ViBe Story Exchange – Returning in Summer 2022!

“Somebody Had to Do Something”

There comes a point in every wrangle when a move has to be made. Courage mustered; skills deployed; a decision made. We want to hear your stories of when moments of tension, debate, or pressure brought you or someone you know right up to a moment of action: somebody had to do something.


Join a group of local creatives eager to engage in conversations about life. Event producers will welcome everyone, give a quick lay of the land and then introduce the writer and artist, who will each share their creations. Guided discussion takes place and the participants Q & A is welcomed. A social will immediately follow each event.


Writers Application

Writers: share your stories of the what, how, who and when somebody in your life, or perhaps yourself, was kicked into gear; activated; inspired.

Artists Application

Fine and performing artists please apply ready to create a new piece based on the story that you are paired with.

If you have questions, please email Upon selecting artists and writers, the Story Exchange will share selected stories with the artists to initiate the collaboration of story-turned-art. Artists and writers must commit to attending their feature event and the collaborative final performance.


  • 8/11 -VB Oceanfront Library 5-6pm / Social immediately following at Esoteric
  • 8/18 -VB Oceanfront Library 5-6pm / Social immediately following at Pink Dinghy
  • 8/25 -VB Oceanfront Library 5-6pm / Social immediately following at Vibrant Shore Brewing
  • 9/1 -VB Oceanfront Library 5-6pm / Social immediately following at Croc’s 19th St Bistro
  • 9/8 -VB Oceanfront Library 5-6pm / Social immediately following at Lolly’s Ice Cream
  • 9/17- Final performance 2-5pm / exhibit for the 2nd annual Virginia Beach Literary Arts Festival in ViBe Park at 18th St & Cypress Ave


ViBe Story Exchange Founder – Sheena Jeffers:

In 2016, I had an idea. I wanted to start a storytelling project that takes hard stories and turns them into art in an effort to promote healing, discussion in people and spark activity within an emerging neighborhood (that I had just happened to purchase a house in). Story Exchange was born! The first years, I bankrolled the project, thinking I was Bill Gates or something! But artists helped me. Writers helped me. Everyone working for FAR LESS than they’re worth— and I hope to be able to repay that one day. But nobody helped me like the ViBe Creative District who gave me a home and support and, later, helped me write grants and fund the continuation and growth of this project.

This is the FIFTH season of Story Exchange! Now, there’s a budget to pay artists and authors, and now I even have a paid Event Producer, the fiercely smart, funny, previous regional producer of The Moth Hannah Wilson Sobol to help me! It has been a great great journey! It’s really just beginning.

VIBe Story Exchange Producer: Hannah Wilson Sobol

Hannah Wilson Sobol is currently a producer on Your Neighbor’s Hood Podcast, a place for uncomfortable culture conversations, and is the founder of Heard Productions, and Short Waves Audio Group. She holds an MFA in Acting from Brandeis University. Hannah has been an actor, a writer, a teacher, a documentarian, a producer for The Moth—but through it all has always held the idea that a good story can be a powerful unifier. Beyond that, she is a haphazard horticulturalist and a mother of two.

This project is supported in part by the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission Virginia Beach Arts and Virginia Commission for the Arts Virginia Commission for the Arts.


2020: Arts District Partners with Story Exchange

ViBe Story Exchange: ALONE TOGETHER

JOIN US ON THURSDAYS VIA Zoom* 942 0409 1794

The ViBe Creative District nonprofit announced a reenvisioned partnership for programming with ViBe Story Exchange for 2020. The partnership pairs selected visual and performing artists with the written word—a true arts & humanities collaboration. Drawing inspiration from artwork or the written word, their paired counterpart will be asked to produce art work inspired by the story, or write a short story, poem or essay reflecting their interpretation of the art. The writers and artists will be featured in a 5-week ViBe Story Exchange Series beginning in May.

The theme for this year is “Alone Together.” In the midst of COVID-19, this project aims to finding connection during isolation through art and written word.

Feeling ALONE? Or VERYTOGETHER with the people in your household? What does it mean to be connected? Are we all in this together?

The public will be welcomed to watch this artistic exchange the weekly program on Thursdays from 730-9pm in May and June.
Each week of the series will feature one artist paired with one writer. The stories will be read aloud and the artwork will be shown. A discussion and Q&A moderated by Story Exchange will follow. Upon selecting artists and writers, Story Exchange will pair selected artists and writers to begin their digital collaboration.


April 11 – 24                        Call for artists and writers
April 24:                               Deadline for artists and writers to apply
April 30:                               Selected writers and artists notified
May 14:                               Writer: Callie Ryan Brimberry, Artist: Lauren C. Kelly & Music in Motion Dance via Zoom* 942 0409 1794
May 21:                               Writer: Valeria L. Palmertree, Artist: Brianna Colevia Zoom* 942 0409 1794
May 28:                               Writer: Tim Wright, Artist: Jorge Antonio Saenz
June 11:                                Writer: Debora J. Orrick, Artist: Gita Kim McCoy via Zoom* 942 0409 1794
June 18:                              Writer: Elizabeth Johnson, Artist: Scott Roberts via Zoom* 942 0409 1794

This project is supported in part by the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission Virginia Beach Arts and Virginia Commission for the Arts Virginia Commission for the Arts.


