Live Performance by Award-Winning Slam Storyteller Nestor Gomez – An NEA Big Read Event

Press Releases
Illinois Humanities

Read Time 3 minutes
March 12, 2024

For Immediate Release   

Sarah Sommers
Phone: (773) 251 - 4772

CHICAGO, March 12, 2024 — Illinois Humanities and Midwest Partners will present “Everyone Has a Story: Performance by Nestor Gomez,” on March 23 at the Prairie Arts Center, 24 Park Ave E, Princeton, IL 61356, from 6:30pm–8:00 p.m. CT, with a reception to follow from 8:00-9:00 p.m. CT. Light refreshments will be served. This family-friendly event is free and a part of The NEA Big Read: Reconsidering the American Dream program. RSVP is required

Narrated by dynamic, award-winning storyteller Nestor Gomez, this immersive performance tells Gomez’s personal stories of his American dream—in particular, his family’s immigration to the United States and the social, cultural, and linguistic struggles he has navigated ever since. 

Initially undocumented (now a citizen), Gomez moved from Guatemala to Chicago at the age of 10 in the mid-1980s. He began his storytelling career on a whim, winning first prize at his first Moth Storytelling Slam in Chicago over a decade ago. He has since won 35 Chicago Moth Story Slams and more than 30 others in cities across the nation.   

For those interested in learning to tell their own stories, in writing or performance, Gomez will lead an in-depth Storytelling Workshop the following day, March 24, at The Bike Place, 701 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. CT. RSVP is required

These events are part of the Illinois Humanities program, The NEA Big Read: Reconsidering the American Dream, which includes free book groups, public events, and hands-on workshops that explore and challenge our understanding of the "American Dream" through two engaging books: Sarah Smarsh's Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth and Patricia Engel's Infinite Country

Princeton Public Library and Prairie Arts Council are promotional partners for the event. 

Learn more about The NEA Big Read: Reconsidering the American Dream, join or start a book group, and register for an upcoming event at

The NEA Big Read is a program of Illinois Humanities made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 

About Illinois Humanities

Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement. We provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Founded in 1974, Illinois Humanities is supported by state, federal, and private funds. Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @ILHumanities.

About The NEA Big Read

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, a partnership with Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Showcasing a diverse range of themes, voices, and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. Learn more about the NEA Big Read.

Since the NEA Big Read initiative began, many organizations have received funds to participate in the program. Learn more about the other organizations in Illinois that will participate in the 2022/2023 season.

About Arts Midwest

Arts Midwest believes that creativity has the power to inspire and unite humanity. Based in Minneapolis, they grow, gather, and invest in creative organizations and communities throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.

Arts Midwest is serving as an organization partner for NEA Big Read.