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Wednesday
Jul292015

A New Storytelling Endeavor 

Such fabulous news!  For years people have been talking about starting an annual storytelling festival within the Washington DC metro area - but despite brave, indeed brilliant, attempts it has never happened - until now!  I am thrilled to announce the First Annual Capitol Area Storytelling Festival that will be held November 13th and 14th 2015, at Washington ArtWorks in Rockville, MD

The tellers are Donald Davis - the first time he has performed in the DC area for several years.  Thank goodness we have wooed him back!; Geraldine Buckley ​(me!); Sheila Arnold Jones​ - fresh from being a New Voice Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival; Dr. Mike Lockett​ - straight off the plane from what is sure to be yet another highly acclaimed storytelling trip through Taiwan and China; and Anne Thomas​ - winner of the second Jonesborough Story Slam competition, and heard on The Moth and other storytelling podcasts.

There will be stories for children; stories for adults; true tales; folk tales; tall tales; tales with music; tales with singing; hilarious tales; thoughtful tales; life-changing stories.  As well as all that there will be Anne's one woman show; and a late night story slam with lucrative cash prizes. 

I am so excited!

Let me tell you how it came about.  Washington ArtWorks is a fabulously creative nonprofit organization that houses 56 visual artists, and the Washington School of Photography.  After I talked with them, they agreed that adding a storytelling component would be a perfect fit as it will harness a third type of image: pictures that are heard.  So they asked me to organize an annual festival; and an ongoing storytelling school that will come under my new company Story Speak.  Be still my beating heart!

I used to be an events director at the largest PR agency in London, England.  I am a storyteller and communicator who loves to perform, but who also genuinely loves to teach others. I am beyond delighted that these different streams of my life are flowing together in a new way.

There are dreams to have a regular storytelling show highlighting local storytellers as well as concerts and workshops with nationally known names.  There are dreams to give pro bono workshops for groups who are marginalized, but whose stories need to be heard; and to use stories to help prevent young people being incarcerated.  (My prison chaplain's hat is never far from my head.)  These are dreams for the future.  Hopefully the not too far distant future.

For the moment there are definite plans to have story workshops for beginners; a series of classes for those who want a deeper knowledge of storytelling including creating and polishing stories; and workshops aimed at harnessing the power of storytelling for nonprofits and businesses.  I am talking to several excellent teachers who are excited to be part of this endeavor.

Our first classes start this September.  I will be posting more information in the next few days.  But for now, bookmark November 13th and 14th; plan to be at the festival; and then rejoice with me!

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