Virtual Conference Registration

The National Storytelling Network is excited to announce our first ever Virtual Storytelling Conference and Festival from May 31 to June 7, 2020! Special Interest Group pre-conference workshops and performances will be held on May 30.

This will feature many of the things you love about our in-person conference: workshops, performances, and social time, as well as some special things we cannot normally do, like international performances. But this year, we’re taking it all onto Zoom!

We will have some free events, such as our Annual Member Meeting and the ORACLE Awards Ceremony. Workshops, performances, and some special events will have fees.

NEW THIS YEAR: You can choose to purchase individual tickets for events, or bundled packages. Scroll down for a detailed schedule. If you are ready to register, click one of the buttons below:


***If you are receiving an error upon attempting payment, 9002 Unexpected Server Error, please contact the National Storytelling Network administrative office at 1-800-525-4514 or Please leave a message if we do not answer.

We are approaching technical difficulties with diligence so please know that we are getting back to requests as quickly as we can! We are doing our best to make sure you make it to the sessions in which you’d like to participate!**



CONNECTED is a global event, which means that we are dealing with almost every time zone on the planet! So, while this is incredibly exciting for our organization, we understand it can be a bit confusing.
All conference and festival events are listed in Central US Time (CDT). You may have seen events listed in CST – these are intended to be CDT. While in the U.S. we often use these interchangeably, we understand the confusion it has caused to our international storytellers.
To make sure you have the correct time for your local region, you can adjust the time and date with this tool: NSN is using Kansas, Missouri (CDT) for local time.


Full Schedule:

Saturday, May 30 – Pre-Conference Workshops/Performances

10:00 am CDT: Storytelling in Organizations (SIO) Pre-Conference Workshop

Double “Why”: What Russian Language Shows Us About Deep Human Connection with Artem Mushin-Makedonskiy


12:00 pm CDT: Healing Story Alliance (HSA) Pre-Conference Workshop

Developing the Oars in the Water Series

Hosted by Lani Peterson, Wally Scott, Heather Forest, and Cheryl Cofield, with Libby Tipton.


1:45 pm CDT: Lunch Break


3:00 pm CDT: Youth, Educators and Storytellers Alliance (YES) Pre-Conference Workshop

Personal Storytelling with College Students in Theory and Practice with Dr. Charles Parrott and the Kennesaw State University Tellers

Join Dr. Charles Parrott and the KSU Tellers for an afternoon of stories and exercises focused on personal narrative storytelling. The KSU Tellers, a student storytelling ensemble housed in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University, will present original stories and take workshop participants through a series of practical exercises designed to help develop personal stories. This workshop is designed for anyone looking to teach or employ methods of story creation.


5:00 pm CDT: Youth, Educators and Storytellers Alliance (YES) Youth Spotlight Performance

Family Friendly Event

Host: Lisa Overholser
Emcee: Angela Lloyd
Brought to you by the Tattletales (Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia), the Southern Crescent Storytellers (Southern Order of Storytellers Cluster Group), and the Young Tales Storytelling Program (sponsored by the Ridge and Valley Storytelling Guild)


7:00 pm CDT: Healing Story Alliance (HSA) Spotlight Performance

Event for Ages 16+

Performers: Heather Forest (Emcee), Michael McCarty, Noa Baum, Antonio Rocha, Valentina Ortiz Pandolfi, Nancy Wang, Dan Yashinsky, Laura Simms, Heather Forest (Closing song)



Sunday, May 31

11:30 am CDT: Opening

ASL Interpretation Provided
Greetings from NSN and Storytellers around the world.


12:00 pm CDT: Keynote Addresses

Event for Ages 16+

Beyond Borders with Ekansh Tambe
High School student Ekansh Tambe has visited six world borders, taking photographs and telling stories. In this brief talk, he will guide us through his experiences and what he has learned.

Ekansh loves traveling, having visited six world borders across five continents. He has been actively engaged in public speaking, educating citizens on borders and photography with a goal to promote the need to understand all perspectives. He resides in Dallas, where he is now interviewing professionals and citizens impacted by COVID 19 and photographing its physical and mental impact there.


Rivets and Girders: Building Storytelling for the Pandemic and Beyond with Elizabeth Ellis
Rivets and Girders: Building Storytelling for the Pandemic and Beyond Like it or not, storytelling is under renovation! First let’s examine the foundation for structural soundness. Then we can identify what can be salvaged and what should be scrapped.

Elizabeth Ellis thinks of herself as running an imaginary travel agency where she takes tourists into the interior of their own hearts. Trips to the underworld are her specialty. N.S.N has honored her with both the Circle of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is the author of From Plot to Narrative and Every Day A Holiday and co-author with Loren Niemi of Inviting the Wolf In.


1:45-2:30 pm CDT: Lunch Breakout Session
Q&A with Ekansh Tambe
After the keynotes, join Ekansh in this small-group Question and Answer session where we can learn even more about Ekansh and his journey.

3:00 pm CDT: NSN Member Meeting

To be held on the Zoom platform. There is no charge for the meeting but registration is required. Click here to register.


  • Meet the Board of Directors
  • Review the Organization’s Financial report for 2019
  • Learn about NSN’s programs and partnerships
  • Ask about where we are and where we are going.

(Please, submit your questions in advance to

5:00 pm CDT: Traditional Tales of Scotland with Peter Vallance, Heather Yule, David Campbell, Janis Mackay, Mairi Campbell, David Francis

Event for Ages 10+

Scotland has a rich heritage of Folk Tales many of which have come down to us through the Scottish Travelling People who are the custodians of a rich oral tradition. Many of our tellers have learned these stories directly through this tradition and will pass them on “eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart”. Between the tales, we will be weaving songs and music. Presented by the Scottish International Storytelling Festival:


“Gold in the Peats” told by Peter Vallance
“Gold in the Peats” is a story from the telling of George Peterson from the Shetland Islands. Peter’s grandfather was born in the Shetlands.
Born and raised in rural Scotland, Peter is Artistic Director of the Universal Hall within the Findhorn Community where he promotes, teaches and performs traditional and contemporary dance, music, song and story. He organizes celebrations of the Celtic Festivals and an annual Festival of Sacred Dance, Music and Song. He travels internationally teaching dance and telling stories.

“The Hunchback” told by David Campbell
Writer, poet, storyteller, broadcaster. ‘Inside everyone is a child waiting to hear or tell a story.’ My international story-tours taking the tales of our Celtic heritage along with the lore learnt from my twenty years with the legendary tinker/traveller Duncan Williamson assured me of the truth of the above quotation.

Selkie Tale told by Janis Mackay

Scottish storyteller and author, is from Edinburgh and has told stories around the world. She leads the Storyteller’s Apprenticeship at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and is currently doing a PhD on the mythology of the selkie and the Cailleach.

“Supernatural Tale” told by Heather Yule
Heather will be telling one of the supernatural tales she learned as a child from the master storyteller, and Scottish traveller, Stanley Robertson.
Heather grew up surrounded by traditional storytelling and music. Over the years she has developed her own unique way of combining storytelling with the music of the clarsach (the Scottish traditional harp). Heather has travelled throughout Scotland, and abroad, performing, teaching, and leading workshops.

Songs and Tunes by Mairi Campbell and David Francis will be interspersed between the Stories
Mairi Campbell is a musician, composer, improviser, actor and facilitator, whose work is rooted in, and draws from her personal stories and cultural concerns. David Francis is a songwriter, singer, dance caller and storyteller with a strong commitment to Scotland’s traditional culture and its place in Scottish life.
Story Titles: Mairi – Traditional Scots Song; David – Traditional Scots Ballad; Mairi and David: Auld Lang Syne (Robert Burns, arr. M. Campbell and D. Francis)


7:00 pm CDT: Northeast Regional Spotlight Performance with Tony Toledo (Emcee), Valerie Tutson, Jennifer Munro, Christopher Newcomb, Simon Brooks, Nicolette Nordin Heavey, and Tim Jennings

Event for Ages 16+


Tony Toledo, Emcee

Tony EMCEEed Speak Up Spoken World Open Mic every Wednesday for seven years in Lynn, Massachusetts. He gave each person who spoke a lucky coin wrapped in a little thank you story. With his storytelling, Tony Toledo bought his massive one tenth of an acre estate in Beverly, MA. Tony is 62 years old but reads at a 69 year old level.  Tony has more Books than common

Valerie Tutson
I have been telling stories my whole life, but began formal studies in college. I graduated from
Brown University with a self-designed major, Storytelling as A Communications Art. I then
received a Masters in Theatre Arts. I have worked as a full time storyteller since 1991,
sharing stories around the world. My work includes world folktales with an emphasis on
African traditions, African American history, stories and songs from South Africa and Bible
stories. In addition to telling stories, I offer workshops and trainings and am the director of
FUNDA FEST: A Celebration of Black Storytelling.

Standing There told by Christopher Newcomb
Chris is a storyteller, teacher, artist and sculptor. He enjoys telling true and fictional tales. Tonight’s tale, “Standing There,” is a tale of the odd sense of time we are living through with COVID-19. His collection of original stories, The People of the Sky, is available on Visit his YouTube Channel:

The Mouse Bride told by Simon Brooks
Simon has performed for over 20 years in the UK and then in the USA where he has resided since 1994. His tales and his award-winning recordings combine the intensity of solo performance with the intimacy of face-to-face conversations. Today he will be telling a story from Finland called The Mouse Bride. Find Simon at:

The Arrival told by Jennifer Munro

This is a story about a Midland Red bus, its conductor, an old man, and two children
whose anticipation and excitement ends in a sobering, new understanding of life’s realities.

Acclaimed storyteller, Jennifer Munro creates original stories that resonate with the frailty and
courage of the human condition. She has performed at major festivals across the nation,
most notably the National Festival, Tennessee, and the Timpanogos Festival, Utah. Her three
CDs are Storytelling World award winners, as is her book Aunty Lily and other Delightfully
Perverse Stories published by Parkhurst Brothers. |

Esmerelda Flies – an original story told by Nicolette Nordin Heavey
Nicolette Nordin Heavey’s storied childhood in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East influences her stories and her belief that storytelling is a pathway to world understanding. Nicolette is animated and joyful; a favorite with young children and as a teaching artist in schools. In 2012 she founded Stories in the Streets, a program combining outreach storytelling and family engagement.

Dimwit told by Tim Jennings

The husband and wife team of Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder is held by many as being one of the all-time great storytelling duos. Prior to that act’s thirty-year run, Tim spent ten years as a full time solo artist, with many performances around New England, and on Vermont Public Television. Leanne now has Alzheimer’s disease, and Tim’s full-time job as caretaker limits his ability to do shows, but tonight he shares a recent, informally recorded live performance of one of his signature solo pieces, the comic folktale, “Dimwit.” He’s been performing it for fifty years, it holds up well, and this is its recorded premiere.


