Sunday, October 31, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Kathy Smith

Kathy has been telling stories for over ten years.  Her stories include folk tales, fairy tales, adaptations of children's literature and participatory stories.  She has told to a variety of audiences ranging from preschool to senior citizens.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's almost here!

No, not the Halloween-candy-induced wave of nausea and dental visits. That starts tomorrow.

Also: The Great Pumpkin is not coming. You might want to break that news gently.

The 11th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration starts Nov. 2, 2010 with the Story Slam: We All Have a Story to Tell About Family event at MCC-Maple Woods.

That's just the beginning of this citywide four-day event, so check the schedule and plan to take yourself, your family, your friends, even your candy-crazed kids to one of our FREE events.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Jim Stigall

Jim Stigall, from Ottawa, KS, has been a storyteller since 1975, telling fairy tales, ghost stories, nonsense stories, and personal stories. He is a member of the National Storytelling Network, Rivers and Prairies Storyweavers, and an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church.

Visit his website here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Nancy Stegeman

Nancy is a youth services librarian with the Kansas City Missouri Public Libray and tells live and learn stories and jack tales. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Angela Williams

Angela J. Williams is a native of Hannibal,  MO.  She is a storyteller, drummer and drumming instructor.  Angela tells personal stories, African, African-American, animal, Hannibal, ghost, women's family and biblical stories.  She is animated, humorous and warm as she captivates and mesmerizes audiences of all ages.  Adults are fascinated by her stories and young children beg for more.  She surprises, inspires and amazes all with her unique storytelling style.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Carole Shelton

Carole is an educator, storyteller and writer.  She tells a variety of stories for adults and children.  Included are historical portrayals, original animal stories, folk tales, and inspirational stories. 

Visit her website here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fabulous Families Frolic at Friday Family Fun Concert!

Ahem... now that I have that title out of my system...

Friday Family Fun Concert

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch
When: Nov. 5, 2010
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Thom & Sarah Howard

Here’s a typical Friday night: The kids are out of school and looking forward to the weekend – almost as much as mom and dad. Dinner’s done, there’s nothing on TV, the local Redbox was out of the movie you wanted to rent and football won’t consume dad’s day until noon on Saturday. What do you do?

The Friday Night Family Fun Concert!

Pack up the kids – and dad, if he’s checking his fantasy football stats already – and head out for an evening of storytelling. There are chuckles to be had, lessons to be learned and entertainment to be enjoyed, all without the glare of the boob tube.

Thom and Sarah Howard, referred to as “those crazy people” by one of their younger fans, know how to get the best out of all ages with music and laughter.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Toni Reese

Toni Reese has been telling stories professionally since 1987.  A grandmother and youth services librarian from LaVista, NE, Toni tells folktales from around the world to audiences of all ages.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Priscilla Howe

Priscilla often travels throughout the United States and abroad (she's been to Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria and Germany) with a bag full of puppets and head full of stories. She's a full-time storyteller from Lawrence, Kan., and is currently searching for the best restaurant pie on Earth.

She also has her own website - Check it out!

Priscilla tells a story from her DVD "The Bully Billy Goat & Other Stories."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Marcia Ollinger

Marcia tells traditional folktales from around the world, American and holiday stories, as well as personal stories of growing up in St. Louis. Marcia is a former elementary school teacher who was inspired to begin storytelling after attending the St. Louis Storytelling Festival in 1985.

Honor the Ancestors during the Day of the Dead & Altar Stories concert

Day of the Dead & Altar Stories

Where: Mattie Rhodes Art Center (915 W 17th St)
When: Nov. 5, 2010
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Olga Loya

A time of celebration and remembrance for many Latin American cultures, the Day of the Dead (Nov. 2) is a holiday of rich and varied traditions, including building altars and offering food and gifts to the departed, parades and parties honoring deceased family members and even a kite-flying event.

Olga Loya, a first-generation Mexican-American, will share tales of this holy and joyous holiday, offering insight into a celebration whose roots and traditions may not be fully understood.

*NOTE: This event is part of the Crossroads Art District’s “First Friday” series. Various art galleries, restaurants and retail venues will be also be open during this time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Denise Dodd

Denise enjoys teaching kindergarten in the Park Hill school district. She loves to tell stories to young children. Denise has also done storytelling workshops with teachers and parents, and she is involved with a local children's storytelling club.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: LaRita Wright

LaRita features stories, songs and rhymes of animals that are appropriate for young listeners.  She enjoys seeing children using their imagination while listening to a story.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Sue Godsey

Sue is a drama teacher and storyteller from Redwater, Tex. She has told stories professionally, presented workshops and worked with young storytellers for over 10 years.

