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21st Annual Storytelling Celebration: November 4-7

Storytelling Celebration

October 28, 2020

For 21 years, the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration has brought local, national, and international storytellers to metro libraries, schools, and community centers to ignite interest in the art of sharing stories—from the mythical to the personal—to people of all ages.

This year, Mid-Continent Public Library, Metropolitan Community College, and other partner organizations have created a virtual celebration, November 4-7, to continue this tradition online. The 2020 Storytelling Celebration will conclude on Saturday, November 7, with a day of virtual storytelling workshops and concerts.  

“We’re so excited to bring back this much-loved tradition that brings joy to all ages,” said Kimberly Howard of MCPL’s Community Programming Department. “The format and location might have changed, but the power of stories transcends—whether you’re gathered around a campfire or a laptop!”

Storytelling Celebration performances will be streamed on the MCPL360 Facebook page, and smaller workshops for current and aspiring storytellers to hone their skills will be held via Zoom. Attendance is free, but registration is required for presentations on Zoom. The full schedule of events and registration details can be found at mymcpl.org/Storytelling.

This year’s featured storytellers include:

  • Carrie Sue Ayvar, a third-generation award-winning storyteller who is known for her bilingual (English and Spanish) storytelling, which blends traditional, international, and personal themes
  • Beth Horner, a Missourian whose tales draw from her experiences in a combination of drama and comedy
  • Oba William King, a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers known for his distinct poetic style that infuses playful rhythm and rhyme into his stories
  • Gene Tagaban (One Crazy Raven), an international storyteller who shares traditional Native American stories through oratory, song, dance, and movement

Several esteemed Kansas City-area storytellers will also participate in the 2020 Celebration, including:

  • Brother John Anderson, a storyteller for more than 20 years and member of the River and Prairie Storyweavers
  • Priscilla Howe, an international puppeteer and storyteller who specializes in children’s performances
  • Gary and Linda Kuntz, a storytelling duo whose work spans from folk and tall tales to personal stories
  • Joyce Slater, a former artist and actress who now uses her creative prowess to spin stories for all ages
  • Jim “Two Crows” Wallen, an award-winning historical storyteller and reenactor whose career has taken him to 46 states and four continents

Any organizations interested in obtaining a link to recordings of virtual Storytelling Celebration programs can do so by filling out an online form at mymcpl.org/Storytelling. More details about all Celebration programs and presenters can be found there as well.

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