Beginning August 1st and for one night each month following, August First Bakery will transform its space to allow (socially-distanced) room for a new, unique LLC that brings together storytelling, community, food, healing and culture. Founded by the Flynn’s impassioned storytelling teacher, Ferene Paris Meyer, All Heart Inspirations marries Paris Meyer’s passion for storytelling and connection through workshops, community engagements and retreats.
As our current environment continues to test how we respond to inequity and racial disparities amidst a global health pandemic, storytelling is a powerful tool to help individuals and communities process emotions and experiences. Paris Meyer hopes her grassroots initiative will bring together voices within the community as a way to contribute to the collective healing that is deeply needed right now. Her storytelling workshops explore narrative themes ranging from what it means to be a black, indigenous, and person of color (BIPOC) living in Vermont, the strength and empowerment of womxn and the soul and heart of motherhood, among more.
Paris Meyer’s inspiration for All Heart Inspirations stemmed from her Haitian roots and upbringing, which revolved around two things: telling stories and eating meals together with family, friends and the community. Her Feed Your Soul pop up series combine storytelling with authentic Haitian cuisine, a unique offering to the Burlington area. August First Bakery graciously offered her the open space she was looking for to bring the idea to life.
“All Heart Inspirations was inspired by a class I took at the Flynn with Sue Schmit, our Vermont regional producer of the Moth,” says Paris Meyer. “I enjoyed my experience but also struggled with being the only person of color. After sharing my experience with Sue, she advocated on my behalf to teach a BIPOC affinity storytelling class for the Flynn. After teaching my first class, my collective spirit felt alive again in ways I was deeply yearning for. At the time, I was navigating dark moments with anxiety, depression and racial tensions working at the University of Vermont. I asked myself what would it take to do this more often and find pathways to be a loving community member beyond UVM? I made the decision to create a new business anchored in love and connection, fully aligned with my core values and amplifies my voice as a black womxn. My heart is reignited by my storytelling experience and I was committed to engaging more people in this heart work via All Heart Inspirations.”
For Saturday’s launch event, she has taken great care to create an authentic Haitian menu, while incorporating her own twist on traditional meals for those with special dietary needs such as vegan. Diners will enjoy sampling her Bannan Peze ak Fifi's Pikliz (fried green bananas with a spicy, pickled cabbage slaw) and Poule en Sós Kreyol (stewed chicken in creole sauce) while listening to Paris Meyer share her own story about how all her entrepreneurial shenanigans and love for public speaking started in 6th grade. She’ll also shed light on how her healing journey with mental health and self-worth finally allowed her to manifest dreams into action.
Upcoming Storytelling Workshops:
Listening to Our Heart-Song Tuesdays, August 4, 11 and 18 (4:00-5:30 PM)
Deeply engaging with one’s story can be powerful, healing and inspiring. Meyer helps workshop attendees embrace the art of storytelling in a heartfelt space for listening, connection, affirmation and liberation. People may sign up to take this workshop.
I am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams: Storytelling Through Voices of Color Thursdays, August 6, 13, 20 (6:00-7:30 PM)
How would it feel as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in Vermont to have a storytelling class centered around you? This class creates space for BIPOC voices to be heard, finding connection and a sense of belonging through shared narratives of resilience, BIPOC joy, melanin magic, vibrant cultures, surviving, thriving, and more. Meyer’s intention is to provide our local BIPOC community a storytelling space to learn and affirm one another, minimizing the impact of microaggressions and harm. In this BIPOC affinity space, one can practice the art of live storytelling in various ways and learn how to structure, edit, and perform your own story. People may sign up to take this workshop via the Flynn’s website.
About Ferene Paris Meyer
Meyer is the creator and owner of All Heart Inspirations, LLC. She creates heart-centered spaces through storytelling workshops, community engagements, and retreats. She’s excited to spread love, gratitude, and affirmations within our local community and beyond! Paris Meyer has opened for Dwight and Nicole and has performed several storytelling slams with the Flynn.
Visit website (WWW.ALLHEARTINSPIRATIONS.COM) to learn more.