When we were kids, we used to beg our parents to drive us down to the local library for story time. A little dorky, but you know what? I never really outgrew my childhood love of listening to stories. It turns out I'm not the only one.I recently attended an event with a friend back in Boston called MassMouth. They hold events where a subject is chosen ahead of time, and anyone can sign up to tell their own story. It works a bit like a spoken word version of karaoke, and it was pretty entertaining. In the same vein, the national organization StoryCorps is dedicated to preserving the oral history of our generation by conducting in studio recordings by appointment and providing resources to create your own recordings at home. A personal favorite version of mine is Literary Death Match, an international series of competitions where local authors come out and perform excerpts from their own works, both fiction and non-fiction. I attended one in Ireland and got a greater sense of appreciation for the local culture than I did from any other part of my visit.
If you have any other suggestions for similar organizations or events, feel free to share in the comments below.