Who We Are
Erin Hallagan conceived the idea for Story Bar following her work in various creative communities in Philadelphia and Washington DC. After dabbling in theatre, music, film, and writing, she noticed a trend of artists sticking with like-artists, but rarely intermingling across disciplines. Musicians frequented music clubs and venues. Performance artists frequented theatres. Visual artists frequented galleries and museums. Comedians frequented comedy clubs. Poets frequented slams. Writers frequented lit crawls and book readings.
But in the music venues, theatres, galleries, and comedy clubs, the same inherent goal was being pursued: expression through art. Using a creative portal to tell a story.
The decision to move to capital of Texas was an easy one, as it has long been an established hub for creativity, and would be the perfect future home for Story Bar – a place where artists of all kinds could come together as a community.
Since planting her roots in Austin in 2011, Erin has served as Film Programmer, Conference Director, and most recently, Creative Director of the Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference and Associate Producer of the PBS affiliated television show On Story. Her time at AFF contributed to a wonderful exploration of storytelling and its role as a core narrative to all art-forms. After five years of working and volunteering in the Austin arts and culture scene, taking small business development courses, and cultivating community relationships, Erin established Story Bar as an LLC in the winter of 2015, and anticipates opening in early 2017.
Adam Sultan moved from his hometown of Los Angeles to Austin in 1986, and began a musical career as a guitarist for former Sony recording artists Poi Dog Pondering shortly after. His musical life has spanned decades, as both sideman and solo artist, and he is co-creator of the “sado-vaudevillian” cabaret act, Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat. He has been a composer, writer, and performer for numerous Austin-based theater and dance companies. In the last five years he found new breath in the storytelling scene, as a regular contributor to Bedpost Confessions, Soundtrack Series, and others.
Adam has been an avid meditation practitioner for thirty years and has served as director of the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center, where he currently teaches mindfulness practices and contemplative arts.
Adam has longed for a enduring venue that could play host a cross-pollination of different art mediums, including music, theater, and culinary arts. This formed a vision that found common ground with Erin Hallagan and Story Bar.
His experience with meditation practice has infused Adam with a great desire for people to touch into their humanity and create relationships that both inspire and benefit artists, audience, and business, founded on compassion, humor, and deepening the cultural connections of society.