OARS in the water

Keeping our Oars in the Water:
Gathering to bear witness to experiences
and stories of vulnerability and resilience

When a small boat meets turbulent water, the best way to maintain balance and stay upright is to keep your oar in the water. It will become your stabilizing rudder, enabling you to maintain course and steer your vulnerable craft towards safety. We are each like that small boat. 

HSA hopes that sharing our experiences, stories and ideas might be another stabilizing oar in the water for each of us. Please join us. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.


OARS in the Water


Wednesday, December 13th
7:00 – 8:30 pm EST – Online
Hosted by: Sara deBeer and Ai-Lin Chuah
Theme: Change

Change is inevitable in every person’s life. In this evening together, we will explore how change occurs in the natural world and in each of our lives.

Admission is free, although donations are deeply appreciated and help support our programming. Your tax deductible donation can be made below:


We’ll gather via Zoom. Here is the link:


About our Hosts for December 13th

Sara deBeer’s great love is telling traditional folktales from world cultures. Since 1978, Sara has been telling these stories to audiences of all ages. A listener said, “Sara is a captivating storyteller, sensitive to her audience and their interests. Her extensive repertoire enables her to present programs on a wide variety of themes.” Sara is a published poet who also teaches poetry-writing classes. In 2004, she was awarded the Barbara Reed Award for Distinguished and Outstanding Service to the Connecticut Storytelling Community. She is a member of the HSA Advisory Committee and chair of HSA’s Kind Stories in Concert series. http://storydebeer.com/

Ai-Lin Chuah. Once upon a time, a data-processing geophysicist with a liking for green spaces walked into a storytelling meeting. … And 20 years passed.

Ai-Lin lives in Singapore. She has taught storytelling in classrooms, facilitated workshops for children and adults, and performed in museums, schools, at events and
at storytelling festivals in Singapore. She enjoys fact-based tales as much as fantasy, and is partial to Zen and Sufi stories. She loves trees, forests and the sea. “Nature is a giant story-web. All those Connections, the way things work …. How can one not be in a state of constant Wonder?”

Ai-Lin is also a licensed Nature guide and Tourist guide, with special interests in sustainability, heritage, culture, and history. She has discovered that storytelling skills work wonders on walking tours!


Wednesday, December 27th
7:00 – 8:30 pm EST – Online
Hosted by: Mike Seliger and Barbara Aliprantis
Theme: Looking Back to Go Forward

As the calendar turns from a tumultuous 2023 to the uncertainty of a new year, wisdom found in past experiences and stories can be helpful as we look ahead

Barbara and Mike, two old friends, will reflect on past moments that enabled them to move forward with love, hope and humor, inviting participants to share at this special time…

Admission is free, although donations are deeply appreciated and help support our programming. Your tax deductible donation can be made below:


We’ll gather via Zoom. Here is the link:


About our Hosts for December 27th

Mike Seliger, a self-described “Creative Communicator” is a long-time member of the Healing Story Alliance Advisory Committee. He utilizes his training in Mime/Physical Performance, Clowning, and Storytelling, as well as Writing and Training skills, to educate, motivate, and empower individuals, communities, and organizations. He is now retired from a lengthy career as a Dean for Planning at Bronx Community College, and as a consultant to educational and community organizations across the country.

Barbara Aliprantis, born in Greece, longtime New Yorker who has now emigrated to Natick, MA, has been telling and living stories for most of her life, including telling in American Sign Language. She has received the Oracle Award from the National Storytelling Network, and the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill award from Northeast Storytelling (NEST). She was the founder of New York STORY Exchange, hosting storytelling at the Cornelia Street Cafe for many years. She is currently a board member of NEST.


