• Hosted by

Ode is a storytelling series where community members tell true stories on stage to promote positive impact through empathy.

Ways to Connect

Jim Schaap
Ally Karsyn

The night Martin Luther King was shot, four of us—small-town, small-college, white boys—were following the Gulf’s eastern shore on an all-night trek from south Florida to New Orleans. It was spring break, 1968—50 years ago.

Ode: Memoirs of a gay nerd

Jul 18, 2018
Mike Goll
Ally Karsyn

Underoos: the underwear that’s fun to wear! Back in the ‘80s these were the thing to have. Nothing would have given me more nerd cred than having Batman on my butt.

Ode: Waiting for my son to find me

Jul 11, 2018
Angela Conway
Ally Karsyn


I was 18, super broke and sleeping on a friend’s couch.

Susan Leonard
Ally Karsyn

For much of my life, I have felt that I didn’t quite belong.

Ode: Finding myself at Broken Kettle

Jun 27, 2018
Ryan Allen
Ally Karsyn

We drive north on Highway 12, the Big Sioux out our left window, loess bluffs and the entrances to Dorothy Pecaut and Stone State Park out the right.

Ode: A Christian yogi yokes conflicting identities

Jun 20, 2018
Tori Albright
Ally Karsyn

In college, a Floridian called me a Yankee. No one had ever called me that before. But being from Ohio, that is exactly what I was.

Brian Mathers
Ally Karsyn

About six years ago, I was on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. At sunset. With the love of my life.

Ryan Dowell Baum
Ally Karsyn

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize the world doesn’t make sense.

Ode: Following "God's will," I married a stranger

May 16, 2018
Branden Bullington
Ally Karsyn

I joined the Air Force fresh out of high school. The day I left for bootcamp, my best friend sat next to me sobbing because we were about to leave our small town in southwest Iowa. I couldn’t wait to get away. 

Ode: A first-generation American chases her dream

May 9, 2018
Jetske Wauran
Ally Karsyn

“You’re positive,” the doctor said.