in search of a sponsor...

(...or, how the cosmos work...)

27-years ago, while hitch-hiking around the agricultural landscape of Umbria (the kneecap of Italy), I met Stefania Belli; a vibrant and cheerful fine artist from the medieval town of Todi, across the valley from Assisi. 

Always the entrepreneur, Stefania hired me in the moment to be an English teacher for her make-shift school; the seed of her future cultural center, fashioned from tables and dry boards in the basement studio of her parent’s home. 

Once a week, I would return from wherever my adventures took me and settle for the evening in her basement classroom, whip up some pasta with sea salt and olive oil — and, prepare for my first class the next morning. 

Bright and early, back-to-back, I taught Italian kids, teens, adults, and seniors how to avoid ending every word with a vowel. 

My last class ended at 8pm. I’d then hightail it down the hill to the station and grab the next train to continue my journey (with soft piano music trailing off over the credits), until I returned the following week.  

Those sessions in Todi changed my life.

Like the oil we squeeze from the fruit of the olive, Todi turned me into a better version of myself. 

Cosmically, 20-plus-years later, a family friend described her experience studying Italian, taking tours across Umbria with a vibrant lady based out of Todi. It was no surprise the cultural center she described was run by Stefania Belli, but now the cultural center was an institution. 

Facebook was the next step — we rekindled our friendship and during one of her visits to the U.S., we met for dinner. 

At Mercato on West 39th Street over a brick of lasagna that would put a Roman solider into a coma, Stefania shared with me her venture; she travels the U.S. supported by dozens of bottles of olive oil from the mill at Fattoria Di Monticello to support her Italian Language & Cultural Centre back in Todi. 

I shared with Stefania my theories of the therapeutic value of storytelling and we sparked the idea for an event mixing the cosmic magic of Olive Oil with the expressive power of storytelling. 

On April 8th, we are hosting a unique event with the folks at ValleyArts to support their many educational programs. 

And, thus — we seek a SPONSOR

This is a wonderful opportunity to support the branding + messaging of your company. If you're interested, please contact me directly. The evening promises to be a sensory experience for hearts and minds.

Storylines Expressive Media / 917.846.8697