Welcome to the Main Event: the 2010 Storytelling Spectacular!

2010 Storytelling Spectacular

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Bobby Norfolk, Olga Loya, Elizabeth Ellis, Thom and Sarah Howard

What better way to end a fantastic festival of silly, scary, fun, diverse and entertaining stories than the Storytelling Spectacular? The flagship event of the celebration, the Spectacular features tales from our four national tellers, Bobby Norfolk, Olga Loya, Elizabeth Ellis, Thom Howard and Sarah Howard.

The animated, quirky character style of Bobby Norfolk; the wise-but-wacky tales of Olga Loya; the folk tales of Texas, the Appalachian foothills and strong, heroic women of Elizabeth Ellis; and the sweet, silly musical stylings of “those crazy people,” Thom and Sarah Howard will all be on display for the whole family.

There is something for everyone to enjoy – mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, kids (10 and up, please) and every member of the family will enjoy an evening of special, social entertainment.

View photos from last year's Storytelling Spectacular here at our Facebook page! You should friend us while you're there :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Storytelling as a public platform for tolerance

Local, regional, national and even Hollywood headliners are embracing storytelling as a way to promote tolerance and understanding in their communities and the world.

Actress Angela Basset is embracing the opportunity to use storytelling to "show how we're more alike than not."

Read the rest of the article here.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Jo Ho

Jo has been delighting audiences with collection of folktales, fairytales, holiday stories and curriculum enhancement stories since 1989. A native of Overland Park, KS, Jo, an actress and drama teacher, has been selected as the 2010 Alumni Fellow for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts-Music at Dickinson State University, due to demonstrated excellence in her field.

Visit Jo's website here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight(s): Mike Micham & Nancee Walker-Micham

Mike weaves folk songs with comedy and tells the real life stories of being a farmer in today's world.  He also tells inspirational stories and sings silly songs and performs with his wife, Nancee, who got her start in theatre. She tells ghost stories, Ozark tales, fairy tales, and Irish stories to audiences of all ages.

Visit Mike and Nancee's website here.

There's more than books at the library!

Plaza Family Concert

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring, Elizabeth Ellis, Olga Loya, Thom and Sarah Howard, and special guest Anne Price

The Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration always features a lot of family entertainment – after all, the kids can’t sit in front of the television or computer ALL day.

This year’s Plaza Family Concert will feature the talents of three of our national storytellers (Bobby Norfolk is over at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, read about that event here) plus the talents of a very special guest.

Anne Price, from a fourth-grade student from Parkville, was chosen as a finalist in the elementary division this year for the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, held in June in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Anne was chosen from among many entries and presented her story “Scissors” alongside 14 other talented youth storytellers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Miss the National Storytelling Festival?

Sirius Satellite Radio is airing the stories from the festival! If you subscribe to satellite radio, check it out!

Storytelling will have its own channel, Storytelling Radio, on channel 113. If you'd like to give it a try, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial at

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Becky Everly

As a storyteller and teacher Becky has shared stories with elementary-aged school children in classrooms.  She has worked with groups in which parents and children explored the benefits of storytelling while creating stories together.

In addition to performing during the storytelling celebration, Becky is hosting a media specialists workshop.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pangea Day - Global Storytelling

Get crafty, get creative, get involved!

Are you a basket artisan? A papercraft prodigy? A fabric afficianado? If so, we need you!

MCC-Maple Woods hosts a silent auction each year to benefit the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration. Any donations will be accepted (food must be commercially prepared and packaged - apologies to the amateur and not-so-amateur Betty Crockers out there) before the auction opens on Nov. 2 in the MCC-Maple Woods Student Center.

If you would like to donate an item for the auction, please contact Heather Kelly-Perez at 816.604.3007 or email

We thank you in advance, and we are happy to prominently display your name and or business along with your item - free advertising!

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Amy Woolf

Amy Kaspar Woolf has a master's degree in Library Science, specializing in children's literature from the University of Illinois and 35 years experience in a variety of public, school, college and special libraries. As an artist with Arts Partners in Wichita and a regional Wolf Trap teaching artist, she presents classroom and adult workshops in storytelling and puppetry.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Entertain your family with stories about... your family!