9:00 pm CDT: The Owl Prince & Other Folktales From Asia with Kalah Rajesh, Wong Swee Yean, Simone Maria Sales, Sheila Wee, Jumaini Ariff, Ahn Sook Kim, Roger Jenkins, and Karen Lee

Event for Ages 16+

Enjoy eight Asian tales of courting, quarrelling, cooking and socially/cosmically distant couples who follow the beat of an Indian drum, as told by Kalah Rajesh, Wong Swee Yean, Simone Sales, Sheila Wee, Jumaini Ariff, Ahn Sook Kim, Roger Jenkins and Karen Lee. We’ve chosen stories that appeal to adults, though if they were movies, none would require age-restricted admission in Singapore!

FEAST was founded June 2018 to promote the art of oral storytelling in Asia. We have 200 members, held annual Conferences in Singapore and Bangalore (Jakarta Nov 2021) and have published two collections of Asian folktales (our 3rd on the theme of Animals will be e-published in August). Activities include monthly webinars by leading tellers, both Asian and international, and online monthly swaps. Presented by the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST).


The Boy Who Wanted a Drum told by Kalah Rajesh
A traditional story from India in which a poor boy’s generosity in sharing his good fortune eventually leads to unexpected happiness.

Kalah possesses valuable experience as an educator in both mainstream and special needs schools. Has an enthusiastic attitude to provide differentiated learning strategies through play and storytelling. She is a theatre artiste, TV host, Storyteller , facilitator and edutainer.

The Lady of the Moon told by Wong Swee Yean
Chinese legend: a beautiful girl lives on the moon. Each lunar month, as it brightens, Chinese think of the tragic love between Chang’e and Houyi.

Wong Swee Yean was a school teacher and told stories to entertain and educate. Gradually, she moved on to telling stories professionally. Swee Yean has performed stories for Singapore heritage programmes and conducted storytelling workshops for education, advocacy and change. Recently, she worked with senior citizens to using storytelling as a path of discovery and healing. | |

Tungkung Langit and Alunsina told by Simone Maria Sales
A myth from Panay, Visayas about the two gods in the title, a husband and wife and how a domestic spat results in the world as we know it!

Simone Maria Sales is a Filipino storyteller and spoken word poet with a background in anthropology. She teaches by day and makes art by night. She is FEAST’s newest Young Storyteller.

A Taste of Honey told by Sheila Wee
A legend from Vietnam.

Sheila is a Singaporean professional storyteller with more than 20 years’ experience. Because of her work to pioneer the movement to revive the use of storytelling, she has been described as a Godmother of Singapore storytelling. Sheila is a director of two storytelling non-profit organisations, Story Connection and the Federation of Asian Storytellers. |

The Owl Misses the Moon told by Jumaini Ariff
How far would you go for love? A celestial romance between Owl Prince and Moon Princess is complicated by jasmine in this folktale from Malaysia.

Jumaini Ariff is a published author and well-known for her storytelling persona; ‘Nek Selampit’. She heads Storyscribblers which provides quality literary workshops for students and preschool educators in 2017, Jumaini became the first storyteller to be appointed as a Language Ambassador, by the Malay Language Council Singapore.

The Hunter’s Wife told by Ahn Sook Kim
A man-eating tiger, an axe-wielding wife . . . and a salt-peddler accidentally caught in the middle, makes for a powerful story of love and devotion.

Ahn sook helped to organize Korean First International Storytelling Festival in Korea (2018/2019)

How to Find the Perfect Wife! told by Roger Jenkins
A story from Thailand which is a recipe for so much more than fish soup!

Roger is a Singaporean who started telling in 1998 after teaching drama and creating theatre. An award-winning poet (Singapore Literature Prize 1995) he won the Best Storyteller Award at the 2013 Kanoon Int’l story Festival (Iran). Founder of the 398.2 Storytelling Festival (2015) and Director of the Federation of Asian Storytellers, and Story Connection, which promotes the local story community. |

The Kitchen God told by Karen Lee
He is one of many gods in Chinese folklore. This story tells how the Kitchen God came to reside in homes – and what he reports to the Jade Enmperor.

Karen has been a featured storyteller in storytelling festivals in Singapore, India and Penang. She tells stories to a wide audience from 3 to 60 and beyond. Her storytelling experiences include telling stories to children with special needs to seniors in eldercare centres. Her natural, lively and interactive storytelling style captures the hearts of her audiences both young and old.


Monday, June 1

8:00 – 9:30 am CDT Breakfast/Coffee Social Time

10:00 am CDT: Folktales of India with C. Mangalam Senthil, Deeptha Vivekanand, Jeeva Raghunathan, Lopa Mudra Mohanty, Usha Venkatraman, and Vikram Sridhar

India with its numerous states and varied cultures, has folktales beyond imagination Kalatta Kalatta promotes and nurtures Indian culture and heritage through stories. We will be presenting Indian folktales to give a glimpse of Mother India.

Kathai Kalatta is an initiative to revive the age old Indian tradition of story telling from homes to the public space. Our strength is that we have showcased international story tellers to the Indian public over the last six years consistently. Our extremely talented 40 plus tellers from across the globe have entertained over 50000 people in these six years across India. Presented by Kathai Kalatta.


Checkmate # Iam Savitri told by Lopa Mudra Mohanty
It’s a Mythology. Savitri ( heroin) a strong woman who negotiates with the Death God “Yamaraj” and places Him in a checkmate position!

Lopamudra Mohanty is the Founder of BBW Education Pvt Ltd. aka Big Buddy World which provides a Reading and Storytelling programme for children and adults. She is a Professional Storyteller and a Certified Phonics Trainer. She uses Indian mythology, epic and legends and weaves it into a contemporary tale as oral storytelling and also as performance storytelling.

The Mysterious Oils told by Usha Venkatraman
A Folktale from Bengal. The story examines ‘Time’ as the greatest healer.

Fearless princesses, beautiful cockroach with a street smart granny, wonderfully quirky kings and queens – this is the world of Usha Venkatraman, an award-winning International performance storyteller, educationist and classical vocalist from Mumbai India, who weaves magic with her words. Her puppetry skills make her tales fascinating.

Keeping A Secret Is Not Easy told by Vikram Sridhar
A young lad discovers a pot of gold while going to the market to sell a buffalo. How does his mother react? Can she keep this a secret?

Through folktales, he is trying to discover our rich heritage of Oral literature and tradition which is slowly being lost and just sitting in books. He believes in storytelling as a strong medium of conservation from nature to human relationships. |

The Heroine of Ramayana told by C. Mangalam Senthil
Do you know who the real “Heroine” of Ramayana is?? Not Sita ! Listen to this beautiful story to find out!!!

C.Mangalam Senthil is a StoryEnthusiast, Tedx Speaker, Abundance Consciousness Practitioner, founder of KathaKuteeram. She strongly believes that everyone steps into a world of possibilities with stories. She is vibrant when she shares or listens to stories.

The Wrestler’s Daughter told by Deeptha Vivekanand
The Wrestler’s Daughter is a tall tale in which a young woman, through sheer physical strength, is able to overcome the challenges.

Deeptha Vivekanand has been telling stories for a decade.Deeptha loves to tell stories about stories, strong women, and political satire.

Fish Curry told by Jeeva Raghunathan
How a wife outsmarts her husband using her wits and wisdom.

Thanks to her genes and her joint family that taught her stories, storytelling, story sharing comes naturally to Jeeva.Her expressive voice and her big eyes added colour to her personality and her telling. Her voice and connect with the audience is par excellence! |


12:00 pm CDT: Workshop
One World of Stories: Celebrating Diversity and Commonality Through Folktales with Heather Forest
This storytelling workshop for beginning and burgeoning storytellers offers practical insights into researching and performing multicultural folktales. Participants will explore how to shape and share folktale repertoire that respectfully reflects both the uniqueness of cultural heritage and the universality of human experience.

Heather Forest is a modern-day bard. Her multicultural folktale books and musical storytelling recordings have won numerous awards and she has been featured at major storytelling festivals throughout the United States and abroad. A pioneer in the American storytelling renaissance, she is a recipient of NSN’s Circle of Excellence Award.

1:45 pm Lunch Breakout Session: Q&A with Elizabeth Ellis

3:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Welcoming the Other with Jim Brulé
This workshop manifests the theme of “engagement through empathy.” It starts with a highly interactive exercise designed to evoke a strong, empathic response to being “outside” – invoking motivation to action. It then provides storytellers with the specific tools and techniques they require to adapt this method to their own issues and communities. Dialogue and collaboration are used throughout.

Jim Brulé is a Maggid – a transformational storyteller. His stories and students span the globe; his online storytelling school has been operating for years. Stories filled with challenge and mysticism fill his repertoire as he inspires his audience to change. Jim believes that the right kinds of stories told with an open heart can be the basis for healing the rifts within us and between us.


5:00 pm CDT: National Spotlight: Asian American Storytelling Showcase

Event for Ages 10+

Experience the diverse faces and stories of the Asian American diaspora. Our stories will transport you across the continent of Asia and bring you back to America for an intimate view of the Asian experience through folk, personal, and historical tales. Presented by Asian Storytellers in Unity and hosted by Joel Ying.


More Than a Box told by Joel Ying
When you grow up between two worlds, which one do you belong to? A personal story of cultural identity and fitting in.

Physician-Educator-Storyteller, Dr. Joel Ying shares his passion for storytelling as a performance art, community art, and healing art. He practices holistic medicine in Naples, Florida, and teaches “Storytelling as Healing.” From folk tales to personal stories, his storytelling bridges traditional and modern. President of the Florida Storytelling Association, he performs and hosts story circles.

Strong Boy told by Karin Amano
Strong Boy – A superhero boy of mysterious origins has amazing adventures on his way to do battle against an ogre.

A native of Japan, Karin trained in Japanese traditional theatre before studying educational theatre at NYU. In New York she performed in numerous plays, a dance troupe, and taught acting/dance summer camps. A full-time storyteller and actor at Walt Disney World for 11 years, she now performs annually at
Epcot’s Japan Pavilion.  Last year she performed at the National Storytelling Festival.

The Maestro told by Eleanor Clement Glass
When asked if anyone can control or orchestrate what happens to their family after they die, my mother answered with an emphatic YES! and she did it!

Eleanor Clement Glass delights children with folktales from around the world as a volunteer storyteller at the Asian Art Museum and teaching artist in the Oakland Public Schools. Filipina and African- American, she also shares personal family stories. In 2019 she joined Ethnohtec’s international Storytelling Tour, exchanging good will and stories with local storytellers in China and South Korea.

Krishna and the Serpent told by Roopa Mohan
From the Hindu God Krishna’s childhood, there is danger lurking in the depths of the Yamuna River. Can the young cowherd Krishna solve the problem?

Roopa Mohan trained as a volunteer storyteller for school groups at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco where she tells stories of objects in the museum’s collection. Expanding her repertoire, she now shares personal stories along with myths and legends from growing up in South India. She enjoys enhancing her stories, especially from Hindu myths, with dance mudras (gestures) and regional songs.

The Bugler and the Pilot told by Alton Takiyama-Chung
Richard Fiske was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This is his journey to forgiveness and healing, and his solemn promise to a former enemy.

