Storytelling Celebration

storytelling celebration logo

The 18th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration will bring local, regional, and national storytellers together for a four-day event, November 8-11, 2017, designed to honor and introduce all ages to the art of storytelling. As a longtime celebration partner, MCPL will bring storytellers into its branch libraries, as well as area schools and retirement and community centers.

Thursday Night Storytelling Concert

Join performer and storyteller Sheila Arnold Jones for an evening of stories and history. MCPL’s 2017 featured storyteller, Sheila is lead storyteller and historical character interpreter for History’s Alive!, which brings history to life in schools, churches, professional organizations, and museums across the country. Registration will be available October 1, 2017.

Woodneath Library Center
Thursday, November 9 | 7:00 p.m.


Out of the Old: Creating Stories from Your Ethnic and Cultural Heritage

Learn to craft new stories—personal and fictional—using enduring folklore and narratives from the past. Join master storyteller Adam Booth in an exploration of the universal elements and archetypes of folklore then exercise your creativity by creating a story. Storytellers of all experience levels are welcome. Registration will be available October 1, 2017.

Midwest Genealogy Center
Thursday, November 9 | 7:00 p.m.


Storytelling Celebration 2017 Branch Events

Gather round for stories that will make you laugh, cry, and shiver with fright told by some of the nation’s best storytellers.

North Independence Branch
Wednesday, November 8 | 11:00 a.m.
Colbern Road Branch
Wednesday, November 8 | 11:00 a.m.
South Independence Branch
Wednesday, November 8 | 7:00 p.m.

Parkville Branch
Thursday, November 9 | 7:00 p.m.
Red Bridge Branch
Thursday, November 9 | 1:00 p.m.
Buckner Branch
Friday, November 10 | 10:00 a.m.


Storytelling Saturday, November 11

Click each event title to register

10:00 a.m.

From the Pen to Performance
Do you have fascinating stories, but struggle with how to tell them? Let storyteller Geraldine Buckley help you free up your imagination to get those stories out and discover how to write them for the ear. Then spend some time practice telling your new tale. Come with paper and pencil and be prepared to set your stories free! For adults

10:00 a.m.

Kids Storyboxing Workshop
Young tellers can learn how take their memories and transform them into vivid storytelling descriptions. Storyteller Adam Booth will help tellers develop their own artistic process to become storytellers instead of just story readers. Ages 6 and up

10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Lunch Break - Taco King KC Food Truck

12:00 p.m.

Children’s Storytelling Concert: Adam Booth
Join storyteller Adam Booth for Appalachian folk tales and music meant especially for kids.

1:00 p.m.

Reversing Interpretation Workshop: A Conversation with Oney Judge
Meet Oney Judge, the personal maidservant of Martha Washington in this “reverse” presentation that not only captures the imagination, but also offers behind-the-scenes story that encourages listeners of all ages to dig deeper into history. All ages

2:30 p.m.

Storytelling Concert: Geraldine Buckley
A former prison chaplain, storyteller Geraldine Buckley shares personal stories that will make you laugh and think. For adults

3:30 p.m.

Story Jam: Storytelling for Everyone
Storyteller Scott Whitehair will lead off this storytelling free for all. Bring a personal story, fairytale, folktale, fable or joke. You have 10 minutes to tell your story to an audience waiting to hear your tale.

Featured Storytellers

image of Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold is the CEO and lead performer for History’s Alive! which brings history to life in schools, churches, professional organizations, and museums across the country. Sheila also works with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation to present historic character interpretations and teach at the foundation’s Summer Teachers Institute. She has been a featured regional storyteller at the Colonial Williamsburg Storytelling Festival, as well as one of its professional development presenters.

image of Adam Booth

Adam Booth

Adam Booth's storytelling blends traditional folklore, music, and an awareness of contemporary Appalachia. His telling appearances have included Teller-In-Residence at the International Storytelling Center, New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival, resident at the Banff (Alberta) Spoken Word program, a collaboration with the West Virginia Dance Company, and multiple events in seventeen states. Adam holds a master’s degree in music history from Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor in music composition from the University of South Carolina, and completed additional music theory study at Cleveland Institute of Music.

image of Geraldine Buckley

Geraldine Buckley

Known primarily for personal stories that make people laugh and think, Geraldine Buckley has been a storyteller and educator for more than 30 years. Until January 2010, Geraldine was the Protestant chaplain at the largest men’s prison in Maryland, an adventure that has given her many stories. Since then she has conducted storytelling workshops in prisons in the US, as well as in Rimutaka, New Zealand’s largest men’s prison. She has appeared as a featured teller in festivals throughout the US, including the National Storytelling Festival, in Jonesborough, TN.

image of Scott Whitehair

Scott Whitehair

Scott Whitehair is an international storyteller, teacher, and producer. He is the host of This Much Is True, one of the Chicago’s longest running personal narrative shows. He is director of Do Not Submit, a citywide network of open mics focused on connecting neighbors via their stories, and the creator of Story Lab Chicago. He tells stories anywhere someone will listen, including Steppenwolf Theater, Second City, The historic Green Mill, City Winery, NYC's Webster Hall, and The Woodstock Opera House.

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