© 2017 Cincy Stories, a non-profit organization dedicated to building community through story.

The Cincy Stories Team

Founding Partners

Shawn Braley

Co- Founder/Executive Director

Shawn Braley is a lifelong Cincinnatian. In fact, he's lived in pretty much every region of Greater Cincinnati at some point in his life. After graduating high school, he saw more and more friends moving out of Cincinnati and into various cities, most of them claiming Cincinnati just didn't have anything for them. Shawn's fear of change and his hope to see Cincinnati live up to what it is capable of kept him around (not to mention his unhealthy affection for Cincinnati chili). While sticking around, he studied English Literature at UC and started exploring more of Cincinnati's neighborhoods. As the years have gone by, more and more folks believed in Cincinnati and have begun the great work of making it a place where people move to and not from. As Shawn saw this, he found a whole new issue at work - folks were moving to neighborhoods, beautiful communities full of diversity, and not getting to know their neighbors, particularly their neighbors who didn't look like them. 

 

This realization led Shawn to think of ways he might work to combat this problem. As a huge fan of This American Life, The Moth and StoryCorps, Shawn wondered if storytelling might be the best way forward. So he talked to some friends and together they started the first Cincy Stories event in MOTR's basement on February 3rd, 2015. When people actually showed up, Shawn realized there was something they might have tapped into. 

 

Now, with Chris on board, Shawn has been amazed to see how that event, started from conversations over coffee and a few tweets to potential storytellers, has led to where Cincy Stories is today. Hearing people share stories is his favorite past time and getting the opportunity to provide a space where people can do that is, as hyperbolic as it sounds, a dream come true. In addition to being Executive Director of Cincy Stories, Shawn is the husband of Grace, the most compassionate woman he knows. He also works part-time as a pastor of a local church. 

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Chris Ashwell

Co-Founder/Creative Director

Chris Ashwell grew up in what seemed then like far away Mason, Ohio, mostly experiencing Cincinnati through the lens of baseball games and museum field trips. After moving around to various parts of the country, he settled in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills. While working in restaurant management he had a revelation to quit his job (several jobs in fact before it stuck) and pursue what truly made him happy. For him that meant dedicating himself to the arts of filmmaking, audio production, design and above all storytelling. 

With very little equipment, no money and nothing to point a camera at, he met Shawn and learned about the very first Cincy Stories event. Shawn asked him to capture the second event on video and after experiencing the power and energy, he knew he had to be a part of it. That led to a partnership that spawned a website, short documentary films, large scale in-depth  muli-media projects and a much much happier Chris.

Now, in addition to his passion for all things storytelling, he has a new passion for giving voice to the many stories of his community and creating new ways to activate those stories for real change. He is honored to be a part of this city and feels incredibly lucky to share its stories.

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Board of Directors

Jena Bradley

Board President

[coming soon!}

Greg Knake

Co-Founder/Vice President

Chris Ashwell grew up in what seemed then like far away Mason, Ohio, mostly experiencing Cincinnati through the lens of baseball games and museum field trips. After moving around to various parts of the country, he settled in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills. While working in restaurant management he had a revelation to quit his job (several jobs in fact before it stuck) and pursue what truly made him happy. For him that meant dedicating himself to the arts of filmmaking, audio production, design and above all storytelling. 

With very little equipment, no money and nothing to point a camera at, he met Shawn and learned about his very first storytelling event. Shawn asked him to capture the second event on video and after experiencing the power and engery, he knew he had to be a part of it. That let to a website, short documentary films, large scale in-depth  muli-media projects and a much much happier Chris.

Pat Feghali

Board President

Chris Ashwell grew up in what seemed then like far away Mason, Ohio, mostly experiencing Cincinnati through the lens of baseball games and museum field trips. After moving around to various parts of the country, he settled in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills. While working in restaurant management he had a revelation to quit his job (several jobs in fact before it stuck) and pursue what truly made him happy. For him that meant dedicating himself to the arts of filmmaking, audio production, design and above all storytelling. 

With very little equipment, no money and nothing to point a camera at, he met Shawn and learned about his very first storytelling event. Shawn asked him to capture the second event on video and after experiencing the power and engery, he knew he had to be a part of it. That let to a website, short documentary films, large scale in-depth  muli-media projects and a much much happier Chris.

Betty Waite

Treasurer

Chris Ashwell grew up in what seemed then like far away Mason, Ohio, mostly experiencing Cincinnati through the lens of baseball games and museum field trips. After moving around to various parts of the country, he settled in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills. While working in restaurant management he had a revelation to quit his job (several jobs in fact before it stuck) and pursue what truly made him happy. For him that meant dedicating himself to the arts of filmmaking, audio production, design and above all storytelling. 

With very little equipment, no money and nothing to point a camera at, he met Shawn and learned about his very first storytelling event. Shawn asked him to capture the second event on video and after experiencing the power and engery, he knew he had to be a part of it. That let to a website, short documentary films, large scale in-depth  muli-media projects and a much much happier Chris.

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Building community through story