Japanese-Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung, grew up with the superstitions and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands.  He tells stories of Hawaii, of WWII Japanese-Americans, and Asian folktales and has performed at the Timpanogas, the National Storytelling Festivals, and at international storytelling festivals.  He also is a former Chairman of the Board of Directors for NSN. Website: | Facebook: Alton Chung | Instagram: takiyama_chung

7:00 pm CDT: South Central Regional Spotlight Concert with Lisa Overholser (host), Priscilla Howe, Jim Two Crows Wallen, Bobby Norfolk, David Titus, Donna Ingham, and Tim Tingle 

Event for Ages 10+

The storytellers of the South Central Region represent the diversity of their origins and cultures with a range of stories from history to tall tale, from ancient folktale to personal saga. The South Central Region of NSN is comprised of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Lisa Overholser is the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Director, and an MU Extension Community Arts Specialist. Previously, she was a Director of Programs at the New York Folklore Society. She has degrees in folklore, ethnomusicology, and music, and loves listening to a good story.


Hodja Tales From Bulgaria told by Priscilla Howe
Several short folktales about the trickster Nasruddin Hodja, collected in Bulgaria and translated by Priscilla.

Priscilla Howe, a full-time storyteller since 1993, travels the world (14 countries and counting) with a headful of stories for all ages. She’s primarily known as a performer for children but has a full repertoire of personal stories, folktales and literary stories for grownups. She lives in Lawrence, KS. Priscilla is always looking for the best restaurant pie on earth. | |

Hugh Glass told by Jim Two Crows Wallen
The amazing true history of a ship captain, a pirate, a captured prisoner of the Pawnee Indians, mauled by a grizzly bear. One man: Hugh Glass.

Jim Two Crows Wallen has been presenting historical programs since 1980. He is a National, Regional, and Local winner of many awards for his storytelling, historically accurate clothing, and artifacts. Two Crows has been featured at National Festivals, Corporate America, schools, state parks, historical and genealogy societies. His career has included programs in 46 states and 4 continents.

Superman of Enright Street told by Bobby Norfolk
Bobby tells a humorous personal story in his inimitable style.

Bobby Norfolk is an award-winning storyteller, teaching artist and author from St. Louis, Missouri. He is well known for his high energy performances, lively animation, and unique sound effects. He has been performing throughout the United States and worldwide for over 40 years, and has written several books for children and adults. People describe Bobby’s style as an adventure story come to life! |

Telling and Showing How We Live Through Words and String told by David Titus
David collected these tales from Alaskan native peoples (Aleut, Athabaskan, Inuit) who illustrated the stories with string figures while telling!

Born 1930’s the old ways. Mother keeper of family stories. Father campfire teller. Dave, children’s librarian, teller of whole world of stories. Discovered string stories. His new passion took him to 7 Continents, 49 countries, 48 Alaska villages. Collected, wrote, published, taught strings to over 1 million children and adults.

The Swamp Fox told by Donna Ingham
You may think Donna’s story is true, but she swears it’s an original lie. Can we believe that?

Tale teller and author Donna Ingham takes the ancient art of storytelling and gives it a Texas twist as she shares folklore, historical stories, personal narratives, tall tales, and outright lies. Thrice named the Biggest Liar in Texas, she is, truly, also the recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award and a National Storytelling Network ORACLE Regional Excellence Award. | |

How’m I S’posed to Know? told by Tim Tingle
Tim’s original narrative is a Kandinsky of growing-up-to-present-day stories, taken from his lifedom.

An Oklahoma Choctaw, Tim Tingle is an award-winning storyteller and author of 21 books. Sharing children’s and grown-up stories of Native American lore — accented by drum and flute — he reaches audiences at all levels of schools, universities, and recently at the 2019 National Storytelling Festival. Tim’s books received NSN’s Talking Leaves ORACLE award.


Tuesday, June 2

10:00 am CDT: Performance: A Showcase of Social Justice Stories with Susan O’Halloran (Emcee), Sheila Arnold, Laura Packer, Archy Jamjun, Dovie Thomason, Jasmin Cardenas, Rives Collins, Diane Ferlatte, and Arif Choudhury

Event for Ages 16+

Can stories make a difference in how we see the world and each other? Come hear a sample of social justice stories by eight diverse tellers whose repertoires include stories that artfully raise awareness and motivate action about pressing social issues.

Author, Sue O’Halloran, has appeared on PBS and ABC Nightline. She is producer/director of The site houses over 250 video stories dealing with race and transformation. Sue began her collaboration with the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in 1995 producing videos and discussion/resource guides to help make “liberty and justice for all” (finally) a reality.

A Black American Son’s Survival Lessons told by Sheila Arnold

A frantic call from Sheila Arnold’s son during his freshmen year in college turns into a moment to remember all that she had to teach him about growing up black, and what he had learned about crossing bridges in spite of people’s perceptions.

Sheila Arnold has been gifted by God with performance skills; using this talent since she was eight years old. Since 2003 she has been a full-time Storyteller traveling through the United States and sharing a variety of stories, as well as doing Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, Coaching and Workshops.

Because I’m Jewish Doesn’t Mean I Have Horns told by Laura Packer

At 14, storyteller Laura visited friends living in the rural south and encountered negative assumptions about Judaism for the first time.

Laura Packer knows the best way to truth is a good story; she has told, taught, coached, consulted and considered storytelling globally. She is committed to great storytelling, helping others tell their stories and change the world. Laura has won multiple awards including the Oracle Award. She is the author of From Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story.

The Importance of Representation on Our Stages told by Rives Collins

Rives Collins recalls his work directing plays for children and how, through them, he learns the importance of representation on our stages and the significance of role models for our children.

Rives Collins is an acclaimed professional storyteller (ORACLE AWARD, National Storytelling Network), and works with full faith that planting stories in the world is a bit like the work of Johnny Appleseed. He is the chair of the theatre department at Northwestern University (JOHNNY SALDAÑA OUTSTANDING PROFESSOR OF THEATRE EDUCATION).

I Am Tall for a Chinese Person told by Archy Jamjun

A server navigates the sometimes subtle and sometimes blunt racial comments he receives while working at a restaurant.

Archy Jamjun is the curator of Outspoken LGBTQ stories at Sidetrack and a co-producer at Story Jam. He is a two-time winner of The Moth Grand Slam and has been published by The Rhumpus and Barrel House.

A Simple Story about History and Life Beyond Survival told by Dovie Thomason

Dovie weaves history within her narratives to engage listeners in the context of her life experiences as Native American. What happens when a narrative is described both as “massacre” and “victory”? Are we responsible for our ancestors’ actions?

Dovie Thomason learned Indian stories from her Apache and Lakota relatives and has performed throughout the U. S. and internationally in schools, libraries, conferences, powwows, and festivals. She is a winner of the Parent’ Choice Gold Award, Storytelling World Honors Award, and the American Library Association/Booklist Editor’s Choice Award for her recordings of traditional Native stories.

To Live or Not Live in La Villita, Chicago told by Jasmin Cardenas

Jasmin struggles with where to live: a culturally vibrant, but unsafe Mexican American community -or- a picturesque middle-class neighborhood where her son might be the only brown boy on the block.

Jasmin Cardenas is a bilingual storyteller, arts educator, arts activist and life-long Chicagoan. Proud daughter of Colombian immigrants, Jasmin shares stories to build bridges. She is over-joyed to debut as a New Voice at this years’ 2020 National Storytelling Festival. Keep up with her at or

Just Not Muslim Enough told by Arif Choudhury

Sometimes we forget about the diversity that exists within a faith and within a family. In this story, Arif is reminded of how he is different from some of the relatives in his Muslim family.

Arif Choudhury is a storyteller, filmmaker, and stand-up comic who shares a tapestry of stories about growing up in one of the Chicago area’s few Bangladeshi-Muslim families. Focusing on issues of ethnic and religious identity, immigration, assimilation and diversity, Choudhury explores the humor in how we think about and relate to one another.

You Never Know What the End Will Be told by Diane Ferlatte

In 1972 Diane marries “outside her race” and her mother-in-law refuses to attend the wedding, among other things. What happens to the family’s relationship afterward is anyone’s guess. A story of hope and a reminder that love conquers many things.

Grammy nominated international storyteller Diane Ferlatte, is a multi-award winning performer, who for over thirty years has wowed audiences across six continents in over twenty countries. While emphasizing the history, struggles, and triumphs of the African American experience she also loves to tell stories that hold truths touching upon our common humanity.


12:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Social Justice Stories: Edutainment at Its Best with Susan O’Halloran, Noa Baum, Nancy Donoval, Charlotte Blake Alston and Judith Black

You have something to say in a story, but how do you say it without sounding too pushy, opinionated or downright boring? Noa Baum, Nancy Donoval, Charlotte Blake Alston and Judith Black join Sue O’Halloran for a panel discussion exploring the craft of social justice stories. How do you combine education and entertainment into social justice stories that respect, enlighten and emotionally move your audiences? This session is perfect for non-profit and organizational leaders, ministers and storytellers of all experience levels.

Author, Sue O’Halloran, has appeared on PBS and ABC Nightline and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune. Sue teaches Diversity & Inclusion seminars and webinars around the country for corporations and nonprofits. She is producer/director of which houses over 250 video stories dealing with social justice.

1:45 pm CDT Lunch Meet & Greet with Storytelling in Organizations

3:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Stories for Social Change: Mobilizing Narratives to Cultivate Agency & Social Entrepreneurship in Global Development with Sara Surani

This session explores how storytelling can cultivate agency, inspire entrepreneurship, and improve development outcomes. Based on workshops with youth in the Amazon, this workshop equips participants with how to facilitate and sustain storytelling workshops in a community, and steps required to mobilize these stories to encourage empathy and reduce disconnect between programs and people’s needs.

Sara Surani is a storytelling enthusiast fascinated with using public narratives to empower individuals and mobilize communities to create social impact in communities around the world. Sara has explored storytelling through leading workshops for youth in remote communities in the Peruvian Amazon, and has previous experience working with health and education in the US, Nicaragua, and Tanzania.


5:00 pm CDT: Voices From Latin America with Tania Castro Gonzales, Natalia Dávila (Supay Warmi), Maria Elisa Palacios, Valentina Ortiz, and Jennifer Boni

Family Friendly Event

Voices of Latin America weaves the stories of popular and ancient tradition of Ecuador, Colombia, México and Peru. Five women of great experience in the storytelling world of their regions, will unite their words to salute Mother Earth from the ancient knowledge of the Andes and Aztec people, give voice to the wise women of the indigenous worlds and honor their African heritage.

Zazanilli Cuentos is an organization that seeks to give voice to the silent ones. Since 2007, we take stories to excluded communities of Mexico. We offer the healing of social networking through the construction of community stories. We have accompanied many groups. We have written books and put together storytelling shows with these; we have taken their stories out into the world. Presented by Zazanilli Cuentos A.C.


Sacred Mother told by Tania Castro Gonzales
From the Quechua indigenous tradition, a special seed gives life to a magical grandmother who speaks of purpose of life and gratefulness.

Tania Castro is recognized as a Patrimony Storyteller, a Community Organizer and a Theater Director. She specializes in presenting folk stories from the Peruvian oral tradition. She comes from a family storytelling tradition. She has participated in Storytelling Festivals in all 5 continents, a total of 16 different countries. | | |

Fermented Stories From the South told by Natalia Dávila (Supay Warmi)
An indigenous woman inherited her grandmother’s recipe for the sacred beverage from the Ecuadorian Andes, with the “chicha”, great ancient stories.

