Storytelling Festival Celebrates 14th Year at WSU

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s 14th annual Storytelling Festival will take place Feb. 22-24, celebrating the ancient custom of storytelling with special guest storytellers and a variety of other activities.

Festival events will be held at the Davis Conference Center, Ogden Eccles Conference Center, Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Treehouse Children’s Museum, various local schools and across WSU’s Ogden campus.

All events, with the exception of the annual Storytelling Festival Dinner, are free of charge.

“Thanks to the generous support of local individuals, businesses and foundations, along with a special RAMP grant, we are able to offer all of our events to the public for free,” said festival organizer Ann Ellis.

As in past years, the 2010 festival will feature nationally renowned storytellers: Patrick Ball, Donald Davis, Beauty and the Beast (Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss) and Leeny Del Seamonds.

The festival also will feature performances from approximately 30 local storytellers and about 80 student storytellers from Davis, Morgan, Ogden and Weber school districts. Festival organizers hold auditions each year to choose participants. This is one of the few opportunities in the country for children to share their tales on stage.

Ellis said the 2010 festival features one of the strongest lineups of storytellers ever.

This year’s festival will include several on-campus presentations that have been selected to benefit WSU students and faculty in many departments. All on-campus events also are open to the general public free of charge.

The WSU Storytelling Festival, first held in September 1996, is one of the few in the nation sponsored by a university in partnership with local school districts. A conference format of concurrent sessions over a three-day period allows listeners to select from a variety of storytelling genres.

The annual storytellers dinner will be held Feb. 23 in the Eccles Conference Center. “A Whale of a Tale” is the theme of this year’s dinner, where guests can meet the national storytellers. At that event, former WSU foreign languages professor Jean Andra Miller will receive the Karen J. Ashton Storytelling Award in recognition of her years of support for the festival, including her work as a festival organizer and as a contributing storyteller specializing in French folk tales. Anyone interested in attending the dinner should contact Judith Mitchell at 801-626-6626 or jmitchell@weber.edu to purchase tickets to the dinner.

Visit weber.edu/storytelling for more information about the festival, including a schedule of events and biographies on this year’s national storytellers. Tickets are not required for any of the events other than the dinner, but donations are welcome.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
Contact:
Ann Ellis, Storytelling Festival committee chair
801-626-7343 • aellis4@weber.edu
Author:
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 • jkowalewski@weber.edu