Notes from the Motherfield LIVE / Oct 25: SOLD OUT

Notes from the Motherfield LIVE! Oct 25: SOLD OUT

Friday, October 25, 5:30pm doors; storytelling 6pm
Jewish History Museum / 564 S Stone Ave, Tucson 85701

Potluck immediately afterwards; bring an offering for the table if you want to share some love after the stories!

When you purchase a ticket online, your name will be added to the guest list at the door; no paper or e-tickets are issued.

We are SOLD OUT! Save the date for the next Motherfield on Jan 10, 2020.

The Motherfield is turning into a movement of mothers dedicated to building community by telling the truth, and listening to women’s stories. Story-coaching skills and event support is being carried forward by storytelling alumni, to grow the field, share the knowledge, and stay connected as a community of care.

Tickets info.

Join Kore Press Institute for the third listening session in this series with six amazing mother artists, thinkers, and activists. Based on Kore’s online essay series and newsletter feature, “Notes from the Motherfield,” this LIVE version presents two spoken sets by local mamas telling their truths in 10-minute stories about the wild, wooly, sacred, thorny, liberatory, stunning, painful and sometimes frightening encounters with motherhood, from a multitude of perspectives.

The concept of the motherfield was coined by Joy Harjo on her blog several years ago and refers to the imaginal colliding that happens in the “motherfield”––where hard truths co-exists: somewhere between grief and beauty, the ineffable and mundane, boundlessness and numbing routine, the sacred and profane. We speak these stories to keep the narratives about mothering complicated, to pierce the veil of the impossible images of perfection, to hold a space for listening to what women have to say, and to make manifest invisibilized labors. We see you, we hear you, we appreciate you!

The evening’s line up includes six powerful superhero mamas:

Molly K. Burke received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona in 2005, but has been writing and playing with storytelling since elementary school. She has been a mom since 2007. She fits writing into the nooks and crannies between her full time job, two kids, binge-watching Netflix original series, and the moral demands of this current political state. She often regrets not putting more time into writing. Sometimes she regrets not putting more time into exercising or meditation. She is Director of Online Education for the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. And sometimes can be found working on bits and pieces of a memoir. See the video of Molly’s story here.

Debi Chess has over 25 years of nonprofit program development and leadership experience in a variety of sectors– including youth and community development, and arts-based economic development. Former Executive Director of the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly Tucson Pima Arts Council), she is Community Impact Fellow for the University of Arizona School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Dunbar Pavilion: An African American Center for Art and Culture, to help build capacity and steward the organization into its next 100 years of cultural significance in Tucson and Southern Arizona. She is the Board Chair and a founding member of the Tucson Black Film Club. See the video of Debi’s story here.

Charlie Buck is a solo mom to a teen she loves and learns from daily.  She has been awarded residencies and fellowships for her writing and metalwork from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic NEA, the Island Institute, the Marjory Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Story and Tucson Weekly, among others.  In addition to writing and editing, she’s currently a teaching artist with third-graders at Hollinger Elementary School, courtesy of the Poetry Center. See Charlie’s video here.

Milta Ortiz is a theater maker and writer from the Bay Area, who now calls Tucson home. Recently, she directed The Sun Serpent at Pima Community College, where she teaches theatre. She’s currently working on a play about two sisters, one who happens to be a Dreamer, commissioned by Pima Community College and a memoir about growing up, Salvi.  Judge Torres premiered at Milagro Theater (2019) and went on to a University national tour. Milta received NEA and NALAC grants to develop/ produce her plays: Sanctuary (2018) and Más (2015), which had several productions around the country. She earned an M.F.A. from Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program, and a Creative Writing B.A. from San Francisco State University. She is associate artistic director at Borderlands Theater. See Milta’s video here.

Tina Howard (she/her/hers) grew up in small town Iowa surrounded by strong vocal women. She left for NYC in 1985 to study dance and Theater, later relocating to Chicago. Tina worked in Community Outreach building edible gardens all over the city including Cook County Corrections. She was also part of amazing group of humans who started GirlsRock!Chicago a Rock n’ Roll camp for girls. Tucson became home in 2012 and a deep love of the desert abides. Tina loves the words and music and movement of women. Tina, mother of five, is a community activist with particular interest in Trans and Migrant issues. See Tina’s video here.


Gabriella Cazares-Kelly (she/her) is a proud, union dues paying, #RedForEd public school educator and community organizer. She is one of four women who founded Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots, community organization that provides opportunities for education and civic engagement for members of her tribe: the Tohono O’odham Nation. She is extremely active in local politics and believes in the need to infiltrate, create or transform spaces to include Indigenous voices and issues. She lives with her husband, Ryan, and their two cats in Tucson.  They are the proud parents to two University of Arizona students who come home sometimes to do laundry. She is a writer and a voting enthusiast. See Gabriella’s video here.

Many thanks to our space partners at Tucson’s Jewish History Museum! Thank you Jen Nowicki Clark for your coaching / co-emceeing skillz, to Adiba Nelson for her co-emceeing amazingness, and Anna McCallister Nichols for deep listening support!

Adiba Nelson is a New York City girl turned desert dweller. She currently resides in Tucson, AZ and is the author of the popular children’s book about inclusion, Meet ClaraBelle Blue. Adiba is also a contributing writer for online magazine The Mighty, My Brown Baby, Everyday Feminism, and The Huffington Post. Her book, Meet ClaraBelle Blue is loosely based on her precocious daughter, Emory, and for this reason she has made it her life’s mission to ensure that children and adults of all abilities have access to the same opportunities and representation in life. See Adiba’s Motherfield story here

Anna McCallister-Nichols embraces motherhood by being supportive, a companion, an advocate, and a safe-harbor for her children, by being a witness to their individual beauty and personal story. Anna and her husband, Kevin, are proud parents of two daughters, both of whom have cystic fibrosis. In their honor, they founded Playformance, a successful indoor gym offering play-based curriculum that develops character and strength. Tragically, their oldest daughter died at the age of 10, in 2017 due to complications related to cystic fibrosis. While learning how to survive the unbearable, Anna manages to find beauty in every day, and continually strives to provide her surviving daughter with the care and love she needs with her own diagnosis and grief. See Anna’s Motherfield story here.

As the Director of the consulting firm, Creative Narrations, Jen Nowicki Clark has been facilitating live and multi-media digital storytelling workshops for 18 years nationally and internationally. She is an educator, organizer, artist, story coach and parent who loves language and witnessing how sharing stories in new ways can transform and connect us as individuals and as communities. She holds a BA in Sociology from Boston College and an MA in Linguistics from the University of Arizona.She lives in Portland with her family.

Advanced ticket purchase is recommended; seating is limited to 100. There will be a number of tickets available at the Early Bird Special rate, and as always, opportunities for folx who can give more to balance it all out. It takes a village! Ticket info.

Consider becoming a sponsor of the Motherfield to support this powerful storytelling program and the intersectional feminist work of Tucson’s Kore Press Institute. KPI is a nonprofit working at the nexus of arts and justice dedicated to amplifying women’s voices through publishing, social justice education, and innovative community programming. Kore Press is one of the four remaining feminist presses in the country that has lasted over 20 years. Kore’s award-winning work has impacted communities locally and nationally for 25 years.