Community Partnerships: A Brief History

Each TumbleMe project is designed with community collaboration in mind.  Shows raise money and/or awareness for issues that effect queers and other people thriving and surviving on the margins. Here's the story:

TumbleMe Productions was founded in early 2009, at the inception of a joint project with SHIFT: A Peer Recovery NetworkBodyLove: Queer Bodies Revealed Through the Spoken Word, featured eleven spoken word artists along the LGBTQ spectrum, sharing poems and stories related to body image.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from BodyLove were donated to National Eating Disorders Association, which is headquartered in Seattle.  TumbleMe founder Elaina M. Ellis conceived of BodyLove after her own profound experience finding recovery in poetry, after many years of struggle with body image and disordered eating.  Ellis wanted something to call her part in the project, and so TumbleMe was born, at the wordnerd's intersection between 'tumbleweed,' and 'bumblebee,' and the founder's own initials, 'EME'.

After the BodyLove show, which filled the Richard Hugo House past its standing-room-only capacity, the BodyLove workshop curriculum was developed.  Inspired by the show -- to help writers at any level to creatively heal around body shame -- BodyLove: A Writing Workshop combines video, performance, discussion and writing.  The first BodyLove workshop was presented at the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, in West Seattle.  

In October 2009, TumbleMe produced a second show, And God Said: Come on Inside, an Evening of Queerly Spiritual Spoken Word and Storytelling.  This followed a series of workshops on Writing as a Spiritual Practice, which encouraged participants to use their own creative process as a form of prayer and/or worship. This series was originally presented at Multifaith Works, co-presented by Marita Isabel through SHIFT.  The series was a success, and the show, presented at Empty Sea Studios, sold out a two-night run, creating a church-like environment where every story was welcomed and revered.

In February 2010, XOXO: Love Notes from the Margins, told queer love stories -- from lust to love to lies to loss -- to four sold-out rooms at Empty Sea Studios.  The show, including a special Valentine’s Day evening with chocolate (donated by Theo's Chocolate) and bubbly, raised awareness and funds for Northwest Network of LGBT Survivors of Abuse.  In addition, an XOXO CD with 12 original tracks, starring the ensemble, was recorded at Empty Sea Studios.  The CD, sold at the show and online, raised additional funds for Northwest Network.  

Other friends of TumbleMe Productions:

-Tucker FitzGerald (Graphic Design) has generally donated gorgeous and thoughtful designs for TumbleMe website, logo, and promotional materials.

-Bent Writing Institute: Taught Elaina mostly everything she knows.