Elise Pepple has the ability to see people’s stories manifest as physical presence. In 2014, she began collaborating with Ayumi Horie on Portland Brick, a project marrying storytelling with public art. In her talk here she gives a glimpse of how the project is taking form, though perhaps you’ve already stumbled upon a story inlaid in one of Portland’s street bricks.
Elise has spent the last decade learning the contemporary branches of oral storytelling apparent to her: oral history, radio, live storytelling, social work, and public art. In 2009 she helped facilitate StoryCorps in rural Alaska, where she used to live. She moved to Portland, Maine, in 2013 to attend the Salt Institute, the same year she received a grant to coproduce The Other AK: an experiment in narrative truism. Elise was selected as a 2014 Creative Community Fellow with National Art Strategies for her work using creativity to build community. In her spare time, Elise hosts a live storytelling series called Hear Tell, which is like if The Moth had an amateur cousin who curses too much. Elise is pursuing her Master’s degree in social work, exploring how narrative therapy can be applied on the micro and macro scale.