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Stories in the Dark: A Night of Reflection & Community

Dara Kosberg
Dara Kosberg

June 05, 2024

Unveiling the Power of Shared Stories

In the heart of San Francisco, an intimate gathering took place that reminded us of the power of shared experiences and the strength found in community. The event, "Stories in the Dark," marked the exciting launch of Reimagine’s new Bay Area Chapter, bringing to life our vision of fostering deeper connections through storytelling.

The Event's Purpose and Theme

"Stories in the Dark" is not just an event; it's a movement towards embracing the full spectrum of human emotion, particularly the ones we shy away from.

Hosted in partnership with the City of San Francisco’s Palliative Care Workgroup and supported by key Reimagine donors, this storytelling open-mic experience aimed to shine a light on authentic human experiences, focusing on the theme "Emerging from the Shadows of Illness."

The event coincided with National Healthcare Decision Day, enhancing its significance.

Participants–including those navigating chronic or serious illnesses, caregivers, and loved ones–were invited to share how illness had dimmed or brightened their light in unexpected ways. These stories of pain, resilience, and discovery created a tapestry of shared human experience.

Event Highlights

The event was a resounding success, selling out and creating a mix of intimate small group interactions and broader sharing that struck a chord with everyone involved. 


The atmosphere was set by dimmed lighting and the passing of a lighted orb, which not only illuminated the storyteller but also symbolized the light each person brings into the world, despite–or maybe even because of–the challenges they've faced.

Key highlights from "Stories in the Dark" included:

  • Sold Out Attendance: Demonstrating the community’s strong interest in connecting and sharing around themes of illness and healing.
  • Unique Atmosphere: Dimmed lighting paired with the use of a lighted orb created an intimate, lighthearted setting that facilitated deep sharing and listening.
  • Diverse Participation: Individuals from various backgrounds shared their personal stories, highlighting the universal impact of illness and the power of community support.

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, describing the event as "intimate," "open," and "peaceful." Participants valued the:

  • Vulnerability and Openness: The courage shown by speakers who shared their personal stories helped others feel seen and less isolated in their experiences.
  • Sense of Community: The event reinforced a shared sense of belonging, understanding, and resonance across diverse personal experiences.

The universal themes that emerged during the event underscored a common humanity, with many attendees expressing a strong interest in continuing to participate in such meaningful gatherings. The sense of community, vulnerability shared, and the universal resonance of the stories highlighted our common humanity and the supportive nature of the Reimagine community.

Community Response and Future Outlook

The impact of "Stories in the Dark" was immediate, with 100% of survey respondents expressing interest in future events. This enthusiasm underscores a collective need for spaces where grief, loss, and life's challenges can be openly navigated and discussed.


As we move forward, Reimagine aims to continue this momentum. Plans are already underway to test new local chapter experiences, which likely include more "Stories in the Dark" experiences on various themes. We are committed to fostering a supportive environment where people can come together to share, heal, and grow.

Join Us

If you're inspired by the idea of connecting through stories and wish to be part of a compassionate community, we invite you to join our newsletter. 

Stay updated on future events and learn how you can participate in or even organize a "Stories in the Dark" event around a theme that resonates with you.

Together, we can face life's challenges and transform them into opportunities for healing and connection.