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Ex Fabula: Dreamers

Art Montes
Storyteller Cesar Torres

Ex Fabula celebrates the power of true and personal stories to connect individuals through universal experiences. This weekend we want to celebrate our American immigrants while acknowledging that the road to the “American Dream” often looks to very different for the Dreamers among us.

Along with teaching students Michelle Streed also mentors them as a senior on-campus staff mentor, helping students through the college applications, scholarships and financial aid process, as well as serving as advisor, cheerleader and confidant. When it came time for Michelle to advise a former student named Arleth, Michelle was positive that with Arleth’s high grades and extracurricular activities, the college process would be a slam dunk. However, the duo soon to found out that for Dreamers, sometimes doing everything right doesn’t make everything right.

In 2016, with the goal of building bridges between Milwaukee’s English and Spanish-speaking communities, Ex Fabula created the Puente Project (Proyecto Puente). The Proyecto Puente included four Spanish Storytelling Workshops and concluded with a bilingual StorySlam (the first in the nation), themed “American Dream.” Cesar Torres, an American immigrant from Peru, took the stage to share how, at 23, he arrived in the United States, the “land of opportunity,” to pursue his “American Dream” and how over 16 years he was able to turn his dream into reality.

There’s still time to get your applications submitted for our third class of Ex Fabula Fellows focusing on race and place. Ex Fabula Fellows are community members who use personal stories to inspire community-led dialogue around some of the most pressing issues in the Greater Milwaukee area–segregation and economic and racial inequality. The Deadline is Sept. 12 so visit for complete details.