Stories to Tell My Daughter: Storytelling Event Highlights the Personal and Lived Experiences of Women of Color in the Des Moines Area


On Sunday, July 25th six women will take the stage at the Viking Theater at Grand View University at 4pm to share their true and lived experiences through storytelling as part of Stories to Tell My Daughter, a one-of-a-kind, storytelling experience that centers women of color. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased on the day of the event or online at Eventbrite

Founder and producer of the event, Teresa Zilk says the idea for the event came from a dream she had while napping in 2011. “I didn’t necessarily know the format that it would take, but it was a compelling concept that I felt needed to breathe. I finally decided to make it a reality. In March of 2018 the first storytelling event happened. We sold out and I’ve been on this journey ever  since. I have no regrets about literally following my dreams.” The July 25th event will be the sixth offering.

The shows attract not only a diverse audience, but storytellers as well. They come from all walks of life; ages; professions; abilities; spiritualities; sexual orientations; ethnicities; locals and transplants who have set down roots in Des Moines. Some storytellers have never told stories to an audience, while others are comfortable on the stage so the energy varies and makes each show exciting and fresh. The women talk about all kinds of personal experiences from overcoming illness, domestic violence, adjusting to new cultures, finding their true calling, and communing with their ancestors. Some storytellers use humor, others infuse spoken word and poetry so the styles vary as much as those telling the stories. The freedom to tell their stories in their own style makes for a dynamic show that keeps the audience coming back year after year, as well as motivates women to become storytellers. Zilk says, “Storytelling is how we connect and create empathy so that people can see each other’s humanity. All of us can be a witness to someone else’s experience. All of us have wisdom to share. I’ve made it my mission to highlight the need for this wisdom-sharing by spotlighting women whose voices have historically been lost to the mainstream.”


The 2021 storytellers are:

  • Reyma McCoy McDeid
  • Alexandra Gray
  • Tiara Mays
  • Manisha Paudel
  • Bonnie Brown
  • Claudine Cheatom

Stories to Tell My Daughter: Sharing Stories, Sharing Wisdom is a Teresa Zilk Production.


Date: Sunday, July 25, 2021

Time: 4pm

Place: Grand View Viking Theater: 2811 SE 14th St.

Tickets $20/person on sale online or at the door.


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