Storytelling festival returns with national performers
|Ed Stivender, shown below, and Megan Hicks, shown above, will perform at the Storytelling Festival July 13-14 at the Akron-Summit County Main Library.|
|Photos courtesy of Akron-Summit County Public Library|
Becky Davis, a librarian in the library’s History and Humanities Department who organizes the festival, said the event is now firmly entrenched in the local scene.
“We have a following now,” she said. “People look forward to it.”
She said about 250 people usually make up the audience for the festival’s final concert, while workshops attract between 40 and 50 people.
“The storytellers tell me that’s great,” Davis said.
This year’s two guest performers are Megan Hicks and Ed Stivender. Both are Philadelphia residents, Davis said.
Hicks was a New Voice at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., last year, Davis said. She is unique in that she combines the art of origami with her storytelling, she added.
“She just sounds so fun, and everything she does will just grab the children at their concert, and it will be very interactive,” Davis said.
Hicks will perform at the family concert July 13 at 1:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s Auditorium. That event is intended for children ages 5-12, Davis said.
In addition, Hicks will conduct a workshop, “Stories InCreasing, with the Origami Swami,” that day from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for librarians, educators and child-care providers. In-service credits are available for teachers, Davis added.
Hicks also will conduct a workshop for adults, titled “Your Life as History? Your History as Legacy,” July 14 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Stivender is an entertaining storyteller who brings in music with his tales, Davis said.
“He will have his banjo and his harmonica with him,” she said.
He’s been called the “Catholic Garrison Keillor” because of his stories about being raised Catholic, Davis said.
Stivender will conduct the workshop “Story Lab” July 14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in which he will discuss five rules for success in storytelling and tips for getting started.
He and Hicks will headline the festival’s concluding concert July 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Auditorium. At the concert, which is meant for audience members 12 and older, Hicks will address her mother’s experience during World War II and her own high school years during the “Summer of Love” in “Coming of Age — 1942 and 1968.” Stivender will present “Classics Revisited,” in which he’ll tell traditional and literary tales in his own style accompanied by his musical instruments and audience suggestions.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the concert with music provided by the Brick Road Ramblers. The performers will be available to meet following the concert, Davis said.
In addition to those events, festival attendees can participate in the lunch and story swap event July 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Meeting Room 2AB. At this event, participants are welcome to sit back and listen or practice sharing their own stories, Davis said.
All Storytelling Festival events are free and open to the public. Books and recordings will be available for purchase at the festival.
The Main Library is located at 60 N. High St. For more information, call 330-643-9040 or go to www.ascplhistory.akronlibrary.org/akron-storytelling-festival.
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