This Is My Brave, Inc. began as a vision. A goal to create a live theater show where individuals from the community would stand up on stage to share their true, personal stories of life with mental illness through the creative avenues of poetry, original music, comedy and personal essay.
From our inaugural show in 2014 to 6 unique shows in 2015 to 9 all-new shows in 2016, This Is My Brave has grown beyond our expectations. Our mission is to end stigma through storytelling is one that has obviously resonated far and wide. When we put out the call for storytellers in new cities, we meet brave, talented, passionate men and women who are ready to 'be the change the want to see in the world,' as Gandhi famously said.
As Executive Director, I've had the honor of getting to know many of our cast members and the impact the experience has had on them. I know how much it means to them to stand up on stage and really be seen. They shed the shame and isolation of mental illness and in its place, developed a sense of pride in their strength to overcome something once so powerful and debilitating.
By being brave and telling their personal stories, our cast members provided a path of connection for those in the audience - those who saw the shows live and those who watch our shows on YouTube - giving others a chance to come to them and say, "Me Too" and "Thank You."
It is our vision that someday, we will live in a world where we won't have to call it "brave" for talking openly about mental illness. We'll simply call it talking.
But we're not there yet. For 2017, we are on track to bring all-new This Is My Brave shows to 14 cities across the United States. Fourteen cities. This is a big initiative, and we can't do it without your help.
We are asking for your support.
We're funded in great part by individuals just like you - from our Kickstarter in 2013 which funded our vision of making our first show a reality, to our third year of 9 shows - we were able to produce these incredibly healing community events because of your financial contributions. Help bring the world one step closer to ending the stigma surrounding mental health disorders through storytelling.
What does a Brave Champion have to do? It's easy! You decide. Choose one (or all!) of these:
DONATE your last-minute, tax-deductible contribution for 2016 to This is My Brave, Inc.
FORWARD this link to a friend and/or family member and ask them to sign on to be a Brave Champion with a monthly donation
COPY & POST this message with your social media voice: "I'm a @ThisIsMyBrave Champion. #BeBrave and talk openly about #mentalillness!"
GUEST BLOG on thisismybrave.org
On behalf of the entire This Is My Brave family, Happy New Year and Thank You for supporting our mission.