Things to Note in Discussing a First Time Storytelling Event within a Park System

Producer: Bev Twillmann (,

(This is once the site has been selected and permission gotten from presenting agency)

Decide immediately if this is a free and open to the public event (preferred).

State the goal of the event.  Just why do you want to have it and who is it going to benefit?

If held outside (preferred) what is the back up plan should the weather not corporate?

(Rental tents (good to have regardless of the weather), indoor buildings big enough to handle large crowds, etc.).

Visit the selected site.

Make note of space both for stage (electricity near for sound system use?) and for audience.  What type of parking is available?  Will audience sit on ground, on chairs they bring, or on blankets, etc.?  Will bathroom facilities handle the size crowd that might come, or will port-a-potties be necessary?  What type of stage is available – a wagon, portable stage, natural or built amphitheater, etc?

Discuss dates for event and why some dates are better than others.

Make sure no competing local events will be happening on date selected. (You get more PR as well as more attendance this way).

Is there full staff on date selected and will they be available for parking, security, crowd control, etc?

Discuss sponsorship with presenting agency.

  • Local newspapers (good for PR but usually not for money).  Feature stories better than paid ads; they’re free and more folk read them (have to find the hook).
  • Local TV/radio stations (again, good for PR but usually no funds given)
  • New businesses in area
  • Established businesses in area.

Discuss set up of event.

Main event on a Saturday.

Family olio in early or late afternoon, depending on other activities that could  be offered to the public (concert, craft folk set up, organized hikes, etc.)

Could offer teacher workshops for inservice credit at low cost to local educators.

Ghost Stories in the evening when dark sets in.

1st half family friendly, 2nd half more intense.

Secondary events at community outreach sites in day(s) prior to main event.

Tellers to visit in: schools, senior centers, nursery schools, libraries, etc.

*(This brings the Park into the community and is excellent PR for main event bringing community into the Park)

Author’s Bio:

Being raised by parents who placed a high value on being creative, sharing of stories, and constantly learning, it is not surprising that Bev Twillmann has chosen to weave storytelling and the story technique into her career with the interpretive process. While traveling the nation in her youth and visiting numerous National Parks, historic sites and museums, she began to realize her father’s tales about these sites were much more interesting than the lecturing programs she had heard at the locations they’d stopped at during the day. He helped make her actually experience with all her senses the history, the people, and the artifacts that they’d seen. He shared the stories behind the facts, and in doing so, motivated Bev who was lucky enough to share his time.

As an educator both in the classroom and in the interpretive field, Bev too has taken this natural process of communication and brought forth factual information to a listening audience with great success. All the workshops she presents are based on the story behind the facts; the techniques of a story being the key to maintaining interest and motivation for persons of all ages.

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