Storytelling Festival Celebrates 22 Years at WSU

OGDEN, Utah — Storytellers will gather to share tales with audiences of all ages at Weber State University’s annual Storytelling Festival, Feb. 26-28. For 22 years, the award-winning festival has been a place for both national talent and local storytellers, including children, to perform.

This year’s festival will feature nationally renowned storytellers Bil Lepp, Charlotte Blake Alston, Andy Offut Irwin and Carolina Quiroga-Stultz. These storytellers come from varying parts of the world, allowing them to tell captivating stories infused with their own culture and life experience.

Local storytellers will also perform. Some of this year’s entertainers are familiar faces who have supported the Storytelling Festival since its beginning. Sam Payne, a Utah native, performed at the inaugural Storytelling Festival in 1996. Since then, he has gained international attention for his stage presence and combination of song and story.

The festival also provides a chance for a younger generation to break into storytelling. More than 60 children are chosen as youth storytellers and get to share the stage with professionals. In addition, nearly 12,000 children attend the festival and tell stories in their school districts, making this the largest youth storytelling festival of its kind in the country.

For the second year, audiences can view paintings that were commissioned 42 years ago for Utah’s bicentennial. The artwork portrays some of the unique historical events of Northern Utah. Following the bicentennial exhibit, the artwork eventually went into storage for a number of years. The Storytelling Festival Board recognized the value of the stories told in the artwork and restored the art for display. A film explaining the history of the artwork will accompany the exhibit. The display will be open Feb. 27-28 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room 321.

WSU will host several performances and events during the festival. Other event locations will include Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden Eccles Conference Center, Treehouse Museum and the Davis Conference Center. All events are free, with the exception of the fundraising dinner, Feb. 27 at the Timbermine Restaurant. For dinner reservations, contact Jackie Shafer at 801-626-7515 by Feb. 16.

Feb. 26, noon – Story Slam Workshop with Bill Wight in the Shepherd Union Fireplace Lounge

Feb. 27, 1 p.m. – Stories from the Ledge hosted by Sam Payne in the Shepherd Union Atrium (across from Einstein Bros. Bagels)

Feb. 27, noon – Story Slam Workshop with Bill Wight in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater

Feb. 27, 1:30 p.m. – Storytelling Symposium featuring storyteller Blake Alston in the Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room 321

Feb. 27 and 28, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Art exhibit and film screening in the Hetzel-Hoellein Room  

Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m. – Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston performs at WSU Davis Building 3 Ballroom

For a complete schedule of events, visit  

Visit for more news about Weber State University.


DeeDee Mower, Storytelling Festival chair
801-626-6143 •


Rachel Badali, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7295 •