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Ex Fabula: The Art of Storytelling

Art Montes
Storyteller Adam Carr

Summer is in full swing in Milwaukee, and for many local residents that means spending as much time as humanly possible outside to enjoy the warm weather, long days of sunshine and numerous festivals. One way to partake? Check out the 21 pieces of art featured in the second annual Sculpture Milwaukee urban outdoor exhibit along Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. Learn more about it in an Ex Fabula guided storytelling tour below.

As it turns out, art is not only a form of creative expression and a tool for introspection – it’s also a great way to connect with others.

Our first featured storyteller, Erin Whitney, is no stranger to the transformative power of art. She spent time as the student artist-in-residence at a local senior living community. As she explained at the UWM Service Learner StorySlam in May 2017, she expanded her social circle in a profound way upon befriending Enid, a resident in her 80s. A date to a play turned into an adventurous and immersive learning experience unlike anything Erin had expected. From a Colectivo coffee shop table to Black Cat Alley on the East Side, she got to experience life and art through Enid’s lens – which also resulted in a memorable selfie!

The Doors Open StorySlam in June of 2016 had our second teller, Adam Carr, describing a very physical conundrum he faced while participating in a “Temporary Resurfacing” art and video installation on Mitchell Street. Adam was projecting his video onto the side of a four-story building, from the top of a one-story Somali grocer. After shimmying down the fire escape and across a ledge that required a solid-footed “swivel,” he discovered that the only way to make his setup work was to use his shoes to prop up the projector. One problem: he needed his shoes to get off the building. His video was projecting perfectly but he was stuck alone on the grocery store’s roof for five hours. Would anyone be able to help him escape?

In other exciting news, Ex Fabula and Sculpture Milwaukee are teaming up to provide special guided storytelling tours! The first tour will be July 21, led by Ex Fabula storytellers Elaine Maly and Shawn Mitchell, who will share their true, personal stories inspired by select works of art. It will run about 75 minutes on Wisconsin Avenue (from 6th Street to Prospect Avenue). Tours are limited to 20 participants, so reserve your spot now at Visit the Sculpture Milwaukee website or download the app to learn more about the exhibit.

ALSO: Be sure to visit the Ex Fabula Facebook page and website,, between July 5 and 17 to help us decide on Season 10’s StorySlam themes! Vote now!