via press release:
USA NETWORK AND THE MOTH,
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CHARTER AND COMCAST,
EXTEND AWARD-WINNING CHARACTERS UNITE
NATIONAL STORYTELLING TOUR
“A MORE PERFECT UNION: STORIES OF PREJUDICE AND POWER”
The Tour Resumes with a Mainstage Event in Washington, D.C, Presented by Comcast, on October 26th, Featuring Activist and Artist Forest Whitaker, Author and Award-Winning Blogger Meghan McCain and’ Christopher Gorham
NEW YORK – October 13, 2011 – USA Network today announced that it has partnered with multichannel video distributors across the country to extend its Beacon Award-winning Characters Unite National Storytelling Tour with the renowned nonprofit storytelling organization The Moth. The tour includes a series of Mainstage shows and educational workshops in communities and high schools across the country, as part of USA’s Characters Unite public service campaign to combat prejudice and discrimination. Storytellers in the Mainstage shows and the high school programs tell a true story, live on stage, without notes, about facing some form of bigotry or discrimination and how the experience changed their outlook and empowered them to make a positive change. The goal is to use the power of storytelling to bring diverse people together, encourage more productive dialogue and foster greater understanding and acceptance.
The tour resumes this month in Washington, D.C. in partnership with Comcast, with a Mainstage showcase on October 26th at the Newseum and will feature Special Guest Christopher Gorham from USA’s hit seriesand stories from Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker; Author and Award-winning Blogger Meghan McCain; Comedian and Performer Greg Walloch; Co-founder of Kindness Above Malice (KAM), Kevin Jacobsen; and Jeffery Rudell, Writer and 2003 Winner of The Moth's Story Slam Championship.
The complementary high school program will take place at Ballou High School and will commemorate National Bullying Prevention Month. Nine students will participate in four days of after-school workshops to learn the art and craft of storytelling and then will share their true tales at an in-school assembly on October 27th.
This fall, the tour will make additional stops at high schools in St. Louis and Atlanta. A Mainstage event and high school program also will be held early next year in Los Angeles. Both the Mainstage and school events will be held in partnership with with Comcast and Charter Communications' systems in those cities.
“The Characters Unite Storytelling Tour has provided a powerful platform to spark dialogue about issues of prejudice, hate and discrimination and foster respect for diversity. The courageous storytellers, especially the students, have empowered others to come forward, share their personal stories and become voices for change. We're thrilled to partner with USA’s distribution partners to bring the tour to even more communities and schools,” said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, USA co-presidents.
“It is a particular delight for the Moth to partner with USA Network in such an essential program that so effectively utilizes our storytelling skills,” said Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director of the Moth.
First launched in fall of 2010, the storytelling tour made stops in New Orleans, New York City, Seattle, Denver and Chicago. A wide range of hosts and storytellers have participated in the tour, including actors Angela Bassett, Kristin Chenoweth, Mos Def, Pam Grier and Peter Gallagher; acclaimed writers Walter Mosley, Cindy Chupack, Ernesto Quinonez and Wes Moore; a New York City Police chaplain Imam Khalid Latif; President of Urban Preparatory Academy Tim King; paralympic athlete, disabilities advocate and model Aimee Mullins; comedian Judy Gold; Barney’s Creative Director Simon Doonan; and more.
A special school kit and storytelling activity guide also is available to all high schools. For more information, visit www.charactersunite.com.
About Characters Unite
Characters Unite, USA Network’s public affairs campaign was created to address the social injustices and cultural divides still prevalent in our society. Inspired by USA Network’s iconic “Characters Welcome” brand and with the support of leading national nonprofit organizations, the ongoing campaign is dedicated to supporting activities and messaging that combat prejudice and intolerance while promoting understanding and acceptance – on-air, online, and in communities across the country. www.charactersunite.com
About USA Network
USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.
USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.
About The Moth
The Moth – hailed as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” by The Wall Street Journal – is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors.
The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOPProgram, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved populations; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Business Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and The Moth Radio Hour, produced by Jay Allison and distributed by PRX, which airs on more than 200 public radio stations across the country.