One of four Maine women who are making space for performers, artists, storytellers and filmmakers.
Kathleen Juten is the current force behind The Corner, Lewiston and Auburn’s premiere storytelling event, and has been since 2017. “We spend so much of our lives (in therapy, over coffee with friends or trapped in our own heads) trying to figure out our own stories—who we are, how we fit into the world around us and how the stories of others shape our own,” says Juten. “In short, stories and storytelling are tied to identity—our identity as people, as a community and as a nation.”
Each month, Juten provides a space for local and visiting storytellers to share their experiences. These true, first-person stories are all guided by a theme to be interpreted by the teller and in the past have included topics like “fool’s errand,” “it’s complicated” and “welcome to the neighborhood.” Similar in style to NPR’s popular storytelling podcast The Moth, The Corner was created to be “an event that would foster a space for community and connection,” says Juten. “With [founder Michael Sargent’s] attention to detail and drive to bring in great storytellers from all over Maine and beyond, he grew The Corner over the course of the next four years into the institution it is today.”
“Human beings are just a collection of stories that we are trying to sort out.”
Formerly a resident of “the cultural and art explosion that is Los Angeles, California,” Juten has long been drawn to diversity of culture, language and thought. “Storytelling events like The Corner are so important because they allow us to hear the stories of others in our community and combat some of the prejudice and othering that occurs in these narratives,” says Juten. “Because of The Corner, I feel like I belong to a community in a way that I have never felt before.”
The Corner is held one Thursday each month at She Doesn’t Like Guthries, a restaurant and performance space in Lewiston. Event dates, times and themes are updated each month on The Corner’s website (cometothecorner.com). You’re invited to listen, connect and add your name to the fishbowl for a chance to tell your own story.