Narrative 4, a global non-profit that uses storytelling to promote empathy, exchange, and social change, launched their first global center in Limerick on the afternoon of June 27.

Launch of Narrative 4 Global Centre.
Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene/Fusionshooters

The afternoon featured readings by internationally renowned authors Colum McCann, Lila Azam Zanganeh, and poet Mary O’Malley. It also showcased musical performances by violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire

Narrative 4’s core methodology, the story exchange, asks participants to share stories and to step into each other’s perspectives to promote empathy. Co-founder Colum McCann explains, “This is key to understanding the hopes, fears, experiences, beliefs, and world-views of others.  It offers opportunities to recognize emotion in others and suggests that individuals refrain from judgment.  We ask people to feel with and for others.”

“Narrative 4 is based on the simple idea that by knowing the story of another, we are able to better understand each other,” said executive director Lisa Consiglio. 
Regional director James Lawlor added, “Limerick is the perfect place to be a global center for Narrative 4 to to help Limerick students engage in their communities and change the world.”
Last year, over 25,000 stories were exchanged on four continents; the countries included Ireland, Mexico, Rwanda, Israel, South Africa, Palestine, England and the United States. 

Consiglio said, “Ireland has given birth to some of the world’s finest storytellers. As we move to support both global and local actions towards change, we are excited to strengthen our organizational mission in Ireland by opening our first global headquarters in Limerick.” 

Narrative 4’s 2016 summit began in Belfast on June 24, moved to Dublin and ends in Limerick on June 28. This year’s theme, “Broadening Our Reach,” will ask participants to focus on creating concrete actions to make change across communities.

Events at the N4 Centre

Literary Events

We believe language and literature are essential tools for creating a more empathic society. The Narrative 4 Centre hosts a number of free literary events for the public. Authors Lila Azam Zangaheh, Colum McCann, Ruth Gilligan, Donal Ryan, Terry Tempest Williams, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Paul Lynch, Mary O’ Malley, Kerry Neville have all been guest readers at Narrative 4.


Storytelling Open Mic Nights

Narrative 4 hosts regular storytelling nights in Limerick City, open to the public. Participants can sign-up the night of to tell a short 5 to 7 minute story from their life or simply just come and listen. Past themes include: ‘firsts,’ ‘heroes’ and ‘loss.’


Community Art Projects

In June 2017, Narrative 4 partnered with artist Maurice Quillinan, the Parks And Landscape Department of Limerick City and County Council, and the youth of Limerick to create a community garden at the Narrative 4 centre. The Limerick Post covered the creation of the garden! Now, the centre and its beautiful garden are home to community art events aimed at involving the larger Limerick community.


Art Exhibitions

The walls of the Narrative 4 centre have been home to the works of incredible artists such as Maurice Quillinan, Clare Hartigan, and Brian Fitzgerald Parallel Editions. We regularly show the work of Narrative 4 participants and local educational institutions, such as the Limerick School of Art and Design.