How to Ensure Everyone’s Comfort At All Times at the Serenity Art Share by Sage Tyrtle

Thank you for your interest in Serenity Art Share Thursdays. Please read our FAQ before registering to attend.

Question: What is the Participant Comfort Mandate you mentioned in the event description?

Answer: Our Participant Comfort Mandate means that we create a womb-like environment, so comfortable and unchanging each participant feels as if they are floating, encased in amniotic fluid.

Question: How many participants are there?

Answer: Class size will be limited to ten participants so all can be seen and heard in the safe space of our Serenity Art Share community.

Question: How does the event work?

Answer: We will dim the lights in our soundproof room so no one’s eyes are bothered by intrusive light or sound. Then our Ease Facilitator Rosewater begins the evening with a thirty minute guided meditation of a vague misty locale. Participants may choose to sit with their eyes closed, or wander the room, or indeed do jumping jacks if that is how they find peace. All that matters is that you, the participant, feel comfortable at all times.

Question: What’s my responsibility as an audience member?

Answer: You may receive the art in any way that keeps you feeling serene and calm, including browsing your Instagram feed on your phone for the duration of the event. (Any Art Sharers asking why someone would get in their car and drive across town to attend an event only to spend all of their time staring at their phone will be expected to participate in a criticism session before being expelled from the event.)

Question: What happens after the guided meditation?

Answer: Then each participant shares their current emotional state in the Feeling Circle as long as that feeling can be broadly categorized as “sad”. (From unfortunate experience we are aware that happiness in one participant can only lead to raging jealousy in others, which impedes our Participant Comfort Mandate and has led to broken chairs which we do not have the budget to replace.)

Question: How do you decide the order of participants?

Answer: At this point, the participant who registered first is asked to share their art. (We recognize how problematic the current system is, and are working to change it. The comfort of our participants is our number one priority! We are exploring the idea of adding nine facilitators so that each participant can share their art with a facilitator and thus everyone will be seen and heard first. We welcome your input on this important issue. Please email with your suggestions.)

Question: How many minutes does each Art Sharer have?

Answer: We are aware that it is incredibly jarring it is to be suddenly told that someone else’s time is now more valuable than yours. In the interests of making sure that each participant is thoroughly relaxed and calm while sharing their art there is no time limit. Once, Art Share Thursday went so long it turned into Art Share Monday! That was fun!

Question: What kind of art is acceptable to share?

Answer: All art is welcome at Serenity Art Share, with the caveat of course that anything that can be classed as “challenging” will result in the participant’s immediate expulsion. We must take every possible step to ensure that each participant ends the session calm, serene, and absolutely unchanged.

Question: Can you give me an example of the kind of art you don’t accept?

Answer: Certainly. Two weeks ago a participant brought in a poem which consisted of the word “cauliflower” repeated 731 times. Another participant, who doesn’t like the taste of cauliflower, asked us to initiate a criticism session before expelling the perpetrator, which of course we did.

Question: What if I want to silently cry for forty-seven minutes when it’s my turn to share?

Answer: This is a surprisingly popular choice among our participants and you are welcome to share your art in this way.

Question: What exactly is a “criticism session”?

Answer: As mentioned, a criticism session happens just before the participant is expelled from the room. The participant is gently tied with silken cords to a chair, and all others are given an opportunity to demonstrate how devastated they were by the participant’s destruction of their sacred comfort bubble. (There is no time limit for the criticism session.)

Thanks for reading our FAQ! We can’t wait to see you at the next Serenity Art Share.

Sage Tyrtle is a professional storyteller. Her stories have been featured on NPR, CBC, and PBS. She is a Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM winner. She’s also one of those Americans who swanned around saying, “If this gets any worse, I’M moving to CANADA,” but then she really did. More:

Instagram: @sagetyrtlestoryteller

Twitter: @sagetyrtle

Facebook: StorytellerSageTyrtle