Black Sheep & Kissing Cousins

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Elizabeth Ellis

Every family’s got at least one – a crazy family member, a rebel who cuts his or her own path, a “perfect” specimen…

Families are made up of unique individuals, and even though every family – like every person – is different, there are quite a few similarities between your family and everyone else’s.

Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis, who has been sharing her own personal history for more than 25 years, will walk you through the 8 types of tales that all families have in common and offer tips on how to collect and retell them.

Just think – you could be a star at your next family reunion! Make sure you ask Uncle Bob for his permission before you tell everyone about, well, you know. Just sayin.’

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Larry Brown

Teller of stories about justice, courage and compassion, St. Louis-area storyteller Larry Brown is an annual participant in the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration. All ages enjoy his Jack Tales, medieval stories, ghost stories and personal narratives.

Check out Larry telling one of his "Jack Tales" below:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Karen Young

Karen Young's stories are for the "young at heart and ancient in spirit." Her vivid character protrayals from history and folklore, as well as stories told in the voices from many lands and times, entertain and educate audiences anywhere people are willing to sit a' spell and hear a story well told.  A professional storyteller since 1992, Karen has been featured at storytelling events throughout the Midwest and is a teaching artist with Springboard of St. Louis and the Center of Contemporary Art (COCA).

Visit her website here!

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Margaret Meyers

Coming to the Kansas City Storytellnig Celebration from Garden City, KS, Margaret is passionate about interactive stories. She uses songs, music and rhythm play, so be prepared to get involved in the stories she tells! Visit Margaret's profile here for more about her and the stories she tells.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

For all of you educator/storytellers...

For those interested in youth storytelling and storytelling in a school environment, why not sign up for Becky Everly's media specialist workshop?

Upload your imagination - build a story at StoryShop 1.0!

StoryShop - Youth Storytelling Workshop

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 1-2 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Thom and Sarah Howard

Are your kids or grandkids coming home spinning fantastic yarns about everything from their school days (“Mrs. So-and-so gave us 100 PAGES of homework!!!”), to their friends, to a magical rainbow unicorn named Phil who lives on Cheetos and strawberry soda in the hall closet (Don’t laugh! He’s sensitive.)

If so… encourage them! Youth storytelling builds confidence and public speaking skills and gives them a great outlet for their creativity. The StoryShop will give them the tools to build stories from scratch – including their very own story spoon!

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Roger Rose

Roger mines the treasure trove of literature and folklore for nuggets of story, which he refines and polishes for telling. Twain, Kipling and Milne are all a part of his story repertoire, as are Irish folktales, Biblical stories and haunting Halloween tales. He comes to the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration from Webster Groves, MO.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Storytelling Events: Disability Accommodation

All of our events are designed to reach as many people as possible!

If you need an accommodation due to disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please don't hesitate to contact MCC-Maple Woods Access Resource Educator Kim Fernandes at 816.604.3192.

Many accommodations can take up to two weeks to arrange, so please call as soon as you know you will be attending.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Jeanne Crews

Jeanne Crews,a retired schoolteacher of 42 years a native of St. Louis, MO, enjoys telling folktales, including German, African and Japanese, to children of all ages.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Tim Manson

A native of Kansas, Tim has a fun, easy-going way of telling his stories, which originate from Grimm's fairy tales and classic literature. He has a lively sense of humor and easy-going attitude, using voice and movement to bring his stories to life for all ages.

Regional Storytelling Concert showcases local line-up

Regional Storytelling Concert

Where: MCC-Maple Woods Student Center
When: Nov. 4, 2010
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: $3

The Midwest is full of fantastic storytellers, and many of them are gathering at Maple Woods for the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration.

Tellers from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, many of whom have been involved with the event for several years, will be weaving stories of all kinds at the Regional Storytelling Concert.

This event will also feature a silent auction, the proceeds of which will go right back into next year’s Storytelling Celebration. Stop by and bid on everything from gift baskets to mouth-watering pastries to unique objets d’art donated by some of our multi-talented tellers!

Check out photos of last year's Regional Storytelling Concert!

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Take a look at our Facebook page to see all photos from last year's events.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

These aren't the posts you're looking for...

(cue Jedi hand wave)

If these aren't, in fact, the posts you're looking for, check out the tag cloud over to the right. CLick on the category you want and away you go!

Has anyone seen any shiny metal robots?