Natalia creates and shares stories based on South American legends and traditions, related to food, music, and the ancestral view of the world. She is Production Coordinator of the cultural collective Quito Eterno, founded in 2002, that specializes in promoting the tales and secrets of the capital of Ecuador.

Solia, the Cunning told by Maria Elisa Palacios
Soila works for the rich man; life has taught her to be cunning and get out of any kind of trouble. It is a story of Afrocolombian oral tradition.

Storyteller, writer, engineer in water management and a dreamer, her family is from the coastal area of the Pacific Region of Colombia. Through Maria´s voice speaks the ancestral oral tradition of her mother and grandparents. She won the Colombia National University Storytelling Festival 2016. She is Artistic Director of the International Women’s Storyteller Festival of Cali- Colombia.

Nonantzin, Mother Earth told by Valentina Ortiz
Nonantzin, Mother Earth, has given birth to many wonders; her last brings gifts for humans. The man and the woman are grateful and so they dance.

Valentina speaks the ancient Aztec/Mexicah wisdom as well as the modern stories of Mexico. As a storyteller and a musician she has traveled the world; has published 4 books and produced 4 records with her original stories and music. She is the founder and director of Zazanilli Cuentos A.C. and has worked communal healing through storytelling and music, since 2007.

Shushu told by Jennifer Boni
A Chilean mapuche girl is transformed into a skeleton. With the help of the animals, she recovers her body and many other teachings.

Jennifer Boni is a storyteller and children’s author. Born in United States, she has lived in Mexico since she was nine, and for the last fifteen years. In 2008 she and her husband traveled through Latin America for thirteen months, collecting folktales. These stories became a show which won the government grant for storytellers that year.


7:00 pm CDT: North Central Regional Spotlight Performance 

Event for Ages 10+

Emceed by Megan Wells
My Michael told by Julie McGhee
A family story of my great-grandparents’ coming to America.
Julie McGhee is a teller, a writer and collector of tales both old and new for all ages. Tales she tells will come from Ohio, the Midwest and the world especially the Celtic lands. She has been an active member of Storytellers of Central Ohio for almost 20 years as well as other storytelling groups.
The Amazing Affair of the Steamboat Galusha and the Feathered Pigs told by Darrin Crow
Darrin Crow tells powerful, imaginative, engaging stories that keep audiences on the edge of their seats and stick with them long after the tale ends. Whether in a classroom, museum, festival, art fair, or ancient Greek amphitheater, Darrin crafts stories that deliver exactly what the listeners need.
Happily Ever After told by Jeff Doyle
Jeff started telling stories to kids around the campfire. He takes great joy in finding stories and humor in everyday life and crafts stories that evoke both audience laughter and tears. His ability to draw listeners into his world makes his performances both compelling and memorable.
Starlight told by Richard Rousseau
Richard Rousseau’s stories have been said to linger long after they have been told. Richard was recently inducted into the Mayville, N.D. State University Performing Arts Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award for Creative Excellence in the North Central Region.
The Feast told by Sadarri Saskill
Sadarri Saskill is a Chicago-born writer, educator, and multilingual storyteller who has presented performances, workshops, and residencies worldwide for audiences of all ages. She is part of a vivacious family of teaching artists that brings a unique blend of language, music, movement, and humor to their high-demand interactive programs! 2019 recipient of Wisconsin’s Lucy Beck Storytelling Award.
Homeward told by Beth Horner
Beth’s work is “heartfelt, articulate and truthful.” She is an NSN Circle of Excellence Oracle Award recipient and 38-year touring storyteller, coach, teacher, and consultant. Her performances include national and international storytelling festivals, Starlight Educational Foundation of Taiwan, Lyrics and Lore: Songwriters & Storytellers at Dollywood, and NASA among others.


Wednesday, June 3

8:00 – 9:30 am CDT: Breakfast/Coffee Social Time

Come share lockdown stories. Hosted by Jennifer Pahl Otto

10:00 am CDT: Around the World in 90 Minutes with Beatriz Montero, Richard Martin, Geeta Ramanujam, Michael Kerins, María Gómez de la Torre, Janet Dowling, and Richard Marsh

Family Friendly Event

Presented by the International Storytelling Network, Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos (RIC), which brings together 1,351 storytellers from 61 countries. Our objectives: connect storytellers from all cultures, revitalise libraries and schools, encourage reading, disseminate traditional and contemporary literature, and promote storytelling through articles and publications.


The Stair told by Beatriz Montero
A fun children’s story that happens up and down a stair.

From Spain. General coordinator and founder of the International Storytelling Network (RIC). She has books published for children and adults in Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has told stories in 22 countries on 6 continents. Beatriz is broadcast daily on television in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Chile. Her YouTube channel has over 500 video stories.

The Wounded Selkie told by Richard Martin
A tale of hate, revenge, forgiveness, reconciliation and understanding.

UK/Germany. Richard travels the world hearing and telling folk tales, as well as leading workshops. More than 100 stories are in his free video gallery. Over 30 years a language teacher, many of his tales have teaching ideas.

The Mountain’s Tale told by Geeta Ramanujam
From India, about the relationship between a mountain and a storyteller bird.

From India. A Master Storyteller, Trainer and Academician and the founding Director of Kathalaya’s International Academy of Storytelling, offering Certified courses. For the past 24 years she has travelled to over 43 countries with her performances and trained over 85,000 people in the art. She is an Ashoka fellow and a coordinator of the International Storytelling Network. | |

The Varona and the Seagull told by Michael Kerins
About finding and choosing friendship.

From Glasgow, Scotland. He is a man of many natural talents. He can be very funny, hilarious in fact, but also sad and tragic. Michael evokes feelings and memories in his audience they didn’t know they had. It is rare to find an individual with such an extremely creative talent, which is matched by sound commercial awareness and strong business acumen and Michael is just that. |

The Crystal Heart told by María Gómez de la Torre
A Vietnamese tale.

Peruvian Canadian. Member of the NSN and the International Storytelling Network. Drama teacher and founder of the Storytelling Club at the University of Piura. She’s also done workshops for adults and many presentations at different schools for students of all ages. She specializes in fairy tales and old tales and especially loves Celtic mythology and legends. |

Matthew Trigg and the Pharisees told by Janet Dowling
From my collection Surrey Folk Tales. It’s an old story that has transformed to spur community cohesion.

Originally from Barking, Essex – the very East End of London UK – via Surrey and now resident in Devon. Janet finds and retells the stories of the landscape and local communities that she lives in. Author of two books of collected folk tales, with Devon Ghost Tales receiving the Storytelling World Resource Award for 2020. She curates the international Internet Story Cafe for Inquisitive Adults. |

The Storyteller’s Death Wish told by Richard Marsh
About to be executed, he is given a choice. How does he wish to die?

From the United States, living in Ireland since 1980. Storyteller, Legendary Tour guide, author of collections of traditional myths, legends and folk tales, Irish and world-wide. I will be prepared to tell a tale of suitable length if time allows. |


12:00 pm CDT: Workshop: Lady Producers Unite!
Panel Discussion with Jill Howe and other female and female-identifying producers from around the US.

Do you want to produce a quality storytelling event? Have you been producing and pulling your hair out? Do you wish we could all work together? Female and female-identifying producers from around the country will share their experiences. We’ll talk about everything from submissions, venues, promotions, booking, and all of the hiccups you never see coming. We can’t wait to see what you create!
Jill Howe is the founder and producer of Story Sessions Chicago, a showcase featuring true stories, live music, and real-time illustrations since 2013. She organizes Story Sessions writing retreats, and has presented a Tedx Talk on vulnerability. After recently becoming a resident storyteller at The Field Museum, she tells stories to the kids who spend the night for Dozin’ with the Dinos.

1:45 pm CDT Lunch Q&A with NSN Chair Loren Niemi

3:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Oral History in Action: Integrating Storytelling for Community Engagement with Ada Cheng
What does it mean to produce storytelling shows to preserve important community histories, such as war, genocide, and deportation? What does it mean to do community-based storytelling? How do we involve community members in storytelling for healing and critical engagement? I will use my experiences in producing Talk Stories and Speaking Truths Series to reflect upon central issues involved.

Ada Cheng, a professor-turned storyteller, is the producer and the host of four storytelling shows, including Pour One Out: A Monthly Storytelling Series, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show, and Speaking Truths Series. She creates platforms for people to tell vulnerable stories as well as for communities who may not have opportunities otherwise.

5:00 pm CDT: Music in Storytelling Spotlight Hosted by Sam Payne & Bill Harley
Event for Ages 10+
When I Was One and Twenty told by Sam Payne
Sam Payne is the Weber State University Storytelling Fellow, and hosts The Apple Seed, a daily storytelling show on BYU Radio. He has an award-winning catalog of recordings, and performs on national and international stages as a storyteller and musician. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, the Timpanogos Storytelling festival, and more.
Story by Kim Weitkamp
“Kim is a master at seamlessly building bridges from story, to song, to story. Like all good storytellers she evokes both laughter and tears, but her impeccable timing, and dead-on anticipation of her listeners’ needs place her at the pinnacle of her craft.” John Porter, NPR
Daddy Played the Phonograph told by Bill Harley
Bill Harley is a storyteller, songwriter and author who tours nationally and internationally. A prolific recording artist, he has appeared numerous times at the National Storytelling Festival, and own numerous awards for his recorded and written work.
Sing gYrl Sing told by Jazzy K
A story about female vocalist and her journey to success.
Story by April Armstrong
April Armstrong has been a featured teller at the Hudson River Clearwater, The Mohegan, the Connecticut College, and Rockland County Storytelling Festivals. She has performed her stories abroad in Jamaica and Indonesia. April won the NSN 2020 J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Award. April was awarded the 2015 BRIO Award for Storytelling from the Bronx Council for the Arts.

7:00 pm CDT: Pacific Regional Spotlight Performance

Event for Ages 16+


Hanasaka Jiisan (Cherry Blossom Man) told by Tobey Ishii-Anderson
A Japanese Folktale
“Be careful of what you say. That one has big ears!” My aunties would say. I was an avid listener to stories about life in internment camps during WWII. Grandmother would start the stories with “Mukashi mukashi…Once upon a time.” I have been held captive by stories of the world and Japan. From listener to teller of stories, I have carried on this family tradition.
George Hamish told by Juliana Person
Have you ever woken up and felt like the world was vastly different than it had been when you went to bed? What about your body? I have. One night I had a fist sized lump appear out of nowhere! I ended up naming the this sudden odd addition to my physique ‘George Hamish’ and he took over my life for a while, but it wasn’t all bad…
Juliana Person is a winery lab manager and cancer survivor with a passion for travel. She attended a Portland Storytellers Guild performance a couple years ago, was selected from the audience to tell a five minute story at intermission, and was instantly hooked! She has been enjoying putting a greater focus on stories in her life ever since.

