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Fri, Jun 24


Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

NEW DATE: The Insistence on Beauty: An Evening of Storytelling, Poetry & Cello with Merna Ann Hecht and Michelle Dodson

NEW DATE: The Insistence on Beauty: An Evening of Storytelling, Poetry & Cello with Merna Ann Hecht and Michelle Dodson
NEW DATE: The Insistence on Beauty: An Evening of Storytelling, Poetry & Cello with Merna Ann Hecht and Michelle Dodson

Time & Location

Jun 24, 2022, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM PDT

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, 93 Pike St #307, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

About the Event

Inspired by Leonard Bernstein who said, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely,

more beautifully, more devotedly than ever,” storyteller Merna Ann Hecht and cellist Michelle Dodson will present an evening of storytelling, poetry and music that honors the humanity of courage and hope and of finding beauty in dark times. 

Combining the true story of the cellist Sarajevo who famously played at the rim of a crater that had been bombed with a mosaic of poetry from young people who have experienced war and forced migration Merna and Michelle will offer an evening with the joyful immediacy of live music and the time-honored art of storytelling and spoken poetry. 

About the performers

Merna Ann Hecht, nationally known storyteller, poet and teaching artist founded the Stories of Arrival: Refugee & Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project at Foster High School in Tukwila one of the most culturally and language diverse schools in the U.S. Her writing, arts activism and teaching are guided by her commitment to bring marginalized voices through art, story and poetry to wide community visibility. She has taught Creative Writing, Humanities, and Arts and Social Justice Courses for the University of WA, Tacoma. Merna’s work appears in Teachers & Writers Magazine; Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice; Making Mirrors: Writing and Righting Refugees; WA 129; The National Council of Teachers of English Journal, Drash and other books and journals. She has a Master’s degree from the University of WA with additional international training in theater in education, drama therapy and expressive arts modalities. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and recently received a certificate of completion from the Harvard Medical School Program in Refugee Trauma. In 2018, Merna volunteered in Germany and Greece with asylum seekers in NGO”S for women, children and unaccompanied minors bringing storytelling, drama, puppetry and poetry into their programs. She and her husband Rob are long time Vashon Island residents where they live on a blueberry farm. She was Vashon’s Poet Laureate from 2017-2019. 

Michelle Dodson is a young Seattle-based freelance musician specializing in cello performance. She performs a range of music genres spanning baroque, classical, jazz, modern, and pop. She has played cello for 16 years. She began her music degree at age 16 at University of Missouri St. Louis, and she transferred to DePaul University in Chicago after graduating high school, where she earned her liberal arts degree, a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in cello performance, and a minor in economics from the Driehaus College of Business. While living in Chicago, she performed with the Chicago Composers’ Orchestra, City Lights Orchestra, and the funk-fusion band Pyzow! for their debut album in 2018. She also worked closely with modern composers to world premier eight new pieces. Upon moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2018, Michelle took up collaborating with local composers again, as well as collaborating with local small business owners. She has recorded soundtracks for films, including “They Reach” and “All that Remains”. She currently performs in the Seattle area with Harmonia Orchestra and Chorus, as well as various string quartets. In 2020, she recorded and released her debut solo album Feeling Suite, a complete recording of the first four Bach Suites for solo cello. She is passionate about working with local artists to create multidisciplinary art events in the hopes of inspiring beauty and creativity in the community.


  • Folio & MLG Members

    +$0.38 service fee
    Sale ended
  • General Admission

    +$0.45 service fee
    Sale ended
  • Student Ticket

    +$0.13 service fee
    Sale ended



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