Loren Niemi (Development Director, Dramaturge) has spent thirty-nine years as a professional storyteller, creating, coaching/directing, performing and teaching stories about what matters to audiences of all ages in urban and rural settings. Loren tells the life he lives with immediacy, poetry and insight.
Loren has appeared on stages in theaters, cabarets, festivals, churches, schools, and on the platforms of Minneapolis’ Light Rail line where commuters can watch him as part of a public art instillation. He has performed on the Great Wall of China, been the Humanities Scholar in Residence for Northern Minnesota, worked with Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, Northern Ireland to tell the stories of “the Troubles” and appeared the stages of Fringe Festivals across the country since 1995. His work has been called “post-modern,” “with the dark beauty of language that is not ashamed of poetry.”
Loren teaches Storytelling in the Theater Program of Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) and storytelling for mission and branding in the Executive Leadership Institutes at the University of St. Thomas. He has provided storytelling workshops and organizational consulting around the country working with businesses, non-profit organizations and government programs to illuminate the role of storytelling in organizational culture and improve their presentation and messaging skills. In 1998, Loren was a recipient of a Bush Leadership Fellowship to research the vital role of storytelling in neighborhood and community development. In 2001 he created The Public Policy Project, training low-wealth and communities of color identify, shape and effectively tell their advocacy stories of race, poverty, and community.
Loren is the author of the award-winning The New Book of Plots, published by Parkhurst Brothers, on the uses of narrative in shaping meaningful stories and the co-author, with Elizabeth Ellis, of Inviting the Wolf In: Thinking About Difficult Stories, from August House Publishers, the critically acclaimed text on the value and necessity of telling the stories that are hard to speak and uncomfortable to hear. He is also a published poet whose most recent chapbook is Coyote Flies Coach from Sister Black Press
He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network. www.lorenniemistories.com