so proud to be part of that 4%.

– Tiffany, Storyteller

While no two stories at Hyde Park are the same, storytellers and audience members alike can find comfort in the fact that they’re never truly alone. It’s this space’s refreshing dedication to honestly, compassion, and mutual vulnerability that makes “Austin feel a little bit smaller,” according to co-founder, Matthew Stoner.

Learn more about this group or attend an upcoming virtual storytelling event by visiting Hyde Park Storytelling on Facebook.

A note from Chloe

Although millions globally are now sheltering in place, I hope this episode reminds listeners of just how thankful we should be for the ability to share our lives with communities we love. For Austinites, like myself, Hyde Park storytelling gives us a space to look forward to returning once life becomes more normalized again. For now, however, take whatever measures you can as an individual to stay safe and healthy, but also to stay connected to those who make you who you are. Remember that the people, places, and communities you miss most are only ever a call, click, or memory away. Visiting Hype Park Storytelling reminded me of just how universally shared our experiences are as human beings. No matter the situation or circumstance, you are never truly alone. Whatever you’re experiencing right now, there are millions of individuals currently navigating those same struggles and strides alongside you. No worldly force, not even COVID-19, can change that.

XOXO, Chlo
This special episode produced on the behalf of the University of Texas at Austin Journalism School.

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