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Greg Taylor headlines The Monti Season Opener on September 11th at The ArtsCenter

Elizabeth Edwards, Monti Storyteller

Greg Taylor made local and national headlines last February as the first person ever to be found innocent by the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission, the only state-run agency in the country that investigates claims of innocence. In May, he received a full pardon from Governor Bev Perdue. All this came after Taylor had spent over seventeen years in prison for the murder of Jacquetta Thomas. The commission found that there was no evidence linking Taylor to the crime. In addition, it was revealed that the prosecution had withheld evidence that could have acquitted Taylor almost two decades ago.

The Monti is a non-profit organization that invites interesting people from the Triangle community and beyond to tell true, personal stories, unscripted and often off-the-cuff, in front of a live audience. Past storytellers include Elizabeth Edwards; WUNC’s The State of Things host, Frank Stasio; Southern Lit icons Lee Smith, Michael Malone, Clyde Edgerton, Daniel Wallace, and Jill McCorkle; and behavioral economist, Dan Ariely. Each event combines well-known national and local figures with lesser-known community members each ready with a great story. In the end, everyone has a story to tell, and The Monti proves it every night.

“Greg Taylor is a natural fit for The Monti,” said Jeff Polish, the Director of The Monti. “He’s a real person with a compelling and important story to tell. In fact, to not have invited him into this forum would have been a great oversight on our part.” While that may be true, it does not mean that Taylor would necessarily accept the offer to tell his story. But he did accept and quickly. “As I move on with my life, I hope that I can look back and find some purpose or reason for my experience,” said Greg Taylor. “Perhaps by talking about it in a forum like The Monti, it will help me to find some sort of purpose.”

Louise Bayard, Monti Storyteller

Joining Greg Taylor at The Monti’s Season Opener is a group of renowned literary and broadcasting greats – each alone could headline any Monti show. George Singleton, author of Work Shirts for Mad Men; David Gessner, author of Sick of Nature; Belle Boggs, author of Mattaponi Queen; and Janet Babin, reporter for American Public Media’s MarketPlace

With a lineup this strong, The Monti would only consider holding it at The ArtsCenter. “The Earl and Rhoda Wynne Theatre at The ArtsCenter is the only place I know of in the Triangle that can hold over 300 people while still maintaining a very intimate setting and vibe,” said Jeff Polish. And The ArtsCenter is also excited to present the popular storytelling series as well. “The Monti represents everything we are about – promoting community, showcasing great stories, and providing an amazing evening of entertainment,” adds Jeri Lynn Schulke, Director of ArtsCenter Stage. “We are just thrilled to be hosting an event where Greg Taylor tells his story! He has endured so much and I cannot think of a greater forum for him to express what he has been through.”

About The ArtsCenter:
The ArtsCenter nourishes the arts, creativity and community through education, performance and exhibition. This unique not-for profit community gathering place offers the best in visual and performing arts classes for adults and children, concerts, theater productions, children and family programs and gallery exhibits. As a non-profit, The ArtsCenter depends on the support of our community in order to provide a home for these types of programs. Ticket prices and tuition cover only a portion of The ArtsCenter’s operating expenses. For details on how you can help, call 919.929.2787 ext 217. The ArtsCenter is located at 300-G East Main Street in downtown Carrboro, the Box Office is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and can be reached at 919.929.2787 ext 201.

About The Monti:
The Monti invites people from the community to tell personal stories without the use of notes. Each month, events are held around the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and as far away as Greensboro. The goal is to create an intimate, open, and fun atmosphere where people can relate their personal experiences to one another through narrative. In April 2008, The Monti debuted to a sold out crowd in Chapel Hill. We’ve been selling out shows ever since by inviting interesting people with amazing stories that amuse and compel. For more information about The Monti, go to www.themonti.org or contact Jeff Polish, Founder and Director of The Monti, at jeff@themonti.org.

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