Kristen Chapman Gibbons
I tell stories, amplify the stories of others and teach people how to engage more effectively with the ideas, people and organizations they care about.
My first career was in Social Work, where I worked as a mental health counselor with teens and adults—mostly in and around the criminal justice system. During this twelve years, I also founded and hosted an Open Mike night for women called Women Out Loud that ran for almost five years in Knoxville, Tennessee. I actively chose creative expression to combat the difficulty of my work and whenever I could, I would sneak in this same knowledge to my clients in crisis.
For a decade in my second career, I taught in college classrooms, mostly teaching Critical Thinking to students pursuing careers in the Arts. And when I transitioned out of education into digital marketing, I began to find my footing.
Three years ago, a woman I knew on Twitter asked me to be a part of an inaugural storytelling night in Nashville called Ten x 9. It began in Belfast and Nashville was going to be the first go at another city. She asked if I had any stories to tell around the topic, “Journey.” I did.
Since then, I’ve told over twenty true stories from my life on many different stages and with several other groups of storytellers. I started my own storytelling night in 2015 to make a space for stories that you couldn’t tell on NPR. It is called True Stories: NSFW.
I am a loudmouth about many things and have never been able to squeeze into one category. I think that is one reason I have so many stories to tell.
Through three careers and three degrees, I’ve been learning to listen to the stories of others, teach diverse groups of people how to better communicate and connect and I’ve finally come to tell my own stories.