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State of Stories: Missouri Bicentennial

State of Stories is a series of free public programs commemorating the Missouri Bicentennial. Developed by The Story Center at Mid-Continent Public Library and the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program, programs will explore Missouri history and culture through storytelling performances and workshops, book conversations, lectures, a publication, and other activities.  

A cornerstone of State of Stories programming is an oral storytelling component, a series of four performances and workshops by master Missouri storytellers. Performances at various MCPL branches will entertain and educate audiences of all ages and represent traditions from across the state. Workshops will help emerging storytellers develop skills and techniques for researching and telling historical stories. Facilitated by a Kansas City-based professional storyteller, participants completing the sequence of workshops will have the opportunity to tell a five to seven-minute story as part of the state Bicentennial celebration in August 2021.

Storytelling Performances

Shadowball: The Negro Baseball Leagues

Friday, August 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Facebook Live

Performed by Bobby Norfolk, Shadowball takes the audience on a fascinating journey through the heyday of the Negro Baseball Leagues, a time when this country was segregated by Jim Crow laws, and America’s “National Pastime” wore two faces, the whites-only Major Leagues and the upstart Negro National League. Historical slides and period music enhance this emotional performance, illustrating the clash of race, sports and culture.

Storytelling Workshops

Teaching History Through Storytelling:  An Introductory Workshop

Teaching History Through Storytelling:  An Introductory Workshop

Saturday, August 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Following the previous evening’s performance, Bobby Norfolk discusses the basics of historical storytelling, from a general overview of researching and using resources for finding good stories, drawing on historical narratives to find engaging and inspiring characters, and transforming story and character into a tell-able historical tale. 

Lectures and Book Conversations

Book Conversation: One by One by Nicholas Bush

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