ON Stage

Gather Storytelling: stories about stealing

May 20, 2022



Gather storytelling

May’s theme is Stealing: stories of theft and thieves

Guest host and folktale teller Nereyda Martinez

Personal storytellers:

Mishka Shubaly
Harold “HB” Branch III
Mackenzie Saunders

Meet our tellers:

Mishka Shubaly
Mishka Shubaly is a bestselling author and songwriter. In 2020, his book “Cold Turkey: How to Quit Drinking By Not Drinking” landed on the New York Times bestseller list. He self-published a collection of his seven bestselling Kindle Singles with a foreword by Jeff Bezos called “The Long Run & Other Stories” this year. His 10th album, “Purgatory,” was released in 2021.

Before all this, he earned an expensive MFA in fiction from Columbia University and promptly realized he was more interested in playing music in dive bars than writing. He lived out of a Toyota minivan for a year, touring nonstop and shared the stage with The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Decemberists and others. He’s become a cult favorite, opening nationally for comedy iconoclast Doug Stanhope, penning the soundtrack for “The Unbookables” documentary and headlining the “Altercation Punk Comedy Tour.” As a storyteller, he has been featured on “The Moth Mainstage,” “The Moth Radio Hour” and several of “The Moth” podcasts.

Harold “HB” Branch III
Harold “HB” Branch III is a Fulbright fellow who has trained domestically and internationally for more than 20 years, developing and facilitating organizational management for a variety of clients. Finishing his master’s in psychology with a focus in coaching, Branch continues to grow and develop in order to benefit the Valley and global community. His first book, “Finding My Way,” uses poetry and coaching techniques to guide readers through their own healing journey and has been used nationwide to future healing and action-based conversation. The Michigan Board of Education included him in their 2016 list of 100 African American Males You Should Know. His skills took him to Ghana under a month-long Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship as an artistic cultural ambassador.

Originally from Chicago, Branch is the organizer and emcee of “HomeBase Poetry,” a celebrated spoken word poetry open mic and community arts event that began in January 2009. The event is one of the largest and longest-running open mic events in the country. His extensive community work includes leading workshops in correctional facilities, hospitals and schools across the globe. He was honored at the 2015 State of Black Arizona event and is a past recipient of Phoenix’s Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream award. Branch has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine and is a graduate of ASU.

Mackenzie Saunders
Writer and disability advocate Mackenzie Saunders combines her love for public speaking with her perspective on living life while disabled to tell stories about grief, acceptance, inclusion and growing up. She has been featured in many storytelling events across the state including “The Moth” Phoenix, “Arizona Storytellers Project” and “The Storyline Slam.”

A native of Phoenix, Saunders is an ASU School of Social Transformation alumna and incoming JD student at Harvard Law School. She has two loving parents, two wonderful sisters and one silly cat. Fun fact: her parents held their wedding reception at ASU Kerr in 1989.

Nereyda Martinez
After graduating from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Development and spending several years working with children, Nereyda Martinez became a parent and realized a passion for teaching mothers to advocate for themselves. She is on a mission to help mothers be real, raw and vulnerable about their motherhood experiences so the whole truth of the birth and parental experience is shared; Martinez feels the bad should be heard as much as the good

She leads her “Self-Care Mama Circle” once per month in Tempe and is dedicated to helping other mothers take care of their own needs with equal emphasis to their children’s. They are a safe space for mothers to check in with themselves, connect, be heard and be reminded to be their own best advocates. Martinez is working on a forthcoming series of storytelling events for mothers so that their stories are heard and no mother ever feels alone.

Tickets to the event are $5 and can be purchased at asukerr.com / Ticketmaster. The venue has a one-drink minimum. ASU Kerr’s new bar is open for guests 21 years or older.

About ASU Kerr Cultural Center, a division of ASU Cultural Affairs
Located at 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale, Arizona, ASU Kerr is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the former home and 1959 studio of famed composer and violist Louise Lincoln Kerr. She bequeathed the property to ASU upon her death in 1977. The unique adobe venue is home to a diverse annual season of global music, jazz, indie folk, chamber music, storytelling and theater. For more information, please visit asukerr.com or call the venue box office at 480-596-2660.


Event Partners

  • ASU Kerr

Venue Details

ASU Kerr

6110 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85253