Real and Unscripted: Humanities Council Brings "The Monti" to Greensboro

Endy Mendez

"When people relate to a story it can transform them," says Jeff Polish, executive director of The Monti, a non-profit organization that invites people from the community to tell personal stories without the use of notes. "It’s about the community telling stories to the community." Polish has been selling out venues in the Triangle since 2008 with the help of local citizens and celebrities, including humanities powerhouses Jill McCorkle, Randell Kenan, Lee Smith, and Daniel Wallace.

Last month, the Humanities Council helped organize The Monti at the Greensboro coffeeshop and cultural nexus The Green Bean. With the help of community partner Cecelia Thompson of Action Greensboro, five of the most interesting Greensboroans took the stage in front of a packed house. 

Have a look at the speakers and hear their stories. Some hilarious, some profound, the mix of perspectives and diliveries had everyone rapt. 

Stephanie Sherman

Stephanie Sherman is a curator, writer, and artist investigating the connections between words, places, people, and things.  She is the founder and director of Elsewhere, a living museum and international art residency program set within a former thrift store. She also collaborates on public art and publication projects--most recently Kulturpark, an exploration of an abandoned amusement park in East Berlin, and with Provisions Library, an art and social change agent in Washington DC. She takes inspiration from the everyday and extraordinary, and all things literary, architectural, and animated.

Endy Mendez

Endy Mendez is a bridge builder between communities through providing multicultural artistic ambassadors, mostly dancers, all over North Carolina. She is an immigrant from Mexico City and a resident on Greensboro for twelve years. Endy is a proud mother and wife; a positive person who understands that rough situations are trainings of life to accomplish your mission in this world, taking advantage of any opportunity presented to change the perspective of the community by building relationships to open that door wider and show we are human beings no matter where they come from. Endy is Public Relations/Director’s Assistant of Ballet Folklorico Mexican Tradition and Administrative Assitant at Faith Action International House.

Roy Carter

Roy Carter is Director of the Visual and Performing Arts department at North Carolina A&T State University. He graduated with a BFA in Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Having studied and worked art and advertising practices he often draws from his graphic design background for inspiration. His work uses a mixture of digital techniques including collage, drawing, xerography, stenciling, and typography. He has been an active graphic designer of print, web, and motion-based media for the past 22 years. He teaches courses on graphic design, digital media, visual literacy and theory, and social criticism. He has written articles on graphic design education, art education, gaming, human computer interaction, and graphics computer animation.

Jay Pierce

Jay Pierce has been the executive chef for Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary, North Carolina, since 2006, following stints in Emeril Lagasse’s kitchens in New Orleans and Orlando. While Lucky 32 has been a local favorite for more than 20 years, Chef Pierce has brought its recipes and pantry home by taking a turn south. He connects Lucky’s food with culinary traditions of the Carolinas and has enlivened the menus with many locally-sourced ingredients.  Chef Pierce motors between the two restaurants in his restored London Taxi (called it the “VLT” – veggie London taxi) chauffeuring fresh local goodies hither and yon.  Jay is myopically focused on putting great tasting authentic food on the plate and telling the story behind it that honors tradition and the ever-evolving modern palate.

Pete Schroth

Pete Schroth was born way back in the 1900's. He’s done some good things, but he’s also done some bad things.  Pete’s hoping it'll all even out in the end.