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Mary Garrett

Mary believes in the world of story and the power of story to make this world a better place.  She tells personal stories, tall tales, folktales, traditional tales, and life lesson stories to audiences of all ages.

Check out Mary's website here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Queue the flickering lights and eerie sounds... it''s...

... time for ghost stories! Ahhhh! *faints*

Ghosts in the Night Sky

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
When: Nov. 5, 2010
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Olga Loya, Elizabeth Ellis, Bobby Norfolk, Loretta Washington

While the serenade of young voices and classical guitar music may waft in from above, there will be no merriment or mirth for the audience here. Strange, stormy, shivering and creepy tales have won the night down below.

Olga Loya, Bobby Norfolk, Elizabeth Ellis and special guest Loretta Washington will share their bone-chilling stories of ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. Are they true? Is there a headless, white lady wandering lonely rural roads late at night? A werewolf ready to maul his chosen victim around the very next corner? There’s no way to know…

But you’ll be checking your rearview mirror a little more closely and listening for clandestine howling, won’t you.

This event is for mature audiences, ages 16 and up. We don't want the little ones spooked all night - and neither do you!

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Nancy Shelton

And Ozarks native, Nancy Shelton began telling stories during her career as a school counselor, and has continued performing stories for audiences after her retirement in Springfield, MO. She uses puppets, props and anything necessary to illustrate stories for her audiences, which range from pre-schoolers to seniors. Nancy coordinates events for her local club - Storytellers of the Ozarks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Upcoming Storytelling Event: Illinois Storytelling Festival

Illinois Storytelling Festival
Oct. 15-16, 2010
Dominican University
River Forest, IL

Featured tellers: Mary Hamilton, Dan Keding, Linda Gorham

Fore more information: Illinois Storytelling Festival

Featured Storyteller Spotlight(s): Thom & Sarah Howard

The unique duo of Thom and Sarah Howard, a guitar player and a children’s librarian, has been bringing their original children’s songs, fingerplay and participation stories to young audiences throughout the Midwest for several years.

Sarah Howard has been the children’s librarian at the Columbia Public Library for more than 17 years and is a founder of the Mid-Missouri Organization of Storytelling (MOST). She plays mandolin and autoharp and regularly presents workshops on storytelling and programming to librarians, teacher and parenting organizations.
Thom Howard has been performing on guitar for more than 20 years as a solo artist and in ensembles of all kinds and sizes. He plays ragtime, fingerstyle, classical, Spanish and Latin American music. Thom teaches stringed instruments classes at Central Methodist University and released his solo album “Sometimes a Guitar is Just a Guitar” in 2002.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Dan Jones

Dan Jones could not fit a word in any shape or from into his family's dinnertime chatter, wanting to stay polite, and thus he grew from a "would've/should've-said-kid" into a storyteller.  His university training in acting and dance lets him enhance his original and adapted stories. He lives in a house fashioned by his hands in the woods of northeast Texas where he writes short stories, poems, songs and plays. He talks to his trees.

Olga Loya performing at Westside Family Concert

Westside Family Concert

Where: Primitivo Garcia Elementary School
When: Nov. 4, 2010
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Olga Loya

Listen to featured storyteller Olga Loya spin family-friendly tales of her life as a bi-cultural (Mexican and American) person in the United States. Loya’s childhood in Los Angeles, firmly rooted in the storytelling tradition of her father and grandmother, paints a vivid picture of the world for all ages. This event is sponsored by the Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas.

Local storytellers performed for Garcia Elementary Students in 2009 as part of the Storytelling Celebration.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Don't forget to mark your calendars!

If you've been a regular reader of this blog, you probably know about all of the wonderful events that are coming up. If you don't - there's no excuse! Shame!

Just kidding! But why not take the time to catch up?

There's a schedule of events here for your convenience, and numerous posts about the events themselves to give you an idea of the great things going on Nov. 2-6, 2010.

Hope to see you there!

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Melva Hargett

Melva Hargett, a resident of Shawnee Mission, KS, loves telling folktales from as many different countries as she can. She cal tell stories, to make you laugh, think or even shiver!

And now, a word from our sponsors...

... actually, TO our sponsors:


MCC-Maple Woods
Missouri Arts Council
River & Prairie Storyweavers
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City
DeLaSalle School
Fort Osage School District
Hallmark, Inc.
H & R Block, Inc.
Kansas City Missouri Public Library
Kanasa City Kansas Public Library
North Kansas City School District
Mid-Continent Public Library
Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation
Park Hill School District
Raymore-Peculiar School District
Scuola Vita Nuova

Friday, October 8, 2010

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Steve Otto

Local Kansas City resident Steve Otto has been telling stories professionally for many years. He specializes in seminars and workshops for all ages, and loves to tell Ozarks tales, Jack tales, historical narratives and literary stories. In addition to participating in the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Steve also volunteers to serve on the steering committee for the event.

