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Participant Media’s Social Action Campaign For The Help Promotes Storytelling

Participant Partnering With The Moth And Local Organizations To Offer Storytelling Workshops In NY, LA, Chicago

Participant Media’s Social Action Campaign for August 10 release of The Help, a DreamWorks Pictures and Reliant Entertainment Presentation in association with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, is about the transformative power of storytelling. Participant Media is joining forces with The Moth, America’s foremost storytelling organization, and local storytelling organizations including WriteGirl, Young Storyteller’s Foundation, Girls Right Now and others to sponsor four-day storytelling training workshops in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago for 12 highschool students in each city. Liana Schwarz, SVP of Social Action and Advocacy said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with The Moth and these other leading local organizations, for our Social Action Campaign for The Help.  We designed this initiative in the spirit of the bold characters portrayed in the film, who risk everything to tell the stories of their lives, and through the process of storytelling, become empowered and, in turn, motivate others to stand up for themselves.” “Guiding students in the process of storytelling to most effectively express their feelings and ideas is part of The Moth tradition.  The courage of the women in The Help provides inspiring content for their stories,” said Joan D. Firestone, Executive Director of The Moth. Small group exercises are geared toward the theme of “Stand Up,” and relate specifically to the courage it took for the women in The Help to share their stories.  Each training workshop will conclude with stories told by each of the students to celebrate their understanding of storytelling and its transformative powers to express ideas. In New York, the training took place this past Friday through Monday, with the performance scheduled for tonight July 26 7PM at El Museo del Barrio.  In Los Angeles, the training will be held July 31-August 3, and the performance August 4 8PM at The Colburn School. In Chicago, the training is August 8-11; the performance August 12 7PM at Chicago History Museum. Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, The Help stars Emma Stone (Easy A) as Skeeter, Academy Award® nominee Viola Davis (Doubt) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minnie—three very different, extraordinary women living in Mississippi in the 1960s, who forge an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling in all of them the courage to transcend the lines that define them and the realization that sometimes those lines are meant to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change. Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing, music and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO and Ricky Strauss as President. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck., The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help andContagion. The Moth – hailed as “New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” by The Wall Street Journal – is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. The Moth has presented more than three thousand stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth features simple, old-fashioned storytelling on thoroughly modern themes by wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors. The Moth conducts six ongoing programs – The Moth Mainstage, which tours nationally; The Moth StorySLAM program, which conducts open-mic story competitions around the country; The MothSHOP Community Program, which brings storytelling workshops free of charge to underserved populations; The Moth Podcast, which is downloaded over a million times a month; The MothSHOP Business Program, which offers corporate storytelling solutions; and the Peabody Award winning “The Moth Radio Hour”, produced by Jay Allison and presented by PRX, which airs on more than 200 public radio stations across the country.  www.themoth.org