For over a year we have been overcoming distance, initiating conversations and building relationships, and acquiring ways to communicate, connect, and engage in deep scholarship. These meaningful processes have been sustained and supported by videoconferencing and emails, storytelling and memoir writing, poetry and artmaking, and research collaboration. Individually and collectively we have experienced the positive impact of narrative and storytelling, discovering our personal and collective voices as safe spaces for storying and connecting have been created and expanded. Over time, formerly concealed and embodied stories have become public and communal, sometimes as quiet whispers, sometimes as forceful outpourings of emotion, sometimes as everyday meandering in the ordinariness of our middleaged lives. In this presentation we contemplate our becoming into our stories, and how our collaboration and connection is changing the way we want to work and be in both workplace and community. We consider the relevance of this as women academics working in universities in the Regional Universities Network – universities with commitments to playing a transformative strength and identity building role in their regions. We extend to others an invitation to consider the value of creating nurturing, responsive, reciprocal spaces that support connections and collaborations across distances and regions. And, we invite a shared exploration of the power of aesthetic tools and creative activities for transforming individuals, communities, and the work of academics in regional universities.