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The MOTH Mainstage, a Curated Storytelling Event held in Cities around the World, to be Hosted at the Muhammad Ali Center on September 11th, 2019

Five Storytellers Share True Personal Stories about “Holding On and Letting Go” Live at the Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center and The MOTH, in partnership with 89.3 WFPL, will host‘The MOTH Mainstage’, an evening of stories shared live as five storytellers each take the stage and share a true, personal story from their life: joy and heart, in equal measures. The night will hold stories of glory and defeat, taunting fate, laughing in the face of danger, and the moments that forever changed their course. The event will take place on Wednesday,September 11th, 2019. Doors open at 6:30pm and stories will begin at 7:30pm.  The event will be held on the 6th Floor – View Pointe Hall—at the Muhammad Ali Center. The event’s theme will be “Holding On and Letting Go”: The Moth in Louisville. Tickets are $35 and must be purchased online in advance HERE.

The MOTH Mainstage events are held in cities around the world that feature five storytellers who develop and shape their curated stories around a certain theme with The Moth directors. The Moth Mainstage is a community where entertainment and enlightenment merge. The Moth events are more than true stories, told live and without notes; they also celebrate the ability of stories to honor both the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection.

Like The MOTH, the Muhammad Ali Center understands the importance of storytelling. As an organization dedicated to preserving the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, we share his stories as well as give voice to the stories of people whose lives he touched. Muhammad’s life was filled with narratives of empowerment, unity, compassion, and justice that continue to inspire others to make a positive difference in the world around us.

Meet the storytellers and host, who will move you, make you laugh, humble you, inspire you, and will instill within us the unities of being human, just like Muhammad Ali:


  • Jon Goode is an author, poet and playwright who hails from Richmond, Virginia and currently resides in Atlanta,Georgia. He has been a featured performer on HBO’s Def Poetry, TVOne’s Verses& Flow and BET’s Lyric Café. His stage play Khalas was showcased in the 2013 International Festival of Arts and Ideas. In 2006 Jon’s work with Nick @Nite earned him an Emmy nomination alongside the Promax Gold for best copyright North America. Jon has toured the college performance circuit extensively and has performed at over 500 colleges and universities. Jon’s debut collection of poems and short stories, Conduit, was published in 2015; has received to date 43 five star reviews; spent 12 weeks as the #1 title in its category on and is the best-reviewed book of poetry on Amazon.comfor 2015/16.


  • Ray Christian is a retired Army Paratrooper, Combat veteran, Doctor of Education and Adjunct Professor teaching African American History and Storytelling at Appalachian State University. His stories have appeared in Reader’s Digest’s 2016 Best Stories in America and 2017 American Hero’s editions. As a competitive storyteller, Ray is a ten-time Moth StorySlam Champion and winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam.He resides in the remote, mountains of Watauga County, NC where he raises an assortment of pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and dogs.
  • Ruby Cooper grew up in an Irish bar in Foxberg, PA, is a mother, grandmother, activist, teacher, writer, comic, (was) a go-go dancer,and has traveled to much of the world alone, first-class on a buddy pass. Over the decades, she has survived war, pestilence, austerity, deceit … No wait,those were her marriages. Her book, Irish Mongrel Child, is available on Amazon. She is currently writing a solo show—Old White Bitch, the Early Years—stories about being a liberal Yankee in the south during the civil rights movement in the early 60s. You can find her at rubycooper.comand
  • Hannah Drake is a blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, and the author of 10 books. She writes commentary on politics, feminism, and race and her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. In 2019 during Super Bowl Sunday, Hannah’s poem, “All You Had To Do Was Play The Game, Boy,” which addresses the protest by Colin Kaepernick, was shared by film writer, producer and director Ava DuVernay, and then shared by Kaepernick. The poem has been viewed more than two million times. Hannah’s commentaries on life and challenging others to dream bigger have been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama. In February 2019, Hannah was selected by the Muhammad Ali Center to be a Daughter of Greatness which features prominent women engaged in social philanthropy, activism, and pursuits of justice. Hannah’s message is thought-provoking and at times challenging, but Hannah believes that it is in the uncomfortable spaces that change can take place. “My sole purpose in writing and speaking is not that I entertain you. I am trying to shake a nation.”
  • Trevor Nourse grew up on the Kentucky side of the Tennessee border in the small town of Franklin where he once climbed the‘Welcome to Kentucky’ sign to escape a pack of wild dogs drunk on bourbon. Now he puts those skills to use as a tree-climbing arborist in Louisville,KY. 
  • Randi Skaggs loves storytelling and teaches it to adolescents. In addition to teaching, Randi has won several Moth StorySLAMs -including the GrandSLAM – and performed in the Moth Ball in New York City in 2015. She produces a Louisville-based storytelling show, podcast, and workshop called Double-Edged Stories with her husband. She sends out a hearty thank you and I love you to her mom, husband, and two beautiful children for always supporting her.

The MOTH Mainstage is part of the customary “Days of Greatness” event lineup surrounding the annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, which take place at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Thursday evening, September 12th.Also part of “Days of Greatness” is the bi-monthly “Daughters of Greatness”Breakfast Series on Friday morning, September 13th, with speaker Captain Brenda Berkman. Go to for more information.

The MOTH Mainstage is directed by Jenifer Hixson and produced by Jodi Powell. Music by Priscilla Soto.

Cash bar will be available.