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September 22, 2014

Muncie community unites to tell stories of disabilities

Often unheard voices to take center stage at Civic

MUNCIE – As the old saying goes, “You never truly understand a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” That adage comes to life October 4th on the Muncie Civic Theatre Main Stage for Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana, a theatrical monologue event and book release celebrating the stories of those who face disabilities each day.

Through a partnership between The Facing Project and Hillcroft Services, 20 stories were collected from the first-person perspectives of parents, caregivers, and those with disabilities, and written by 20 different local writers; in addition, three local photographers captured some of the individuals on film for the first time. The memories, photos, and experiences were compiled into a book titled, Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana. Along with the stories, the book provides a directory of services for Hillcroft as well as how to get involved with the organization as a volunteer or supporter.

The stories will come to life on the Muncie Civic Theatre Main Stage at 6 p.m. October 4th through the Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana Monologues. Adapted from the book, this performance event will be a night of celebration and reflection. Attendees will receive a FREE copy of the book. In addition to the monologues, there will be a special performance by Muncie’s own Jennifer Stanley, as well as an autograph signing with the storytellers.

This is the 16th Facing Project to occur in the country, the third for Muncie—Facing Poverty occurred in 2012 and Facing Autism in 2013.

Brenda Williamson, Vice President of Marketing and Development for Hillcroft Service, Inc. feels these stories and the event will provide a new voice to the conversation about what it means to live with a disability. “Our clients are our #1 priority, and we know how extraordinary they are. We are delighted to partner with The Facing Project to share their stories with the Muncie community to help others understand that a disability does not limit the way in which one can live an amazing life.”

The co-founders of The Facing Project, J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, are excited to bring the project back to their hometown:

“Bringing The Facing Project back to Muncie this fall has been a no brainer. When we launched the project on a national scale, we made the agreement to give back to Muncie through Facing at least once each year because it is our hometown. Disabilities was one of the harder projects we’ve worked on only because many of the storytellers had to have the assistance of multiple people in their lives to help tell their stories, but the final product will blow your mind—the stories are rich and eye-opening. Working with Hillcroft to tell these stories has been a huge honor for both of us.”

The Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana Monologues will feature dramatically performed stories by Ball State University’s Department of Theatre & Dance, adapted from the Facing Disabilities in East Central Indiana book, with appearances by Williamson, Jamison and Timmerman, Hillcroft CEO Debbie Bennett, and a special performance by recording artist Jennifer Stanley.

This event is free and open to the public. To learn more visit


Hillcroft Services, Inc. provides residential, employment, and community support services to individuals with disabilities in a 10 county area in East Central Indiana. The mission of Hillcroft is: “To provide innovative services and supports for people with disabilities and their families, resulting in extraordinary differences in people’s lives.” Hillcroft is focused on creating a culture of strong values, understanding the importance of ethical behavior, and maintaining high quality services to the people we serve. To learn more, visit:  

The Facing Project connects people through stories to strengthen communities. The Huffington Post and Harlem World Magazine have hailed The Facing Project as “one of three oral history projects to watch.” The Facing Project inspires communities to tell first-person stories of citizens through the talent of local writers, actors, and photographers, in partnership with nonprofits, businesses, education, and government, to raise awareness and create community conversations about a topic area. Founded in 2012 in Muncie, Indiana, by J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, the movement is in communities across the US facing topics from homelessness, to human trafficking, to hunger, among others. To learn more, visit:  


The Facing Project                 Hillcroft Services

J.R. Jamison                             Brenda Williamson

765-749-2359                        765-284-4166