Everyone has a story to tell and nowhere is that more the case than at Mudrooms, Juneau’s go-to home for storytellers.
Inspired by similar events held in Anchorage, Mudrooms has been giving Juneau residents a safe place to share personal seven-minute stories with audiences since 2011. On Tuesday night at Ḵunéix̱ Hídi Northern Light United Church, Mudrooms hosted its last event for the season with presenters sharing stories centered around the theme of Better Left Unsaid.
“I think storytelling is something that brings us all together and we have been taught that by so many different peoples, so it’s really special to come together as a community to remember our inherent humanness, to hear the same experiences in others that you have had, the same feelings that you have had and to feel that connection with your community members, that’s really special. I think that’s what keeps bringing people back to Mudrooms,” said Kristen Rankin, a four-year board member with Mudrooms.
The evening’s event was emceed and hosted by fellow board members Summer Koester, Jane Hale and David Noon. Additionally, Tuesday’s packed house was treated to the musical stylings of Juneau-based band The Standards, which is composed of Michael Bucy, Tom Meyers, Sam Roberts and Luke Weld.
Robert Bowles was one of the several storytellers to take the stage to share a heartwarming story about his mother. Bowles, who made his third appearance on Tuesday, said that he appreciates Mudrooms for the invaluable opportunity to connect with friends and strangers alike.
“I remember the first couple times I came and I was in the audience and I was just really affected by the stories people told, that they were willing to talk about themselves. I love the community here in Juneau and I just wanted to share whatever I can,” Bowles said. “I like to participate in things and so they needed somebody this week. It’s getting to the end of the season and we have sunshine and I’m always happy to share.”
While Mudrooms events are always free to attend, a $7 donation is encouraged as 100% of all profits are always donated to local nonprofits. For this final event of the season, Mudrooms welcomed back Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance as the nonprofit beneficiary. SEAGLA treasurer Jennifer Fletcher said this was the group’s third time they’ve been involved and each time has been greatly appreciated.
“We are, of course, incredibly grateful to Mudrooms and for all the donations and support that we receive,” Fletcher said. “And as always, we hope to be able to give back to the community, as well.”
Though no firm dates have been decided on when Mudrooms will resume for next season, Rankin said it most likely will be sometime in September. Rankin added that for any local nonprofits that might be interested in getting involved, the board will be accepting applications for consideration through mudrooms.org until Sunday, April 30.
“It’s a wonderful mechanism to raise funds for local nonprofits,” Rankin said. “We have not yet decided our profit recipients or our themes, so we’re very excited to do that and we’ll be announcing all of that soon. It should be a good season.”
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.