Live virtual storytelling event to feature love stories of ‘A Different Kind’

%28left+to+right%29+Betsaida+LeBron%2C+Bernetta+%22Penny%22+Parson%2C+and+Tammy+Spence+will+be+sharing+personal+love+stories+via+Zoom+Friday%2C+Feb+19%2C+2021+for+Capital+Storytelling%27s+%22A+Different+Kind+of+Love%22+event.+All+are+welcome%2C+with+proceeds+going+directly+towards+accessible+storytelling+programs+in+the+Sacramento+area.+%28Photo+illustration+by+Patrick+Posuniak%29

(left to right) Betsaida LeBron, Bernetta “Penny” Parson, and Tammy Spence will be sharing personal love stories via Zoom Friday, Feb 19, 2021 for Capital Storytelling’s “A Different Kind of Love” event. All are welcome, with proceeds going directly towards accessible storytelling programs in the Sacramento area. (Photo illustration by Patrick Posuniak)

Katerina Graziosi

Capital Storytelling will host a virtual event Friday featuring storytellers who will share true, personal love stories live on Zoom.

Capital Storytelling is a Sacramento organization that provides the community with storytelling events, classes and programs, according to its website. 

And while February is usually a month emphasizing romantic love, Capital Storytelling is shifting the focus to different kinds of love through an evening of curated performances under the theme “A Different Kind of Love,” sponsored by Capital Public Radio. 

“My story is about being true to yourself, no matter what,” said Tammy Spence, a storyteller and neuroscientist. “There’s some ups and downs in my story, it’s about my application to graduate school.”

Spence said her story is about her love of the brain, adding that the process of developing the story that spans her life was a cathartic experience. 

Storytellers will share different stories of love, including community love, mothers’ love, love of the home and love of performance, according to Betsaida LeBron, Friday’s host and Capital Storytelling instructor.

“I think personal, true stories are really important right now,” LeBron said. “In a time when we feel so disconnected from each other, hearing someone’s story, seeing them, and knowing what they’ve lived through makes me feel more connected to them.”

Bernetta “Penny” Parson, a storyteller and higher education administrator, said she has also experienced healing through storytelling. After a Jump Bike accident left her bedridden in 2019, Parson was introduced to Capital Storytelling by a friend.

“I had been so disempowered by the accident and I really felt down,” Parson said, adding that she joined a Capital Storytelling class as part of her recovery. “Being in that class felt like being part of the world again, it gave me back some of the humanity that I felt like I lost in the accident.”

For Friday’s event, Parson has chosen to share her love of singing, something she said she is not very good at. Parson said that stories where she is vulnerable about her struggles are the ones that resonate most with her audience.

“When you share a story, it’s like planting seeds in people,” Parson said. “They know they can fail, and they can get back up again.”

“A Different Kind of Love” will feature five storytellers and is open to all. Donations are suggested to register for this event, and proceeds go directly to Capital Storytelling to uphold its mission of empowering the community through accessible storytelling programs, scholarships, classes, events and monthly story slams according to LeBron.

“Storytelling is one of the ways to really empower someone,” LeBron said. “When you own your own story and then share it with an audience, and with the community, it gives you a different sense of yourself in a really positive way.”

As a virtual event, storytellers and participants can safely gather on Zoom at 7 p.m. for an evening of entertainment.

“I’m in North Carolina,” Spence said. “Normally, I wouldn’t be able to interact with Capital Storytelling if things weren’t the way that they are now.”

“A Different Kind of Love” is part of a series of quarterly events produced by Capital Storytelling. Registration for this and other events can be found on Capital Storytelling’s website.