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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Odyssey Storytelling Presents:


Curated by Jen Nowicki Clark

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Fluxx Studios and Gallery,

414 E. 9th Street, Tucson, $8

Breaking Bread: Stories about Food and Community.  Passing the peas, passing the wine and packing snacks for the journey. Nourishment, physically and spiritually. The smells of grandma's kitchen. Stories from shared meals with family, friends or strangers. Can't you taste it? Come on along--Pull up a chair, grab a plate and dig in!

Storytellers: Writer, Shefali Milczarek-Desai; educator, Jeff Clashman; cake maker and care giver, Lisa Dean; author, Ethel-Lee Miller; Director of the Community Food Resource Center at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Robert Ojeda; and WorkAbility Director of Employment Services, Vanessa Zuber!

Storyteller Bios: 

Shefali Milczarek-Desai, an Arizonan since age 3, is a writer who has taken scenic detours into lawyering and mothering. Shefali's writing has appeared in This Bridge We Call Home, Edible Baja Arizona, Sojourner, Inland Shores, The UCLA Women's Law Journal, and The Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law. She also writes a bi-monthly column on food and parenting for The Food Conspiracy Co-op's Community News. Amidst the chaos of raising two, young, energetic boys, Shefali sometimes daydreams about her perfect day, which would include a hike in the Chiricahua mountains followed by cooking in a kitchen free of children and recipes, and after enjoying a meal with her family, curling up with a good science fiction novel.

Jeff Clashman is an educator at The Gregory School in words and stories in English and Latin.  Also, he coaches the minds and bodies of students in the gym and the field.  Jeff helps the students take care of goats, chickens and bunnies in a farmyard and green plants in a garden.  In his free time Jeff does all the same things with his family, Lorie, Ryan and John Henry.  His pushes the spreading of pleasures like Italy, soccer, and gelato on his dear friends.

Lisa Dean was born and raised in Tucson, AZ. All of her life she thought that she’d be a nurse, just like so many of her family members & she even got a full ride scholarships to all three State universities. However, when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness, those plans had to change. After getting her health issues under control she decided to study Baking & Pastry at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, AZ. She started a cake business from her home called “Passion for Cake” & has been making wedding & special occasions cakes ever since. Her need to be a caregiver crept back in though, as she was a caregiver for people with disabilities for 5 years through UCPSA. Now she works full-time with the WorkAbility program helping people with developmental disabilities find employment. Through it all, she continued to make cakes on the side. So now she gets the best of both worlds – cake & caregiving!

After teaching, life coaching, and professional public speaking for more than three decades, Ethel Lee-Miller turned to writing about her personal experiences in the magical relationship of being an identical twin. The result was her first book, Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort. (iUniverse 2007).  Her second book, Seedlings—Stories of Relationships, is a humorous and yet finger-on-the-pulse-of-relationships collection of short stories. Seedlings is a 2014 finalist in two categories (anthology and fiction) in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Seedlings has found a home on the bookshelves of The Book Shop in Green Valley, and Antigone Books and Mostly Books in Tucson.

A native New Yorker, she now resides in Tucson and is active in the Arizona writing community— with sights on more storytelling, and improv and stand-up comedy somewhere out there on the horizon.  Visit at

Robert Ojeda was born in Arequipa, Peru and came to the United States in 1989 to pursue his college education. He has a wide range of experience, having served in the Peace Corps in Honduras; as Civics and Citizenship Program Manager/Instructor, Pima Community College Adult Education; and as Program Manager-English Language Acquisition for Adults Program, Literacy Volunteers of Tucson. He is the Director of the Community Food Resource Center at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, where he oversees programs dealing with education and advocacy around food security issues. Robert also teaches community organizing/community development workshops, and more recently, a Leadership and Civic Participation for Social Change course at the University of Arizona. The participants in these workshops have been largely non-profit, university, and union leaders from all over Latin America. He also trains public health undergraduate students, as well as community leaders involved in food security, food sovereignty, and public health work.  Robert spends his free time playing soccer and performing with an Andean music band.

Vanessa Zuber, “Jane” of many trades, grew up in Tucson and haphazardly fell into jobs pertaining to food and performance art. She made and delivered food to people with HIV and AIDS for a couple of years, started a Woman’s Art Collective showcasing amateur and budding performance artists, had her own catering business for a year and a half making food for singer songwriters such as Bela Fleck and Flecktones, Leo Kotke, and strangely – Barbara Kingsolver. After several years of cooking, performing in various bands, promoting, and doing a myriad of odd jobs, Zuber found her way into the world of disabilities where she found herself assisting and feeding people who could not feed themselves. This experience inspired Zuber’s current career as a Director of an employment services program called WorkAbility – sponsored by UCP of Southern AZ.  Zuber now focusses on employment issues, health, self – advocacy, and sustainability.

Curator Bio:

Jennifer Nowicki Clark is an educator, organizer, printmaker and mom.   As co-director of the consulting firm, Creative Narrations, she trains different groups throughout the country to create multi-media digital stories in their communities and share them to spark dialogue and create change around issues that are important to them.  She loves being a part of the Odyssey team and believes that there is no better tool than a story told from the heart to heal, inspire, teach and breakdown stereotypes.   Originally from South Jersey and Philadelphia, Jen has degrees in Sociology and Linguistics and began her professional journey teaching ESL and Civics for Adult Education students here in Tucson.


Venue: Fluxx Studios and Gallery, 414 E. 9th Street, Tucson.



We’ve chosen themes for 2014 to make it easier for future

storytellers to see where your favorite personal story will fit in.

Next Up

December 4, 2014: “OMG:  The Cringe Show”

The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress, Tucson.

Do You have a story? Contact us!


Storytelling is a way to make connections with diverse and different people that you may not meet in your every day life. Because these stories are from our lives they may be amazing, messy, enlightening, disturbing, and entertaining . . . and more.


Six invited storytellers have ten minutes to talk about a specific theme. The stories are not read or memorized, they are told from the life experiences and creativity of the teller.

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