Kathak: Indian Story Dance

Kathak is one of the 8 Classical Indian Dances, and originated from traveling bards who performed in village squares and plazas, singing and dancing to illustrate the holy scriptures for the townspeople. The word kathak is actually Hindu for "storyteller."

Kathak almost always features very precise, sharp movement and turns choreographed to music performed on traditional Indian instruments like sitars, tabla drums and reeded wind instruments and flutes.

Bobby Norfolk does baseball history - as Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige

Before the Lights Go Out:
The Story of Satchel Paige, James "Cool Papa" Bell and the Negro Baseball Leagues

Where: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 2-3:30 p.m.
Cost: ???
*Military Appreciation Day – all active and inactive military, plus two guests, will receive free admission. Please present military ID at door.

Before the era of steroids, outrageous agents and massive athlete salaries (and egos to match), there was an era of pure baseball, and trailblazers Satchel Paige, James Bell, Buck Leonard and Jackie Robinson were all displaying remarkable on-field prowess and athleticism in the Negro Baseball League. Started right here in Kansas City, the Negro Baseball League was home to a host of future Hall-of-Famers.

Bobby Norfolk, a storyteller and actor known for his rich characterizations, brings to life two of these men: Satchel Paige and James “Cool Papa” Bell, highlighting their successes and struggles in the world of professional baseball in the years before World War II.

Storytelling can be a history lesson, a character study, an exploration and entertainment all in one – visit the Negro League Baseball Museum with your families for a chance to learn about an important, but not often discussed, period in sports and American history.

This is a NEW event! If you attend or are planning to attend, please leave us FEEDBACK in the form of comments on this post or by emailing

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Barbara Kellogg

Relating real-life experiences and charming children's tales, the Blue Springs, MO, native has been telling to church audiences, retirement homes, children's groups since 1995. Her stories, running from "Aha!" to "Amen," continue to make audiences laugh, cry and reflect.

Comment: What is storytelling?

Are you still "telling" a story if no words are spoken?

Storytelling festivals and traditions often honor the ancient art of the spoken word, oral traditions passed down through numerous generations in every culture. These stories highlight the values, beliefs and powerful syumbols of any people at any given time.

But what about stories told through different mediums?

This week, storytelling breaks into primetime tv through one of televisions most popular shows: Dancing with the Stars.

Is this a new, modern twist on storytelling?

Storytelling Night on DWTS

Comments, please!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What have your kids been trying to tell you?

Kids Tell: Youth Storytellers

Where: KCMO Public Library – Plaza Branch
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE

Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?

Performers aged 5-18 will make you chuckle, sigh, belly-laugh and shake your heads! The whole family will get a kick out of how these kids see the world.

Interested in encouraging kids’ natural storytelling tendencies? Sign up for the Media Specialists Workshop on storytelling clubs! RSVP @ 816.604.3011.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Diane Cox

Known to her students as "Mrs. Cox with Purple Socks," Diane is a library media specialist from Omaha, Nebraska. She has been telling stories to all ages and audiences for the past 20 years and specializes in folktales, historical fiction and non-fiction, and personal stories.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Upcoming Event: Tumbleweed Storytelling Festival

Tumbleweed Storytelling Festival
Oct. 22-23, 2010
Elks Art Center, T & P Events Center, NCCIL
Abilene, TX

Featured tellers: Bobby Norfolk, Sherry Norfolk, Don Sanders, Donna Ingham

For more information: Tumbleweed Storytelling Festival

Featured Storyteller Spotlight: Elizabeth Ellis

Elizabeth Ellis has been telling tales of heroic women, the Appalachian foothills and the great expanse of Texas, along with her personal stories, for more than 25 years.
Her storytelling journey has taken her from her bustling hometown of Dallas, Texas, as far away as New Zealand and many places in between.
Ellis was selected as a Listener’s Choice at the 30th Annual National Storytelling Festival in 2002 and has been a storyteller-in-residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tenn. She was also the first recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award, presented annually by the Tejas Storytelling Association to the person who has contributed the most toward the art of storytelling in the Southwest, and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Settle into a Family Show at Maple Woods!

