We are the National Storytelling Network, of course, but the reach of NSN extends beyond the borders of the USA. Associations through the NSN board and members can connect us to many kinds of storytelling adventures. California Liaison Ed Lewis tells about a storytelling trip to Europe, which he says was “Simply spectacular!”
This past summer I traveled through Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The first evening I arrived in Amsterdam I told a 20-minute story at a local club. Mezrab, that was full with about 100 people mostly in their 20’s and 30’s. Six locals had signed up to tell a story and none of them had any experience doing this. It was very refreshing to hear stories from a younger crowd. One powerful story came from a Syrian Refugee who had escaped his town after ISIS had captured the town and killed many of his family members. Another 26-year-old world exploring backpacker from Canada told a funny and interesting story about his adventures in Indonesia. He had never told a story before in a venue and is a “natural” storyteller. I met with him after the show and gave him information about the international storytelling community.
In Sonderberg, Denmark, my accomplished folk musician and singing traveling partner and I performed for children and adults at a house concert in the housing co-op where we lodged. (We found the person we stayed with through couchsurfing.com. )
NSN board member, Marilyn McPhie connected me with an amazing storyteller in Sweden, Laurina Bergquist). She is an English Language Teacher at 13 classes and I was able to tell stories to a second grade and 5th-grade classroom. I was scheduled to tell stories at a bookstore in Malmo, Sweden for a local grown-up swap group but the railroad tracks had overheated and I couldn’t get a train from Copenhagen across the water to Sweden. Laurina is the master of folktales and she took us to an amazing folktale museum for a private tour. I have never seen anything like it. Artists have recreated representations of classic folktales and the museum curator took us to through them and using the art piece as a reference, told the folktale. Simply spectacular!!!!