An Open Letter from Hannah Jul 13, 2021

I am a person who sees the value in commemorating endings and celebrating new beginnings. I like to give myself time and space to honor what was and to anticipate what can be. As such, I am now sitting in a place of deep gratitude and excitement as I close out my storyteller residency with QC Family Tree and I create space for all that is to come.

My major project during my time as the Storyteller in Residence with QC Family Tree was the storytelling series, Muddy Turtle Talks. Through this series, I interviewed dozens of neighbors who live in Enderly Park, wrote their stories, and created live storytelling experiences for the stories to be shared.

I’m extremely grateful for every neighbor who let me peek into their world, for every artist and creative who has joined me on this path, for every group and organization that has sponsored my work and partnered with us, for the funders, and for all of the businesses and groups who have given to this work. I’m grateful for the staff and board members of QC Family Tree, who have given me support when I asked for it and who have created a space that provided me with the space that I needed to create in the way that I create. That freedom has been extremely valuable.

Our community has shown up for Muddy Turtle Talks in such a magnificent way. Every production— the seats were full. The beauty of folks from all walks of life sitting side by side in community spaces bearing witness to the stories of everyday folks from our city amazed me every time.

We have all built something beautiful together. Though my residency is over, and Muddy Turtle Talks has come to an end, that doesn’t take away from what is to come. I will continue to lift and share stories of home, of our community. I will continue to encourage others to share their stories. I will continue to organize through the arts and culture.

QC Family Tree will usher in new creatives who will have the opportunity to use their own creative and artistic means to share the stories of Enderly Park through the Culture Bearer's Residency.

Neighborhoods need stories. They need people who will hold on to the truths and traditions and speak the memories. I hope that Muddy Turtle Talks will have served as a blueprint for one of the many ways that we can document our experiences and honor the people and places that make home, home.

So, I’ll see you around our home. I’ll be the one speaking the stories. Here’s to what was, and here’s to what will be