Northland Family Concert

Where: MCC-Maple Woods Campus Center
When: Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. – noon
Cost: FREE
Featuring: Bobby Norfolk

Cereal bowls are in the sink and Saturday morning cartoons are over, but not to worry! There’s still a family show to take in at Maple Woods.

Bobby Norfolk, former host of children’s shows “Gator Tales” and “Children’s Theatre at Bobby’s House,” has a fun-filled hour of entertainment lined up for the whole family.

P.S. Bring the big kids, too – storytelling is great entertainment for all ages.

Regional Storytelling Spotlight: Marilyn Kinsella

A native of Fairview Heights, IL, Marilyn Kinsella is a freelance, travelling storyteller, and has been at it since 1981. Her favorite stories to tell are folktales, many from different cultures but most from the stories circulated in her small, Midwestern hometown.

Check out her Web site: Marilyn "Taleypo" Kinsella

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Jamie Mayo

After working in the Youth Service department of the Kansas City Public Libraries for many years, Jamie is well-suited to telling stories to kids of all ages. She tells tales of heroes and scoundrels and the everyday folks in between. In addition to being an annual participant in the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Jamie also volunteers to serve on the steering committee for the event.

Location, Location, Location!

Planning on attending several events? Here's a list of locations for storytelling performances in the KC Metro area.

Kansas City, Missouri, Public Libraries

Bluford Branch
3050 Prospect Ave, Kansas City MO

Central Branch
14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO

Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
4801 Main St, Kansas City, MO
816-701-3481, ext 3

Southeast Branch
63rd St & Swope Pkwy, Kansas City, MO

Trails West Branch
11401 E 23rd St, Independence, MO

Waldo Branch
201 E 75th St, Kansas City, MO

Westport Branch
118 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO

Mattie Rhodes Art Center
915 W 17th St, Kansas City, MO

MCC-Maple Woods Campus Center
2601 NE Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO

Mid-Continent Public Library
Lee’s Summit Branch
150 NW Oldham Parkway, Lee Summit, MO

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
1616 E 18th Street, Kansas City, MO

Primitivo Garica Elemtary School
1000 17th St, Kansas City, MO
Sponsored by: Irene H. Ruiz Bibloteca de las Americas

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Molly Postlewait

Molly Postlewait is a storyteller from the far-away metropolis of Cleveland, MO. She has designed and presented programs for Arkansas State Parks, Missouri Department of conservation and the International School of Frankfurt Germany.  Have your imagination captured with animal tales, living history presentations and childhood favorites. Molly leaves her audiences inspired and entertained!
Visit her website here.

Regional Storyteller Spotlight: Gary Kuntz

Local storyteller Gary Kuntz has been entertaining audiences of all ages for more than 10 years. Humorous, inspirational and personal stories highlight his view of the world as he shares the spoken word with preschoolers through senior citizens. In addition to being an annual participant in the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, Gary volunteers to serve on the steering committee for the event each year.

Olga Loya performing "Washing Machine"

Check out the video of storyteller Olga Loya!

Olga will be featured at several of our events this year, including Day of the Dead and Altar Stories; Ghosts in the Night Sky; and the Storytelling Spectacular.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rakugo! Japanese Storytelling

Storytelling is an ancient and international art - this is rakugo, an example from the Far East. The origin of this type of performance - wherein a single storyteller relays a comedic story from a small stage, always in a seiza sitting position with few props and limited movement - dates back to 13th century feudal Japan.

The stories, which are complex and always involve dialogue between one or more characters, are kind of like a sitcom, where one actor plays all the parts.

Most rakugo are, obviously, performed in Japanese, but this is an English version for your enjoyment:

Featured Storyteller Spotlight: Olga Loya

Influenced by the lively but often true tales of her father and grandmother, Olga Loya embraces the rich storytelling tradition that was very much a part of her childhood growing up in East Los Angeles. Her family and person stories often explore the complexity of growing up and living as a bicultural person – Mexican and American – in the United States of today and yesterday.
Loya uses stories as a way of examining themes like healing, racism, and multiculturalism. She incorporates a variety of performance styles, including improvisation, movement and dance, song, and instruments. In addition to storytelling before all types of audiences, Loya also performs one-woman theater pieces and has written a book, “Momentos Mágicos (Magic Moments),” which won the Aesop Accolade in 1998, the International Reading Association Award for young adults and an America’s Commendation for young adults.