CVWG - Sounds and Stories Ft. The Nunnery and Humbird

March 4, 2021


Pablo Stream Present - "All Creatures Great and Small" - Sound and Stories 

Musicians Humbird and The Nunnery and joining forces with the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild to entertain our region’s citizens with their most nature-filled and animal-inspired songs and stories.

This performance will include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and subtitling services. 

Settle in for a streamed event featuring stories from award-winning nonfiction writer John Hildebrand, animal welfare expert Bekah Weitz, environmentalist and ornithologist Steve Betchkal, and author Katherine Schneider, all accompanied and with original music from Humbird and The Nunnery. So plant your gardens, fill your feeders, and invite your pets up on the couch. Then, enjoy an evening of live entertainment from some of the finest writers and musicians in the valley. Hosted by B.J. Hollars.


John Hildebrand is the author of five nonfiction books. The most recent, Long Way Round: Through the Heartland by River, is scheduled to be read on WPR's Chapter-A-Day this March. Hildebrand's essays and articles have appeared in such magazines as Harper's, Audubon, and Sports Illustrated. His awards include a Minnesota Book Award in Science and Nature Writing and the BANTA Award from the Wisconsin Library Association.


Bekah Weitz is an expert in animal welfare. Following a childhood steeped in animal care & study, she has spent the last 16 years working professionally in the animal welfare world, mostly as an animal cruelty investigator. This work has taken her all across the United States, working criminal cases with numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies and serving as a first responder for animal emergency response during natural disasters. She currently works for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection in the Division of Animal Health.


Steve Betchkal is a proud environmentalist & ornithologist and the Eau Claire-based author of All of This & Robins Too, Make Birds Not War, Wisconsin Birding Trails, Cat Tales, Walk the Walk, Camp the Camp, Bird the Bird, & 101 Apologus Nights. In his 30 years as a professional journalist he produced 11,000 TV stories, and is the only journalist in Chippewa Valley history to win five Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award.


Katherine Schneider is a retired clinical psychologist. In retirement she’s written four books, serves on numerous boards including the Eau Claire County Board, has two blogs and is a frequent speaker and advocate on disability issues. She is accompanied by her tenth Seeing Eye dog, Calvin.


B.J. Hollars is the author of several award-winning civil rights books, including The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders, Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, and Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence, and the Last Lynching in America. His latest book, Go West Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America on the Oregon Trail, is forthcoming in the fall of 2021. A graduate of the University of Alabama’s Master of Fine Arts program in writing, he teaches English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and writes for the Leader-Telegram’s Sawdust Stories series.


The Nunnery is a solo act of Sarah Elstran. Creating melding meditative, lush soundscapes with layered vocal loops and catchy hooks. More of an experience than just a sound, The Nunnery's somewhat-improvised performances are informed by the spaces in which they occur. Many of her shows are accompanied with live visual projections. The projections are my way of communicating a thought without words, a feeling without description. Her hope is that these songs and performances give you a sense of peace, a space to understand your own heart.


Combining a wintry loning with the warmth of a familiar folktale, Humbird stretches between experimental folk and environmental Americana to embrace the unexpected. This music invites a refreshing dissonance into the house, it leaves breadcrumbs along the path and reflects light back at the stars. Humbird’s debut album Pharmakon (Aug. 2019) is a “ absolutely hypnotic listening experience” according to Folk Alley. Atwood Magazine describes it as music wrapped in “gentle rebellion”.  Months after its initial release, Humbird’s debut continues to resonate with listeners, wracking up online streams and (more importantly) connecting with listeners all over the world. Inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell, John Prine and Big Thief, Humbird crafts songs of American mysticism rooted in the grit of the upper midwest.

March 4, 2021 - 6:30 pm

This will is a free virtual, streamed event. This performance will include American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and subtitling services.