Log into ZOOM Meeting Room 942 0409 1794 every Thursday at 7pm to join a group of local creatives eager to engage in conversations about life. Event producers will welcome everyone, give a quick lay of the land and then introduce the writer and artist, who will each share their creations. Guided discussion takes place and the participants Q & A is welcomed.



MAY 14, 2020:

Meet the Author, Callie Ryan Brimberry, for this Thursday’s Story Exchange via Zoom, hosted by @thevibecreativedistrict! Author and educator Callie Ryan Brimberry’s work has been featured in Educational Leadership, California English, and Dialogue. Winner of the 2018 CATE Professional Writing Contest, Callie Ryan’s essays and reviews have appeared on Book Riot and Novel Suspects. She serves as an editor for Dialogue, an education periodical for the San Diego Area Writing Project. Callie Ryan’s work can be found at

Meet the Artist: Lauren Kelly of @musicinmotionva! Lauren Kelly is the owner and director of Music in Motion Dance Studio. She graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2008. She spent several years dancing and working professionally in Philadelphia before returning to her hometown of Virginia Beach in 2016 to purchase the dance studio from her mother, Darlene. Music in Motion, located in the Little Neck neighborhood of Virginia Beach, has been a member of the HAmpton Roads arts community for over 35 years. Lauren’s favorite ages to teach are students who are 3-6 years old – but she is committed to the confidence, creativity and home away from home that dance education brings to all of her students. She just had her first son, Casey in January of this year and is navigating her own creativity, motherhood and business ownership – but is glad to have her husband, a schoolteacher, home during this season of life.

The writing sample shared at this event is being held for publishing purposes. The dance submitted by the seniors at Music in Motion Dance Studio follows:

MAY 21, 2020:

Meet the artist: Brianna Cole from Chesapeake, Virginia. Brianna loves creating conceptual and creative work in a variety of mediums and platforms. Her love for the arts started at a young age, as she drew, sang and learned over thirteen instruments. As she matured she shifted into photography and graphic design where she truly found her passion. With two degrees down and one to go, hopes to spread her love and passion for creative careers to the next generation as a professor. #vibecreativedistrict

HEART OF 2020 digital artwork by Brianna Cole.

Meet the author: Valeria L. Palmertree @valenptree is a writer, editor and professional storyteller, who has cultivated her passion for stories over a decade-long public relations career, which has included managing communications programs and media relations for travel destinations and guiding crisis communications response during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Last year, she left the agency world to focus on her own consulting business, The Palm Tree Type, through which Valeria helps clients identify, craft and share their stories as a Communications Consultant and Freelance Writer. In addition to her public relations work, Valeria’s writing has appeared in a variety of national publications. A native of Argentina and raised in Miami Beach, Valeria is fluent in Spanish, Malbec and Fútbol. She currently lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and their golden retriever. @valenptree #thevibecreativedistrict

CLICK HERE TO READ VAL’s WORK: Valeria Story Exchange

MAY 28, 2020:

Meet the Author: Tim Wright lives in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife and fellow artist, Lisa Wright where they raised their four children. Tim has worked as a local actor, writer, and teacher for the past 30 years. Dropping out of school when he was seventeen, Tim eventually went back to school and received a doctorate in Communication from Regent University in Virginia Beach where he also taught classes in Acting, Directing and Script and Screenwriting for over 10 years. Tim also taught classes in Communication as a part-time Instructor at Old Dominion University, Hampton University, Tidewater Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College while he was pursuing his Ph.D. As an actor, Tim has appeared is several local commercials over the years and performed the lead role in the film, Bird in a Cage, which won the student Academy Award in 1987. He currently works full-time as an Instructional Designer at DuPont Sustainable Solutions in Virginia Beach. He describes himself as a part-time “wannabe” writer, musician, and artist and, when not writing poems and “love-letter-books” for his wife, he self-publishes some of his work on his blog, He is passionate about reminding himself and others to celebrate life at every opportunity.

MEET THE ARTIST Jorge Antonio Saenz! He is an abstract artist who draws inspiration from life and nature. Texture and mixed media are incorporated into his work creating an array of designs throughout the composition. His background in architecture influences the design, color and repetitive shapes he creates. Markings and other designs are added throughout the process, at times appearing and disappearing through the application of paint. Social causes influences his work.

The artists have chosen for this artwork to be auctioned to benefit the local youth charity: StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads. Click here to sign up for more information and we will email you as soon as details for the sale are ready. 


Reylia: The Ascension of Creation from Tim Wright on Vimeo.

