A Story Exchange: Colum McCann Meets Waynflete

Last week the Irish-American author Colum McCann came to Portland on a mission. He wanted to tell the story of Narrative 4an organization of authors and artists dedicated to mending our social fabric through cultivating “fearless hope” and “radical empathy” in youth (Colum co-founded Narrative 4 and currently serves as president). He also came to hear the story of Waynflete, because of what he had been told about the school.  

Colum held a public talk in Franklin Theater in the evening, in which he read from several of his novels, including his most recent one that is just now heading to publication, and discussed Narrative 4. Narrative 4 had sent an advanced team to train 27 Upper School students as facilitators of their signature activity, the story exchange. In his talk, Colum referred to Waynflete as a “visionary school” for our work promoting dialogue as an essential skill and mindset, which he saw as well aligned with the goals of Narrative 4. Continue reading “A Story Exchange: Colum McCann Meets Waynflete”


“Authenticity” in the Waynflete Gallery

The Authenticity show in the Waynflete Gallery has enabled visitors of all ages to participate in various reinterpretations of famous “masterpieces.” The show invites viewers and participants to consider the very definitions of art and who is an artist, while posing questions about originality and ownership. The artists whose work is examined are Andy Warhol, Georges Seurat, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Sol Lewitt.

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Why is Colum McCann coming to speak at Waynflete?

Many of you have already noted with great excitement that Colum McCann, the widely read and highly acclaimed Irish author of six novels and three collections of stories, is coming to speak at Waynflete during the evening of February 6, and again to an Upper School assembly on February 7. Not surprisingly, given his stature as a writer, the public event on the 6th is already sold out.

While Waynflete’s interest in hosting such an important writer would seem self-evident, you may be wondering why Mr. McCann is interested in coming to Waynflete, particularly since his public appearances are rare these days. It turns out that he has another mission in life besides creating great art. He is a co-founder and president of Narrative 4, an organization dedicated to equipping tomorrow’s leaders “to use their stories to build empathy, shatter stereotypes, break down barriers, and—ultimately—make the world a better place.” The Narrative 4 motto is “Fearless hope through radical empathy.” Check out the video on the Narrative 4 web page describing their signature program, “the story exchange” (linked here).

Continue reading “Why is Colum McCann coming to speak at Waynflete?”