Arizona Storytellers at Tempe arts center features vacation stories.

Six tellers from the community will share stories around the theme of “Vacations & Adventures” at the Arizona Storytellers show on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

The Arizona Republic-sponsored show will be again at the Tempe Center for the Arts, the 2022 home of Arizona Storytellers.

Among the teller is Raquel Gomez, founder of a nonprofit that helps Black, Indigenous and other girls of color ages 8-12 experience nature and outdoor activities.

“It is important that the community knows about the participation gap between races in nature,” said Gomez, who founded Atabey Outdoors in 2020.

“I would like to be the change in this world, part of being that change is telling my story so that people in my community can see that we do enjoy the outdoors.”

Gomez is Dominican and Puerto Rican. When she joined the Girl Scouts at age 10, she quickly realized none of her peers looked like her, she told Arizona Republic reporter Shanti Lerner. That realization at a young age led her to forge to a career in youth development and promoting access to outdoor recreation for kids of color.

Thomas Chiang is an attorney in Phoenix.

Other stories this night:

  • Attorney Thomas Chiang will share how he humorously discovered that there is a difference between a vacation and a trip.
  • John Dunlap, an academic counselor, watched his childhood Flagstaff neighborhood transition to upscale vacation rentals.
  • Human resources specialist Matthew Knotts was 8 when he took an eventful family trip to an amusement park.
  • Words from a past relationship echoed in Arizona Republic reporter Caitlin Mcglade’s mind until a work trip gone wrong helped her see things from a new perspective.
  • After graduating from college in 2001, photographer David Wallace hiked the Pacific Crest Trail which shapes his outlook on life until this day.

The show will be hosted by Storytellers founder Megan Finnerty. It’s the fourth in-person Arizona Storytellers event post-COVID-19 shutdowns. More than 300 people attended June’s “Neighbors” themed show.

All stories are true, first-person accounts. Tellers are coached by Republic journalists and by instructors at South Mountain Community College’s Storytelling Institute.

Two other Arizona Storytellers shows are planned in 2022. The themes and dates are: “Food and Family,” Oct. 12; and “Holidays,” Dec. 14

The Tempe Center for the Arts COVID-19 policy makes face masks optional. No proof of vaccination is required. Also note that because Storytellers evenings typically sell out, tickets can only be purchased online and will not be sold at the venue.

Arizona Storytellers: Vacations

Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 10. Doors open at 6:30 pm Show begins at 7 pm

Tickets: $12 and can be purchased online only at No tickets will be sold at the door.

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