JUNE 11, 2020:

MEET THE ARTIST -Scott Roberts @swell_luck_designs. We meet at 7pm on Zoom-link in bio.
Specializing in pyrography(wood burning), Scott Roberts uses multiple drawing styles and techniques inspired by the natural world around him. His compositions highlight the beauty of the wood grain and existing character of reclaimed wood. His inventive techniques come from a background in wood working and a belief in reusing resources. Scott received his BA in Fine Art from Virginia Wesleyan University in 2008. Graphic Design has been his profession for the last nine years, as he continues to add more focus to his Fine Art. Scott’s enthusiasm and motivation is evoked by his experiences in the Colorado mountains of his childhood, and the Virginia Beach oceanfront near his home. Through his compositions, Scott Roberts explores his own interconnection with the natural world. @thevibecreativedistrict


MEET THE AUTHOR: Story Exchange via Zoom hosted by @thevibecreativedistrict—Elizabeth Johnson. Elizabeth is a teacher who lives and works in Norfolk, Virginia. Her poem is about a group baptism, which feels like a great metaphor for the present moment. @ejohnson1114

Elizabeth Johnson-Group Baptism – CLICK HERE TO READ THE POEM

JUNE 18, 2020:

MEET THE ARTIST: Story Exchange on Zoom hosted by @thevibecreativedistrict. Kim McCoy is committed to exploring creativity. A friend recently said to her, “you are a born artist whose work manifests in many forms.” Kim believes we are all born artists and it is through trusting, listening to, and believing in ourselves that we develop the skill to take flight. Kim is a musician. Her classical piano training served as a strong foundation for the music she explores today on the bass guitar, harmonium, chanting Sanskrit mantras, healing music and more. Kim is a founding member of the Hampton Roads based Kirtan band PranaMuktuBhakti. Kim hand-makes Malas, tools for meditation made of 108 beads knotted with intention for the practitioner. Kim has a deep love of color and in 2017, moved into visual art through the medium of pastels, sprinkled with colored pencils. Kim lives in Virginia Beach. Come see her work Tonight @7pm on Zoom. Link in bio. @gita.k.mccoy @pranamuktibhakti

Artwork by Kim McCoy

MEET THE AUTHOR: Debora Orrick, for this week’s Story Exchange on Zoom Hosted by @thevibecreativedistrict!
Debora was a high school English teacher in Austin, Texas. Her amazing cat, Sassy, crossed the Rainbow Bridge in May 2012. She did not want to forget how wonderful Sassy had been, so she wrote this piece to help her remember her beloved cat. When the Vibe offered this Story Exchange opportunity, Debora submitted Sassy’s story. She wanted everyone to know how special a cat can be!
Since becoming a “retired teacher” in 2012, Debora has morphed into being an artist. Her bead-weaving hobby has lead her to become an exhibiting artist at The Artists Gallery/Virginia Beach Art Center (check out She is also learning oil painting and colored pencil drawing.




What’s New & Different: Story Exchange began in the ViBe Creative District in 2016. Since then, Story Exchange has presented annual inter-generational, multimedia exhibits and performances featuring over 20 artists and 20 writers held in local businesses throughout Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

Within the parameters of COVID-19, Story Exchange looks to continue their mission of bringing compelling storytelling together with the arts for the purpose of connection and conversation. The theme “Alone Together” will spark new discussions and creation; the ViBe District and Story Exchange want to create an online safe space to share, enjoy and support each other through stories and art.

An Arts and Humanities Collaboration:

“It would be easy to cancel programs and events like this during a pandemic,” said Kate Pittman, Executive Director of the ViBe Creative District. “But we believe the arts are needed now more than ever. While human contact is limited, human connections via stories and art can thrive.”

“Story Exchange is delighted to continue our work with the support of the ViBe Creative District. Community can still be found in shared stories and art, and we are looking forward to providing a safe place and opportunity for people to connect in these unique times,” said Sheena Jeffers, founder of Story Exchange. “There are certain parts of the human experience that can’t be suppressed: our desire to share, to be heard, to be seen. This is why we’re all here.”


About ViBe Creative District
The ViBe Creative District non-profit is a 501c3 that exists to promote, support, connect, and inspire the creative industries to boost our local economy, grow jobs, and enhance our quality of life. It works to create and revive economic vibrancy in our neighborhood with a remarkable local vibe. Additionally, ViBe strives to enhance a place of discovery for locals and visitors along with economic vitality to meet the City of Virginia Beach’s vision for a quality resort destination. For more information on please visit, email call 757-202-9533 or follow ViBe Creative District on Facebook at and Instagram at

About ViBe Story Exchange
Story Exchange brings together local neighborhoods to share stories of love, loss and resilience as well as other personal life stories or experiences close to their hearts. From young children to the communities’ elders, stories of the human experience will be submitted, chosen and paired with an artist to develop a presentation or exhibit of our most treasured, challenging and lovable moments.