An Encounter with Loro Kidul told by Brandon Spars
Thirty years ago, will living and working in Indonesia, I had an encounter with the fierce South Seas Goddess, Loro Kidul.

As a teacher of both high school humanities and college writing, Brandon has always brought storytelling into his lessons. He has contributed to countless workshops and conferences on the intersection between storytelling, ancient history, and pedagogy. Brandon is a regular Bay Area storyteller as well as a TEDx speaker and a five-time champion of the Moth StorySLAM (including two GrandSLAMS).


Fishing With Blue told by Ken Iverson
An original story built on an old fishing tall tale. A planned move to Birmingham, AL had my wife, and I, filled with doubts. Deep friendships, quickly made, erased all our doubts. One friend, one fantasy adventure, shares the feeling of being accepted.
Melting Grass told by Linda Yemoto
For 35 years, she was known as “Ranger Linda” to thousands of San Francisco Bay Area school children and families. As a naturalist with East Bay Regional Parks, Linda enlivened her interpretive programs with storytelling. Linda served on the NSN Board of Directors for six years, and chaired the Bay Area Storytelling Festival for 30 years. Currently she tells stories at the SF Asian Art Museum.
Story by Angela Lloyd


Thursday, June 4

10:00 am CDT: Tales From Indonesia with Agus PM Toh, Bie, Ariyo Zidni, Uncle Gery, Rona Mentari, I Made Taro & Gede Tarmada

Folktales from different island of Indonesia; Aceh and Padang from Sumatera Island, Java and Bali. Enjoy the stories, we will take you there.

Ayo Dongeng Indonesia is an organization that initiate the annual “Indonesia International Storytelling Festival” since 2013. It’s also have a voluntary based community, with more than 150 storyteller, writer, and support volunteer. Ayo Dongeng Indonesia now gathered Indonesian Storyteller to be part of this NSN’s event. Presented by Ayo Dongeng Indonesia.


TBA told by Agus PM Toh

Storyteller and theater artist from Aceh, famous with the unique props when telling stories using used materials. His real name is Agus Nuramal, but he is more famous by the name PM Toh as a storyteller from Aceh. He began telling stories since 1990 with unique objects and combining it Acehnese singing. He tells stories for children and adult in such a beautiful way.

The Minangkabau Coffee told by Bie
Ujang, honest young farmer, worked in a coffee plantation. He got this one thing that he found really hard to resist. Coffee aroma.

A young and talented storyteller, who also happened to be a film maker, Bie from Padang. She will mesmerize us with a story from Padang. Bie likes to tell stories in various media, such as writings, films, and oral storytelling forms. She loves to learn new ways to tell stories too! Her favorite food is tempe.

Full Moon Night’s Song told by Ariyo Zidni

Director of the Indonesia International Storytelling Festival, Ariyo Zidni, also known as Kak Aio (Big Brother aio), is a performer, children story writer, storytelling coach, and master softskill trainer using storytelling. He is the co-founder of the Ayo Dongeng Indonesia (Storytelling Community), The Nest (adult storytelling community), Reading Bugs (read aloud group), and FEAST.

Ande-ande Lumut told by Uncle Gery
A journey of a Prince who tried to find, and bring back his beloved wife, The Princess. And old Javanese romantic story.

Started the journey in 1991, being a winner in National Storytelling Competition in Indonesia. Since then, attended to hundreds of storytelling performances (in small and big scale events). A radio dubber and storyteller, and he also write/create stories for radio.

Suwidak Loro told by Rona Mentari
Story of Suwidak Loro with incomparable beauty, with song that praised her beauty. Beauty with sixty strands of hair and two teeth.

Young passionate storyteller from Indonesia. She is known for her unique storytelling performance by using traditional Javanese style and her little guitar. Her vision is to spread the goodness of storytelling in Indonesia and share Indonesian stories to the world. She has been telling stories around Indonesia as well as overseas such as New Zealand, India, Australia, Singapore, and UK.

The Songs to Beg for Rain told by I Made Taro & Gede Tarmada
Story about three singers, a duck, cricket, and farmer, sang their pray for rain in a long dry season.

Father and son, famous duo master storytellers and artist from Bali. Since 1973 started doing storytelling for small children group. The group then called ‘Rumah Dongeng’ (The House of Tales), developed and changed bigger into ‘Sanggar Kukuruyuk’.

12:00 pm CDT: Podcasting for Storytellers / Storytelling for Podcasts with Dr. Raymond Christian

During this workshop participants will learn how to utilize podcasting to magnify their storytelling audience. Participants will receive lectures and review examples of various styles, formats, shows and genres to consider, along with best practices and tips for successfully selecting and pitching stories

Ray’s stories have appeared in Reader’s Digest’s 2016 Best Stories in America and 2017 American Hero’s edition, he is an 11 time Moth Story Slam Champion, winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam and featured performer at Exchange Place. His stories have been featured regularly on the shows, The Moth, Snap Judgment, Back Story Radio and the Spooked and Risk podcast.


1:45 pm CDT: Lunch Fun

Chocolate Stories with Erin O’Neil

Come share a 2-3 minute story about the best chocolate you’ve had or the origins of your favorite bar.


3:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Evolution of Our Craft: The Processes of Mastery in an Age of Technology with Baba the Storyteller
The workshop “Evolution of Our Craft: The Processes of Mastery in an Age of Technology” will offer participants a “Big Picture” analysis of the contemporary craft of storytelling and its’ role in constructing our communities, enriching our educational infrastructures and harnessing the power technology “in service” to our craft.

Baba the Storyteller is an author, educator and public speaker. He has been honored with numerous awards over the decades for his work around the world.

Baba is currently touring globally working as a Master Teaching Artist, partnering with International Schools, NGO’s, and Cultural Centers while sharing his Love and Passion for the Craft of Storytelling.


7:00 pm CDT: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spotlight Performance

Adults Only Event

The Mid-Atlantic Region of The National Storytelling Network brings together storytellers from varying styles and applications in the states of VA, PA, MD, WV, Metro DC, and Metro NYC.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spotlight will feature some of the hottest storytelling talent in a region bustling with storytelling events, shows and talent. The show will feature personal narrative, folktales, and historical narrative from and ten tellers and the innovative organizations and shows that they represent.

Emceed by Nick Baskerville & Robin Gelfenblen

Nick Baskerville

Nick tells stories in the DC, MD, and VA. He’s performed for The Moth, The Story Collider, Better Said Than Done, Mistakes Were Made, and Perfect Liar’s Club. He hosts storytelling shows for Better Said Than Done and Armed Service Art Performance. Nick currently hosts the stand-up comedy show Clean AF Comedy Show, Friday nights on Facebook. Nick regularly posts on Storytelling On Purpose.

Robin Gelfenbien

Robin Gelfenbien is a NYC-based storyteller, writer and comedian. A three-time Moth Story SLAM winner, she’s performed on PBS, RISK!, Mortified and more. She’s shared the stage with Hannah Gadsby, Trevor Noah and more. Robin is the Creator and Host of the storytelling series/podcast, “Yum’s the Word,” featured on CBS Sunday Morning and named a New York Times and Time Out New York Critic’s Pick.  |  @robingelfenbien (TW) @robin.gelfenbien (IG)


The Party told by Oni Lasana

A poem (told in character) about a party on a SC plantation, celebrating Juneteenth, when enslaved African’s were set free in America, circa 1866.

Oni Lasana, “Desirable Poet of The People” is a Storyteller, Poet, Performing and Teaching artist who was born in Philadelphia, PA.

The Contest Between the Sun and the Wind told by Ingrid Bohn 

An Aesop fable in which the Sun and the Wind duke it out to see who’s the strongest.

Ingrid Bohn is an Interactive Theater and Storytelling performance artist who engages audiences of all ages through story, song, dance, and poetry. Performing in PA & NJ, her career spans nearly a decade.

The First Kiss told by Jessica Robinson 

A funny, personal story. Self-authored.

Jessica Robinson, Founder of Better Said Than Done, has performed for The Moth, Story District, Perfect Liar’s Club, The Grapevine and Stories in the Round. Jessica was at Exchange Place at the International Storytelling Festival in 2018, and on the World Channel TV show “Stories from the Stage,” and featured in the Women’s Storytelling Festival, in 2020.

Little Buffalo told by Jack Scheer

A funny, personal story. Self-authored.

Jack Scheer has been a storyteller (at least officially) since 2015. Before that, he spent nearly thirty years telling other people’s stories as an amateur actor and director. He holds a B.A. in Communications from Northern Illinois University, where he participated in speech and debate. A native Chicagoan, he now lives in Silver Spring, MD. His strongest belief is in the power of the human.

Social media: @jzscheer on Twitter and Instagram

Davy finds a Wife told by Gary Lloyd

A traditional tall tale about Davy Crockett, funnier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! 

Gary has been telling for 22 years. Over 1.2 million listeners have heard his style of blending fact with fiction. Former recipient of the Oracle award, he served two terms as president of the state-wide organization, the Virginia Storytelling Alliance and as Vice President of the local Voices in the Glen.  

The Drug-Sniffing Dog told by Jane Dorfman

What happens when Jane is stopped in the airport by an elderly beagle and hauled away by the DEA?

Jane tells stories for children and adults at festivals and in libraries and in the schools. She loves stories that carry the listener away. Jane Dorfman is a performing member and president of Voices-in-the-Glen, and a member of the National Storytelling Network and on the program committee for the Washington Folk Festival.

A Personal Narrative told by Stacey Bader Curry

Stacey Bader Curry is a writer, storyteller, mother of four, and real estate broker from NYC. Stacey is a Moth Grand Slam winner, an 8-time Moth StorySLAM winner who just won The Moth’s first-ever virtual StorySLAM and has recently appeared on PBS’s Stories From the Stage.

A Personal Narrative told by Srilatha Rajamani

Srilatha is an immigrant from India who started doing stand up comedy and storytelling in Boston, then later in New York City. The more she performs, the more she’s been able to face herself honestly, and connect with people around her. Credits: Women in Comedy Festival, Asian Comedy Festival, WGBH Stories from the Stage.

Website: | Instagram: 

Mama! told by Laura Kaighn

Awakened early in the morning by a baby crying outside, I learned a lesson in my mother’s patience and my own ignorance.

Laura Kaighn, of Lady Hawke Storytelling, is an author, educator, nature docent and storyteller for audiences two through timeless. Her favorite tales: Native American, nature, spooky, urban legends, original and pourquoi stories. Workshops are available. Laura combines showmanship, science, culture, props and fun for programs which run the gamut of sensory experiences.

The Mask of Truth told by Judy England-McCarthy

Judy England-McCarthy is a member of several Guilds and performs in both NJ and PA. As a storyteller, poet and author she has shared her talents at numerous events and festivals. Her stories are filled with both humor and wisdom. and one of her original tales was performed at the National Storytelling Conference in 2013. 

9:00 pm CDT: Voices From Down Under with Jackie Kerin, Anna Jarrett, Christine Carlton, Kiran Shah, Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson, Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, Anne E. Stewart, and Jenni Cargill-Strong

Event for Ages 16+

Stories of wisdom, mystery, intrigue, danger, comfort, challenge and caution.

The Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the development of and advocacy for oral storytelling, literature appreciation and creative expression through story creation and performance. Presented by the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW)


Cracked Pot told by Jackie Kerin
The Cracked Pot learns, that what it thought was a weakness, is in fact its strength.

Jackie is a storyteller and author and a seasoned traveller to festivals and conferences throughout Australia, Singapore and India.

The Witch Tree told by Anna Jarrett
An original Australian Ghost story based on true events.

Anna is an Internationally acclaimed storyteller and consultant, writer and teacher whose stories are a combination of traditional and original tales with music and song.

The Night Was Dark told by Christine Carlton
Personal story of how a story can calm a person when they are embraced by fear.

Christine, an experienced international teller, performs and conducts workshops for young and old. She is Convenor of the Sydney International Storytelling Conference.

All Free told by Kiran Shah
Folktale from Gujarat, India. – A man goes to great lengths to get the best bargain.

Kiran, a professional teller for over 20 years, loves telling Asian folktales, conducting workshops locally and internationally.

Wild Love told by Lindy Mitchell-Nilsson
A personal story about an encounter with Australia’s deadliest arachnid.

Lindy is founder and host of Heart to Heart Storytelling Nights and current president of Australian Storytellers NSW.

Señor Billy Goat told by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang
Story developed from a range of traditional Latin American versions, a Billy Goat is intent on eating the vegetables that are not his to eat.

Lillian is a full bodied, joyful storyteller with over 20 years experience performing and using storytelling  in the community as a connective, teaching and healing art.

The Ghost of St. Kilda Beach told by Anne E. Stewart
A family story that tells of a wee ghostly boy that mysteriously appears at St Kilda Beach to save the lives of Anne’s Uncle Bob and Auntie Margaret.

Anne is a versatile International performer whose focus is on the shared stories of Australia honouring Indigenous, Celtic, Asian and World stories

L’histoire Grand’Mère (The Grandmothers Tale) told by Jenni Cargill-Strong
French tale of a grandmother who meets her maker and a young woman who meets a werewolf. A dark, sexy tale

Jenni has 28 years experience as a professional storyteller, 4 award-winning story albums and 17 years experience teaching storytelling.


Friday, June 5

8:00 – 9:30 am CDT: Breakfast/Coffee Social Time

“Remember that time I had breakfast with….? I don’t either, let’s just make it up.”  Hosted by Mo Reynolds

10:00 am CDT: The Dynamic Body Storytelling Showcase with Antonio Rocha, Shereen Saif, Milbre Burch, Gene Tagaban, Elaine Muray, Peter Cook, and Kuniko Yamamoto

Event for Ages 10+

This is a 90 minute olio storytelling performance with tellers from the US and beyond, whose physical eloquence is often the central part of their telling.


The Lion Who Wants To Be King told by Antonio Rocha
The young lion thought that he could treat animals anyway he wanted, only to learn a big lesson in the end.

Antonio Rocha is an award winning storyteller presenting a unique fusion of spoken word and mime. His stories are coated by his tenor voice and fantastical sound effects. He has presented in prestigious venues from The Kennedy Center to the The National Storytelling Festival as well as in 15 other countries across six continents.

Fox and Stork (with a French Twist), a Nasradeen Hodja Story, and a Heart of a Friend told by Elaine Muray
Fox and Stork–Aesop fable but with a French flair; Hodja story about him jumping into a cemetery grave; Heart of a Friend, Kazakh friendship poem.

Elaine Muray integrates movement and narration to deliver tales from around the world as well as personal stories for all ages. She has performed and led workshops both nationally and internationally. Recently, she has done storytelling tours to English immersion schools in China, Korea, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Her DVD, Embodied and Enchanted has won the Storytelling World Resource Award.

“Storigami” “Amaterasu” told by Kuniko Yamamoto
The first Japanese story from Kojiki in Action! To ignite imagination Kuniko will open with short bits of Storytelling with origami, Storigami.

A natiive of Japan, Kuniko grew up studying and performing traditional dance, music and theater. Traveled to the USA to study with tony Montanaro and with her Japanese Storytelling he appeared at Epcot, The Kennedy Center, National Storytelling Festival. Affiliated with Arts Council of Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina and performed. From 2018 she opened Origami Air Art Studio.

Ganesha’s Race Around the World told by Shereen Saif

A Magic Mango is the prize for the fastest who can go around the world thrice. Ganesha, the elephant-headed boy and his brother dash off in a trice!

Shereen Saif is a Dubai based Indian-born artist with a practice that spans dance, theatre, storytelling, voice acting and installation art. A passionate advocate of oral storytelling with a repertoire largely consisting of traditional Indian tales, Shereen is known for her physical storytelling style that integrates elements of music, dance and theatre.

Morgan and the Pot O’Brains told by Milbre Burch
A GRAMMY-nominated spoken-word recording artist, internationally known storyteller, published scholar, and produced playwright, Milbre Burch is a storyteller in every sense of the word. With her husband Berkley Hudson, she created the Storytelling Project of the Cotsen Children’s Library. Since 1978, she has performed and taught across America, in Europe and Asia. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC.
My First Word told by Peter Cook
Peter Cook is an Internationally reputed Deaf performing artist whose works incorporate American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting, and movement. Peter has traveled extensively around the country and aboard Peter was featured at the National Storytelling Festival several times.He is now the Chair of ASL Department, Columbia College Chicago.
Shape Shifter told by Gene Tagaban

Ancestral wisdom, spirit, presence and healing.


12:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Race, Class, Ambiguity: People of Color in the LGBTQIA+ Community with Chetter Galloway, Les Kurkendaal-Barrett, Rico Rodriguez, Camilla Brewer, Taria Person
The focus of the panel discussion will be to explore the intersectionality of being both a person of color and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in addition to creating safe spaces for individuals to share their stories.

Chetter Galloway grew up hearing his father tell stories on Sunday road trips and became interested in the art of storytelling. He honed his craft at East Tennessee State University’s Graduate Storytelling Program. Chetter is a member of Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, the National Association of Black Storytellers, the National Storytelling Network, and the Southern Order of Storytellers.

Rico Rodriguez is a storyteller and a teacher who specializes in Latinx tales and writing and telling personal and fictional stories. His stories are infused with equity and social change themes. He founded “Queers in Your Ears” a LGBTQI storytelling event. Rico has facilitated workshops on how to use the art of storytelling in educational settings, Community and Health Promotion Agencies.

Camilla Brewer is the Coordinator for the LGBTQIA Resource Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology. A lot of her work revolves around hearing the stories of others and engaging the campus community around these lived experiences to inspire change. As a Black queer woman, Camilla finds community, healing, and empowerment through sharing and hearing stories of growth and resilience.

Taria Person is an alumna of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where they received a dual B.A. in English Creative Writing: Poetry, and Interdisciplinary Studies: AFST. Person is the author of Rainbow Elephant, At the Summit, producer/playwright for, Hangers, and performed at Bonnaroo. Recently, Person won a grant from the Metro Arts Commission in Nashville for the production of, Storm.

Les Kurkendaal-Barrett is a Los Angeles based actor and storyteller who has toured the world with his storytelling shows for almost 20 years . He is very passionate about the art of storytelling. He hosts a monthly storytelling show called Workplace Drama at Strike Theatre in Minneapolis. He also hosts a podcast on iTunes , A Lifetime of Hallmark where he makes fun of Hallmark Channel movies.

Lunch Break

3:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Crafting Your Personal Legacy: The “Why I’m a Storyteller” Story with June Kaewsith
What do ancestors and altars have to do with our personal legacy? And what is the story you’ll leave behind for the next generation? In this workshop, walk away with clarity on your “story medicine” through a 3-5 minute personal story you can utilize repeatedly to communicate what it is you do, and to spark a movement of people who are in alignment with your vision.

June Marisa Kaewsith, also known as “Jumakae,” is a TEDx Speaker, multidisciplinary artist, and transformational life coach who mentors changemakers and aspiring entrepreneurs in finding clarity in their message and confidence in their speaking so that they can share their story medicine, grow their business, and heal generations before/after them. |


5:00 pm CDT: International Spotlight: Mzansi and her Friends, Stories from South Africa

Family Friendly Event

What happens in a world of no stories when friendships break and mistakes are irreversible? What happens when those around you really turn out to hurt you the most? By their coming together, which is a sign of continued friendship, this collection of South African storytellers will take turns sharing tales about hurt, love and the power of stories. Presented by Naane le Moya.


Mamdokwe told by Bongiswa Kotta-Ramushwana
Mamdokwe cooks the best porridge in her village but some village women think that she uses muti. Will she be able to change their perception?

Bongiswa is an internationally acclaimed storyteller, a motivational speaker and a qualified SASL interpreter with a career spanning 16 years. Some of her festival performances include Nozincwadi, National Book Week and Ungasali International Storytelling Festival. She also facilitates master workshops for teachers, and librarians.
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It’s Not About the Dress told by Nolubabalo Rani
Why didn’t my grandfather buy me the same dress as my sister’s? I put on the dress and try to turn but it does not flow.

Nolubabalo is a Cape Town based educator and storyteller. She is a graduate of the International School of Storytelling and Centre for Biographical Storytelling. She co-hosts The Story Club Cape Town and is co-founder of Balisa Nathi Storytelling Collective. She performs in English and isiXhosa, working with folktales, and personal narratives. |

Tuleke Twerire – a story from Uganda told by Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa
When a flock of birds moves into their fields, what can a family do to save their harvest?

Philippa has hosted and performed at The Story Club, Cape Town since 2014. Her most recent works include Tales from Uganda at the Children’s Festival, The Abantu Book Festival, Johannesburg; When the wild calls with Nolubablo Rani at the 2020 Summer Storytelling, Erin Hall, Cape Town. Philippa is a published author of Flame and Song: a memoir, children’s books, and poetry.
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Vodloza and the Beehive told by Thembile Tshuma
Vodloza’s commitment to his friend Andile, leads him on a dangerous journey into the evil forest.

Thembile is a storyteller, puppeteer, percussionist and Applied Theatre & Drama practitioner. He studied at Drama for Life (University of the Witwatersrand) as a facilitator and currently ASSITEJ South Africa’s Educational Outreach Assistant and Gauteng Provincial Theatre4Youth Coordinator. Thembile Played the lead character in Zimbabwe’s ever puppet show on National television “Khuluza”.
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uManzandaba – She who brings stories told by Baeletsi Tsatsi (Emcee/Teller)
Manzadaba’s children sit around a fire, tummies full but crying, but there are no stories to be found. What will uManzandaba do?

Baeletsi Tsatsi is a storyteller, writer and facilitator. She studied at the Market Laboratory, the International School of Storytelling and the Center for Biographical Storytelling. She won the J.J Renaux Emerging Storyteller Grant Award in 2018. Her stories are distributed by FunDza, Cover2Cover and Book Dash.
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7:00 pm CDT: Western Regional Spotlight Performance with Liz Mangual, Cindi Allen, Paul Taylor, Pam Faro

Event for Ages 10+

Hosted by Regional Director Sarah Juba Addison, Emceed by Sarah Malone


The Singing Sack told by Liz Mangual
A determined and clever mother saves her daughter from a dim witted and greedy ogre.

