Category: Festival Storytelling

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Walking Away from Success…

Picture for Storytellers

The Question that we must ask ourselves is if storytelling is so amazing why are more storytelling events not filled with sold out venues?

In today’s internet based world - community, human connection and personal narrative are highly valued and desperately needed in the United States. Modern performers who can successfully and repeatedly bring these values to the stage are loved by audiences everywhere. All of these values are part of a successful storytelling event

Inside the community of storytellers we use the word storytelling to describe what we do. I would suggest that the use of this word “Storytelling” to sell our art form to potential audiences of 1st time attendees outside of our community is both counterproductive and self-sabotaging. Successful storytelling is many things – Read more »

“When Cats Could Fly…” Indy Fringe show for families awarded 5 stars for kids by Nuvo News

Reviewer Scott Shoger of Nuvo News awards 5 stars out of 5 for child audiences to the Indy Fringe Show “When Cats Could Fly…” This show by storyteller Brother Wolf will be opening three more times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week.

Scott Shoger of Nuvo News Writes… “Cats could fly back during Brother Wolf’s New York City childhood, a time when Roman Candles were subbed out for real ones on birthday cakes– and when sleds could fly too, right down an icy hill into eight lanes of traffic (and that’s how Wolf got his first speeding ticket, at age 9). With his ability to bring to life eccentric characters like a WWI vet and Vodou priestess, Wolf is the kind of gentle, playful, imaginative storyteller you loved to sit before, Indian-style, back in your youth.” Published in Nuvo News – Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Read more »

An Interview with Lanes Exec. Director Yvonne Zinicola Part 2

photo by: Simon Brooks
Yvonne Zinicola ( Rt.) with Lanes President Joanne Piazzi and President- Elect Tony Toledo

Written by Carolyn Stearns
This is part two of two of my interview of Yvonne Zinicola our Lanes Exec. Director. Now more than a year into her position we look at where we have come from and where she sees Lanes going.
8. What gem have you found since you began with Lanes?

I know it sounds repetitive, but our members and our volunteers are the largest gems of LANES! The sheer dedication of our board members and our volunteers from bloggers to event volunteers to others, amazing! Our members are VERY supportive of each other and travel about visiting each other’s venues. It’s a wonderful network of people.

9. Anything coming up you want to share about?

The board will be revamping the Strategic Plan before June 2012 and by then we should start to see more of the plan’s implementation for which we have been building the foundation. Truly getting into promoting storytelling is what we want to benefit the whole storytelling community.

10. New York is the next host state, how is the planning going? Read more »

Interview With Lanes Exec. Director Yvonne Zinicola Part 1


Written for by Carolyn Stearns…
Part 1- An Interview With Lanes Exec. Director Yvonne Zinicola as of 3-29-2011

I requested to interview Yvonne for the blog as a way of capturing her first year and reflecting on its impact with Lanes and storytelling in the Northeast. I sent Yvonne my questions and we thought of putting out this interview prior to Sharing the Fire. My questions got Yvonne to thinking and they needed time for the answers to gel while STF day was racing forward. We decided after everyone was home from Sharing the Fire and the light had simmered to red coals it would be a good time to release the interview. I decided to post it as received in the question answer format and not try to fix something that doesn’t need fixing.
Yvonne has had a year to get to know us and we are all beginning to see who Yvonne is. Hopefully for those who have not yet had the pleasure this will bring you a little overview. For all those who have met or worked with Yvonne already, here is some follow up to what you have been introduced to.

1. 1 year has passed, what is just as you expected in that time frame?

I really do not set “expectations” until I have a chance to understand the organization, its members and its systems. The first year was exploratory and foundation building. Although I am new to Storytelling, I am not new to the arts and have over 15 years experience in Non-profit management. First, I had to do an in depth assessment of the organization to determine our strengths and weaknesses. The framework of processes was in place, but I had to add much more detail. That’s not really unusual for a non-profit that has been pretty much staffed by volunteers with some part-time admin folks along the way. So it was no surprise, but it has taken much time and energy. In order to move forward, it was vital to our work to do this foundation building.

2. What in the year has most surprised you?

I was surprised and amazed by the passion and dedication that our storytellers have. We have an amazing group of vibrant members who are dedicated to each other as much as to furthering the art of storytelling. I was impressed at the many functional, creative and inventive ways that storytelling is being used to make the world a better place and to create understanding between people.

3. Where have you seen the most progress? Read more »

Planning a World Storytelling Event from Start to Finish in 25 Days

World Storytelling Day
by Stuart H. Nager

I found out about World Storytelling Day ( on February 23, 2011, through a posting on Facebook. The global event, centered around the theme of Water, was to be on or around March 20th. I’ve been working hard as a Teaching Artist, doing my storytelling and other performance gigs here and there, and thought this was a great day to support. Jazzed, excited and energized, I already had a meeting set up for the 24th with Read more »

The ISC’s Gamble

Art of Storytelling

The bankruptcy of the International Storytelling Center is a sad affair and a concern to all citizens of Jonesborough, who recognize the great cultural and economic contributions that the Center and its programming bring to the town. For storytellers and storytelling proponents around the country and the world, however, it is a tragedy in the ancient sense, a drama in which the protagonists have pushed to an avoidable yet seemingly inevitable crisis. As a citizen of Jonesborough, a chronicler of the history of the storytelling movement, a past board member of the National Storytelling Network (NSN), and longtime supporter of both ISC and the National Festival, I would like to recount a version of this story which may help to fill some gaps in the narrative framed so far for the local press and public. In storytelling, point of view is all-important, and the tale is heard quite differently beyond the watershed of Little Limestone Creek.

For the first twenty years of its existence, the Storytelling Festival was produced by a hard-working partnership of storytellers from around the country who made up the Board of the National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (NAPPS), then the name of the Read more »

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