2023 OARS Meeting Hosts & Dates

Jan. 11: Galen Brandt & Jackson Gillman (Tech: Lani)
Jan. 25: Heather Forest & Lani Peterson (Tech: Joe)
Feb. 8: Sara deBeer & Donna Marie Kuczynski (Tech: Karianna)
Feb. 22: Lani Peterson & Linda Levinson (Tech: Elisa)
March 8: Elisa Pearmain & Faye Mogenson (Tech: Heather)
March 22: Penny Post & Joe Doolittle(Tech: Karianna)
April 12: Mike Seliger, Michael D. McCarty & Joe Doolittle (Tech: Elisa)
April 26: Heather Forest & Galen Brandt (Tech: Lani)
May 10: Bob Kanegis & Liz Mangual (Tech: Noa)
May 24: Sara deBeer & Donna Marie Kuczynski (Tech: Elisa)
June 14: Elisa Pearmain & Ai-Lin Chuah (Tech: Heather)
June 28: Jim Brule and Linda Schuyler Ford (Tech: Lani)
July 12: Noa Baum & Regi Carpenter (Tech: Heather)
July 26: Heather Forest & Sara deBeer (Tech: Karianna)
August 9: Karianna Rosenberg & Lani Peterson (Tech: Heather)
August 23: Elisa Pearmain & Diane Rooks (Tech: Joe)
September 13: Laura Simms & Sally Pomme Clayton (Tech: Heather)
September 27: Sara deBeer & Donna Marie Kuczynski ( Tech: Elisa & Noa )
October 11: Heather Forest & Lani Peterson (Tech Elisa & Galen)
October 25: Penny Post & Angela Lloyd (Tech: Heather)
Nov 8: Linda Levinson & Karen DeMauro (Tech: Joe)
November 22: Galen Brandt & Elisa Pearmain (Tech: Heather)
December 13: Sara deBeer & Ai-Lin Chuah (Tech: Heather)

December 27: Mike Seliger & Barbara Aliprantis (Tech: –)


2022 OARS Meeting Hosts and Dates

January 12th: Sara deBeer & Ruth Anne Faust
January 26th Kristin Pedemonti & Sarah O’Brien
February 9th Lani Peterson and Jyoti Pande
February 23rd Mike Seliger and Liz Nichols
March 2nd, Laura Simms and Lani Peterson offer a special holding space for Ukraine
March 9th Karianna Rosenberg and Jan Mullen
March 23rd Joe Doolittle & Phyllis Blackstone
April 13: Heather Forest & Lani Peterson
April 27: Elisa Pearmain and Nyanna Tobin (Tech: Heather)
May 11: Sara deBeer and Hearscrow (Tech: Elisa)
May 25: Wally Scott and Radhieka Al Hakawati (Tech: Joe)
June 8: Galen Brandt and Jackson Gillman (Tech: Heather)
June 22: Heather Forest and Noa Baum (Tech: Elisa)
July 13: Karianna Rosenberg and Penny Post (Tech: Lani)
July 27: ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING (Tech: Heather)
August 10: Joe Doolittle and Ai-Lin (Tech:Elisa)
August 24: Sara deBeer and Jyoti Pande (Tech: Lani)
September 14: Heather Forest and Megan Wells (Tech: Lani )
September 28: Lani Peterson and Karen DeMauro (Tech: Elisa)
October 12: Elisa Pearmain and Erin Johnson (Tech: Joe)
October 26: Mike Seliger & Regina Ress (Tech: Heather)
Nov 9th: Joe Doolittle & Penny Post (Tech: Elisa)
Nov 23: Elisa Pearmain & Usha Venkatraman (Kristin)
Dec. 14: Heather Forest & Jim Brule (Tech: Elisa)
Dec. 28: Laura Simms & Donna Jacobs (Heather)

2021 OARS Meeting Dates & Hosts:

September 22 : Hosted by Heather Forest & Lani Peterson
October 13: Hosted by Sara deBeer & Jean Hale
October 27: Hosted by Joe Doolittle & Mike Seliger
November 10: Elisa Pearmain & Laura Simms
November 24th: Heather Forest & Karianna Rosenberg
December 8th: Wally Scott and Carol McCormick
December 22nd: Kristin Pediemonte & Galen Brandt


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