Liz’s storytelling is distinguished by the range of people she serves. From incarcerated teens, to farm worker and Pueblo families, teachers, librarians and parents, “may you thrive and grow!” is her mantra. Her bilingual storytelling and workshops celebrate diversity and interconnectedness. As a certified life coach she particularly enjoys supporting other’s on their creative path.

A Change in Perspective told by Cindi Allen
I race in my first swim meet as a young child. My worst fear is realized, but it turns out much different than expected.

Cindi Allen has been telling stories her whole life and finally took it to the stage two years ago. She’s on the board of Storytellers of New Mexico, and has told stores at The Moth in Denver, Duke City Story Slam, The Liar’s Game and the Moriarty Bean Festival.

The Dancing Girl told by Paul Taylor
Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime story of the dancing Brolga or Crane, a close relative in WY and the West to our dancing Sandhill Crane.

Acclaimed Australian performing artist, storyteller, musician and educator. Paul delights in celebrating both his European and indigenous heritage to all ages as a US touring artist in education and ambassador, with story, song, dance and painting. Mentored by Wardaman Aboriginal Elder Yidumduma Bill Harney for 30 years, Paul directs the YDP Dreaming Project sharing Wardaman cultural heritage.

The Apple Dumpling told by Pam Faro
The old woman had no apple for the apple dumpling she craved; she set out on her search, having no idea of the chain of events to come.

Colorado storyteller Pam Faro has performed/taught across the US and overseas since 1988 – from Denver to San Francisco to Jonesborough; in Australia, Wales, Germany, Canada, and Italy. She tells folktales, bilingual cuentos, biblical and interfaith stories and personal/historical tales, including of her great-uncle surviving the Titanic. She offers storytelling skills workshops for all levels.

Sojourner Truth told by Carmen W. Artis
Carmen studied classical voice at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore & is also a certified Speech Language Pathologist. She has performed her two one woman shows Sojourner Truth Ain’t I A Woman & Coretta Scott King Let Freedom Sing! along the east coast with the Traveling Stage Company and has now brought them to various venues in Las Vegas NV, combining acting & song.
Stagecoach Mary: A Pioneer Woman of Grit and Gumption told by Cathy Ringler
Actor Gary Cooper described Stagecoach Mary this way.” She was born a slave somewhere in Tennessee, but lived to become one of the freest souls to ever draw a breath.” This 6 foot tall, 200 pound woman was the first woman to carry the US mail. She loved whiskey, cheap cigars and her independence. In this presentation, the listener will be awed and amazed by Mary Field’s legendary adventures.
Award winning author Cathy Ringler is a storyteller, cowgirl and retired teacher. She lives at the foot of the beautiful Beartooth Mountains and rides in them as much as her busy schedule will allow. Her debut middle grade novel, Miya’s Dream, received several awards including a bronze medal in the 2019 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.
Enos Mills, Rocky Mountain Naturalist told by John Stansfield
As boy and as man, Enos Mills (1870-1922) lived a remarkable mountain life. From childhood on, his bond with wildlife, mountains and wilderness, inspired him to overcome personal hardship to become a successful speaker, writer, naturalist, businessman, and driving force behind the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park and the National Park Service in 1916
For forty years, storyteller and author John Stansfield has recounted stories from the American West and the world. He has shared stories nationwide and is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival. In 2008, the National Storytelling Network presented him the Oracle Award for Service and Leadership in the Western Region.

Saturday, June 6

10:00 am CDT: Hot Stories From Boccaccio’s Decameron with Paola Balbi, Germana De Ruvo, Davide Bardi

Adults Only Event

Five stories from Decameron delivered with modern language and spiced with medioeval ballads and music.Sexy, funny and highly entertaining!An icon of Italian culture, humor , glamour and style, the performance delivers to the audience an unmatchable moment of pleasure and laughter. Paola and Davide unique style of tandem telling embodies all the elegance, passion and depth of their tradition.

Raccontamiunastoria is the leading Storytelling Company in Italy. Funded in 2004 is steered by performing Storytellers Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi.It has gained across the years a worldwide reputation for performing excellency and top class Storytelling training. It organizes Festivals, events, swaps, performances, tours and workshops.It has a branch in the U.A.E called The Storytelling Company. Presented by Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company.


Isabetta and the Priest’s Underwear told by Paola Balbi
Isabetta is resolved to become a nun. Will she stick with her vow of chastity?Have faith, mother Abbess will find a solution.

Paola Balbi is a graduated actress (specialised in Shakespeare) and performing storyteller with more than 20 years of experience.She is also a Festival organizer, a workshop leader, a drama school teacher and a University professor, always for PA. Her repertoire ranges from Greek and Roman myth, to Decameron, Arabian Nights, folk and fairy tales from both the European and Arab cultures.

The Song of the Nightingale told by Germana De Ruvo
A young couple devises a very smart solution to fulfill their passion.What will their parents say when they discover the deed?

Germana De Ruvo is a graduated young actress, trained as a storyteller by Paola and Davide and she is a member of Raccontamiunastoria. She has a passion for stories from the native city of Rome and for the Arab Culture. She has lived extensively with Paola in Dubai where she collected many traditional stories.She is an enthusiastic and committed professional young perfomer.

Masetto told by Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi

The Tale of the Tail told by Davide Bardi

Alibech told by Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi
Is it ever possible to transform a woman into a mare and back? Listen and discover what will be the most difficult part of the enchantment.

Davide, actor and musician, has devoted his entire career to telling stories in all artistic forms (theater, film, music). He is co-artistic director of the Storytelling Company Raccontamiunastoria, the International Storytelling Festivals of Rome, Bolzano and Sharjah (U.A.E). He plays guitar, harmonica and several percussions. He accompanies his performances with improvised original live music.

Paola Balbi is a graduated actress (specialised in Shakespeare) and performing storyteller with more than 20 years of experience.She is also a Festival organizer, a workshop leader, a drama school teacher and a University professor, always for PA. Her repertoire ranges from Greek and Roman myth, to Decameron, Arabian Nights, folk and fairy tales from both the European and Arab cultures.


12:00 pm CDT: ORACLE Awards

ASL Interpretation Provided

Come celebrate the accomplishments of our NSN community!

Click link to join:


Lunch Break


3:00 pm CDT: Panel Discussion
Save Your Space: Virtual Events Keep Storytelling Alive with Tim Ereneta, Jessica Robinson, Sheila Arnold, and Rachel Hedman
Virtual Events save your space – the night your show happens, the weekend of your festival – and keep your brand alive. In this panel discussion, you’ll hear from 3 storytellers/show producers who’ve been hosting online storytelling events since March. They’ll share expertise and give tips on how to ensure your online events not only keep storytelling alive, but help it thrive.

Rachel Hedman, M.A. received a national storytelling award for service and leadership as well as the Karen J. Ashton Award. She completed her Storytelling Masters and has celebrated being a storyteller since 1994. As Story Crossroads Executive Director, she transformed the live Story Crossroads Festival into the virtual Story Crossroads Spectacular. |

Sheila Arnold has been gifted by God with performance skills; using this talent since she was eight years old. Since 2003 she has been a full-time Storyteller traveling through the United States and sharing a variety of stories, as well as doing Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, Coaching and Workshops.

Jessica Robinson, Founder of Better Said Than Done, has performed at such venues as The Auld Shebeen, The National Women’s Equality Monument, and The Miracle Theater. Jessica performed at Exchange Place at the International Storytelling Festival in 2018, and on the World Channel TV show “Stories from the Stage,” and in the inaugural Women’s Storytelling Festival, in 2020.

Tim Ereneta is a storyteller based in Berkeley, California. He helped produce the Bay Area Storytelling Festival for more than 20 years.


5:00 pm CDT: International Spotlight: SEODA! Treasures from Ireland

Event for Ages 10+

SEODA – Is an Irish word for Treasures. Niall de Búrca hosts a celebration of performers each of whom has made a unique contribution to Irish traditional storytelling. Nuala Hayes, Colm Sands, Liz Weir and Eddie Lenihan have spent decades immersed in the art form. Their dedication and encouragement of new voices has seen Irish storytelling grow from strength to strength.

Niall de Búrca
Niall de Búrca is a bilingual storyteller from the West of Ireland. He has performed on six continents in diverse places including the European Parliament in Brussels and the President of Ireland’s residence in Dublin. Niall’s credo is the Irish proverb ”Níór bhris focal maith fiacal riamh….A good word never broke a tooth
Liz Weir
Liz Weir MBE is the first winner of the International Storybridge Award from the NSN which cited her exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling within Ireland and between Ireland and other countries”. Liz has told her stories to people of all ages worldwide. She has performed in pubs, prisons and on the stages of the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Eddie Lenihan
Eddie Lenihan has been collecting and telling stories for over 40 years. As well as a seanchaí he has produced many books and recordings of lore. Eddie is a familiar figure to people in Ireland through his tv and personal appearances. His travels have lead him to perform at the Smithsonian Institute and countless other places. he has been shortlisted twice for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Nuala Hayes
Nuala is an actor, broadcaster and storyteller. A Dubliner, she trained at the Abbey Theatre and toured extensively in plays by many of the great Irish Playwrights. Nuala is currently chairperson and a founder member of Storytellers of Ireland. She has performed Irish myth and legend worldwide and has collected; initiated and mentored storytelling projects throughout Ireland.
Colum Sands
Colum Sands is a universal storyteller who draws on a long Irish tradition of poetic musicality. The power of his writing is confirmed by countless cover recordings of his songs. Colum has produced around one hundred albums, working with young musicians and veterans Joan Baez and Pete Seeger. He received a Living Tradition Award and was shortlisted for three nominations for the 2009 Grammy Awards.

7:00 pm CDT: Southeast Regional Spotlight Performance 

Event for Ages 16+

The Christmas Poke told by Judy Baker
Who doesn’t love a Christmas story, even if it is 90 degrees outside? Christmas in my Appalachian town was a simple affair, shared in this story called, “The Christmas Poke.”
Proud of her Appalachian heritage, Judy Baker tells folk tales, traditional Appalachian tales, personal tales, tall tales and tales about things that go bump in the night. She serves as program chairman for her home Guild, the Cleveland Storytelling Guild in Cleveland, Tennessee and as Tennessee State Liaison for NSN. She conducts workshops and tells regionally.
Orange Blossoms told by Linda Schuyler Ford
The annual family vacation to Florida was always filled with wonder, until the summer of 1961 when the entire world seemed to shift.
Linda Schuyler Ford grew up in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida. Much of her story-work is with health care professionals, care givers, and hospice staff. She also loves to tell the stories of Washington Irving, and tales from the enchanted Hudson Valley. This evening, she debuts a new work titled Orange Blossoms.
Ain’t True & Uncle False told by Paul Strickland
Paul’s heartfelt tall-tales have been performed Off-Broadway, at elementary and middle schools, and even two prisons (where he was not an inmate at the time). His story concerts have won “Best of Fest” honors 13 times at Fringe Theatre Festivals in the U.S. and Canada. Paul is a Featured Teller at Timpanogos in 2020. Selections from his comedy performances can be heard every day on SiriusXM radio.
My Son told by Debbie From
Debbie grew up listening to the stories of her elders. Today, she continues to be influenced by her family and often shares tales with multicultural themes. In 2015, Debbie started an organization called Give a Folk…Sharing Stories for a Cause based on her passion for social justice and belief that sharing our stories and truly listening to others will strengthen and build community.
Mississippi; much more than magnolias… told by Annie B McKee
Annie B McKee tells the Mississippi story; her stories include State history, intertwined with southern humor as well as the southern Gothic genre. She writes all of the stories she tells.


