Artists Network, Blog

Changing the World

Narrative 4 bestselling authors and N4 Artist Network chairs Colum McCann and Ishmael Beah launched the conversation series: “Changing the World With Stories.”

In celebration of Narrative 4’s 10th anniversary, Colum McCann (N4 co-founder and novelist) and Ishmael Beah (author and activist) explored how storytelling can broaden perspectives and change the world in a compelling conversation series: “Changing the World with Stories.” 

Each event was moderated by N4 Artists Network Director, Felice Belle, and featured guest artists including, Sybil Baker, Christian Collier, Talameika Brice, Ellen Ann Fentress, among others. 

“Changing the World with Stories” launched at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Tuesday, October 24, followed by Jackson State University on Thursday, October 26. 

Earlier this year, Narrative 4 introduced Story Exchanges to UTC, helping incoming students cultivate active listening. “Students told us again and again that this was something that made them think. It challenged them,” said UTC Experiential Learning Coordinator Bengt Carlson. “Students said, ‘This was kind of strange but I learned about other people in this really interesting way,’ or ‘I learned something about myself.’” 

College of Engineering and Computer Science Professor Cecelia Wigal said that while she has participated in other experiential learning orientation sessions, the Story Exchanges were unique. “There have been other activities we’ve done where it’s been hard to keep the students involved,” said Wigal. “This time, the listening that went on was impactful.”

Writers Felice Belle and Colum McCann teach a creative writing workshop at UTC
Felice Belle, Colum McCann, and Ishmael Beah at a session of ‘Changing the World with Stories’