The Interstitium

live stories from humans in healthcare

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Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative presents the Interstitium: a storytelling evening that invites our community to share stories of how health and illness shape the way we live. Onstage. With a mic. Live. 

Interstitium [int-ər-ˈstish-ē-əm] • noun the space between two things that both joins and separates them

We created “The Interstitium” to contemplate the stories happening in these “in between spaces” of our lives.  What stories aren’t being told? How can we learn from them?

“The Interstitium” celebrates our lived experience of health and healthcare—it’s so much more than a diagnosis or a lab result. Each and every person’s relationship to their body lives at the intersection of health, power, and identity. We want to make that intersection a place where people feel heard and respected.

The stories we share are funny, serious, heartfelt, heartbreaking, lyrical, or absurd.  Each storyteller illuminates hidden moments in health and illness that can bring us together in shared humanity.

What’s Next: Online

May 26, 2021

"I'm Fine" and Other Lies from the Worst Year Ever

The COVID pandemic has challenged all of us in unique and unexpected ways. To help tell those stories, the Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative is proud to partner with the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG) and Together+Well to share an evening of stories about what life has really been like for some of us in the last year.

This event will showcase three stories from healthcare workers and three stories from the communities they serve with an emphasis on the communities most impacted by COVID. It includes several stories from Latinx performers told in their native language and the entire event will be interpreted live for all to enjoy. Additionally, this particular show will feature opportunities to get involved with local community organizing efforts in Portland focused on addressing local health inequities.

Inspired already? Tickets are pay what you can and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Get yours now!

We'll be performing live from the Clinton Street Theater and broadcasting via Zoom. Link will arrive via email after you reserve your tickets.

Facilitator Bio

Ben Colburn is a family medicine physician at OHSU and the founder of “The Interstitium,” a narrative medicine performance series designed to raise up underrepresented voices in healthcare dialogues and create community through shared experience. His clinical passions are end of life care, LGBTQ+ health, and Latinx health. His personal interests are mushroom hunting, taking on craft projects he’s not qualified to attempt, and fawning over his COVID kittens Milo and Timothy Chalameow.

Event Details

May 26, 2021
7:00-9:00 pm
online

RSVP NOW
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Pitch Your Story

If you’ve got a story to tell, we want to hear from you! Patients, professionals, clinicians, caregivers, writers, artists—and the many of us whose lives span more than one category—all are welcome.

The Interstitium began with a bang in the spring of 2019.

Check out our past shows!

Events Calendar

September 2021

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Let us know about your upcoming event—or ask about bringing NWNMC to your community!