I Am Somebody 2020 told by Linda Gorham

Reflecting on her family, Linda Gorham raises powerful images in celebration of her ancestors in “I Am Somebody: 2020.” African Americans have come a long way … or have we?

For the past 30 years Linda Gorham has engaged audiences internationally with poignant and humorous family stories; interactive folktales; notably twisted fairy tales; and riveting, well-researched historical stories. Each performance is infused with Linda’s unconventional humor and her signature ‘sophisticated attitude’.

Story by Robyn Rennick


9:00 pm CDT: Story Slam

Event for Ages 16+

Theme: Masked
Hosted by Jamie Brickhouse

Think you have a winning story? Put it to the test at the NSN Story Slam. Tell a true, 5-minute personal story that happened to you on the theme, “Masked.”
You decide if you tell the story of wearing a mask for your first Halloween, wishing you could hide your face in middle school, finally seeing “behind the mask,”
that fateful trip to the dentist, or something else entirely.

The winners, voted on by the audience will receive:

  • First Place: $100 and a one-year digital membership to NSN and bragging rights for winning the first ever NSN Virtual Story Slam!
  • Second Place: $50 and a one-year digital membership to NSN
  • Third Place: $25 and a one-year digital membership to NSN

To enter, first register for the event (think of this as buying your ticket). Then enter your name as a potential teller (think of this as throwing your name in the hat) here:


Sunday, June 7

8:00 – 9:30 am CDT: Breakfast/Coffee Social Time with Sadika Kebbi

12:00 pm CDT: Workshop
Moving Stories: Body, Voice and More with Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang of Eth-noh-tec
Our voices tell stories, our bodies tell stories, so why not explore it all? This workshop explores the creativity between words and action, from page to stage, the creation of stories for performance storytelling. Whether a seasoned performer or just getting started, Eth-Noh-Tec will introduce the storytellers into a playful performance tool chest with creative movement, musical and rhythm approaches, drama and energy dynamics. It’s action packed, fun-filled with dramatic, musical, and creative movement processes that will help the the teller enhance their storytelling impact.

Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, aka Eth-Noh-Tec, conjure a magical blend of mythologies and folk tales in a tandem telling style that interweaves choreography, synchronized dialogue and drama. Their ancient Asian myths, folktales and Asian American stories illuminate struggles for social justice and heroic journeys, and create enchanting storytelling using body, voice and gesture.

1:45 CDT Lunch Session: Producers and Organizers (PRO) Meet & Greet


3:00 pm CDT: Workshop

Self-Care for Storytellers Panel Discussion

With Laura Packer, Donna Washington, Ted Parkhurst, Kristin Pedemonti & Allison Broeren

The work of storytellers is always vital, especially in times of turmoil. We are keepers of culture and bearers of hope. Many storytellers tend to prioritize the work before their health, but before we can perform, teach, heal, and serve at our best, we need to take care of ourselves. This panel will share practical ideas, exercises and tools that can help, and invites you into the conversation.

5:00 pm CDT: International Spotlight: Multi-Cultural Stories from Israel
Event for Ages 10+
Presented by Israel Storytellers Association and Hosted by Rinah Sheleff
A potpourri of folk tales and personal stories, reflecting the multiple cultural backgrounds that characterize our society. Some stories will sound familiar to listeners in other countries- so it is when stories wander from land to land.
Tales of the Baal Shem Tov: A Forest, a Fire and a Prayer told by Rinah Sheleff
Sometimes, all that’s left is the story.
Born in U.S.A., Rinah has lived all her life in Israel. From an Eastern European background, she loves to tell stories like Hassidim, and like the Hasidim, she loves to dance.
A Bridge in Chem told by Sephie Shochat-Beeri
Everyone stumbled on that bridge, but when the rabbi’s hat fell into the water, the elders knew they had to take action!
Teacher of English as a Second Language & instructor of creative movement, Sephie finds ways to include stories in everything she does. Her greatest fan was her mother, Marlene, whose memory she honors with today’s story.
Abu-Katrina the Lazy told by Yoel Shalom Perez
Abu-Katrina was too lazy to work for a living – “I’d rather die than work!” -but he was no match for his clever and desperate wife.
Dr. Yoel Perez, storyteller, folklorist and author, is chairperson of the Israel Storytellers Association. His website is the largest site of folklore & folktales in Hebrew. It includes an international folktale collection of more than 4,000 tales (many have been translated into English.) Yoel is the go-to person for Israeli storytellers looking for a special story on any subject.
Why Worry? told by Sharon Aviv
Some very sound and well-known advice from Ireland takes on a very personal twist with Sharon.
Founder and director of the Gollem Storytelling School (“gollem” in Hebrew means cocoon), Sharon performs and lectures all around the world. She is a great believer in the power of stories to heal and to bring people together.
Is There Anything Stronger than Love? told by Doron Kaynar Kissinger
… The mysterious saga of my family.
Doron is an actor in the theatre of life. He creates personalized ceremonies for couples as they enter marriage, and for mourners as they accompany their loved ones to their final resting place. Doron’s stories range from reminiscences of his parents, who fled Nazi Germany, to personal adventures as a “sabra”– a native-born Israeli.
The Man Who Set Out to Find His Luck told by Hanan Abo Zlaf
A man travels a long distance to ask a wise man about his luck. He is given good advice, but does he take it?
Hanan hails from a Druze village in northern Israel. She discovered her storytelling skills when she spoke about her experience as a survivor of domestic violence. Today Hanan tells folktales to school children, and shares her personal story with women who need to hear it.
How I Became a Storyteller told by Oshik Achinoam
What does a sick nature guide do just before he leads a group of children in survival skills? The solution surprised Oshik; the outcome, even more.
Oshik is a natural-born storyteller, the kind you love to listen to around the campfire. He also teaches survival skills to children and introduces them to the magical world of nature.
God and the Desert told by Na’ama Tel-Tsur
The origin of their special relationship.
Na’ama is a storyteller and actor with the Pashut Forest Theatre, which performs in the forest, with the earth as stage and the trees as scenery.
Singer-songwriter Guy “Zandy” Zandman
We will take a break from the spoken word to hear a song in Hebrew about a wanderer who travels far and wide to seek more and more stories.


7:00 pm CDT: 2020 Award- Winners Spotlight: ORACLE Performances

Ages TBD | ASL Interpretation Provided

Jackson Gilman
Jackson has featured at the national festival four times and is a four time Teller-in-Residence at the ISC. Song, dance, mime and/or sign language might be incorporated in performance – whatever works best to bring a story to life. He helps others develop their own stories at his Springboards for Stories workshop held annually at Kipling’s historic Vermont home, and also offers private coaching.
Jenifer Munro
Laura Packer
Laura knows the best way to truth is a good story; she has told, taught, coached, consulted and considered storytelling globally. She is committed to great storytelling, helping others tell their stories and change the world. When she isn’t performing she helps organizations tell great stories. Laura is the author of From Audience to Zeal: The ABCs of Finding, Crafting, and Telling a Great Story.
Corrine Stavish
Barbara Schutzgruber
Tim Lowry


5:00 pm CST: International Spotlight: Multi-Cultural Stories from Israel

A potpourri of folk tales and personal stories, reflecting the multiple cultural backgrounds that characterize our society. Some stories will sound familiar to listeners in other countries- so it is when stories wander from land to land. Presented by Israel Storytellers Association.

ISA was founded in 2008 with the purpose of gaining recognition and government support for storytelling as a unique art form- complementing but separate from other performing arts. ISA offers its members enrichment workshops and courses, led by local and visiting storytellers. We also sponsor public performances and festivals all around the country.


Tales of the Baal Shem Tov: A Forest, a Fire and a Prayer told by Rinah Sheleff- Host
Sometimes all that’s left is the story.

Born in U.S.A., rinah has lived all her life in Israel. From an Eastern European background, she loves to tell stories like Hassidim, and like the Hasidim, she loves to dance.

A Bridge in Chem told by Sephie Shochat-Beeri
Everyone stumbled on that bridge, but when the rabbi’s hat fell into the water, the elders knew they had to take action!

Teacher of English as a Second Language & instructor of creative movement, Sephie finds ways to include stories in everything she does. Here greatest fan was her mother, Marlene, whose memory she honors with today’s story.

Abu-Katrina the Lazy told by Yoel Shalom Perez
Abu-Katrina was too lazy to work for a living – “I’d rather die than work!” -but he was no match for his clever and desperate wife.

Dr. Yoel Perez, storyteller, folklorist and author, is chairperson of the Israel Storytellers Association. His website is the largest site of folklore & folktales in Hebrew. It includes an international folktale collection of more than 4,000 tales (many have been translated into English.) Yoel is the go-to person for Israeli storytellers looking for a special story on any subject.

Why Worry? told by Sharon Aviv
Some very sound and well-known advice from Ireland takes on a very personal twist with Sharon.

Founder and director of the Gollem Storytelling School (“gollem” in Hebrew means cocoon), Sharon performs and lectures all around the world. She is a great believer in the power of stories to heal and to bring people together.

Is There Anything Stronger than Love? told by Doron Kaynar Kissinger
… The mysterious saga of my family.

Doron is an actor in the theatre of life. He creates personalized ceremonies for couples as they enter marriage, and for mourners as they accompany their loved ones to their final resting place. Doron’s stories range from reminiscences of his parents, who fled Nazi Germany, to personal adventures as a “sabra”– a native-born Israeli.

The Man Who Set Out to Find His Luck told by Hanan Abo Zlaf
A man travels a long distance to ask a wise man about his luck. He is given good advice, but does he take it?

Hanan hails from a Druze village in northern Israel. She discovered her storytelling skills when she spoke about her experience as a survivor of domestic violence. Today Hanan tells folktales to school children, and shares her personal story with women who need to hear it.

How I Became a Storyteller told by Oshik Achinoam
What does a sick nature guide do just before he leads a group of children in survival skills? The solution surprised Oshik; the outcome, even more.

Oshik is a natural-born storyteller, the kind you love to listen to around the campfire. He also teaches survival skills to children and introduces them to the magical world of nature.

“God and the Desert” told by Na’ama Tel-Tsur
The origin of their special relationship.

Storyteller and actor with the Pashut Forest Theatre, which performs in the forest, with the earth as stage and the trees as scenery.

Guy “Zandy” Zandman, Singer-songwriter
We will take a break from the spoken word to hear a song in Hebrew about a wanderer who travels far and wide to seek more and more stories.


7:00-9:15 pm CDT: ORACLE Performances/Closing Ceremony


Are you ready to register? Click one of the buttons below:


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