Storytelling Festival Begins New Chapter

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s popular Storytelling Festival is preparing to add a new chapter to its storied history, in this, its 11th year.

Following a 16-month, self-imposed hiatus, the beloved festival returns March 5-7 featuring new locations at a new time of the year. Despite the obvious changes, organizers want to assure the annual festival’s fans that much of what they love about the event remains unchanged.

“By moving the festival from November to March it better accommodates our K-12 school participation, by giving the student storytellers more time to develop and prepare their stories for our festival,” said Claudia Eliason, associate professor of teacher education and WSU
Storytelling Festival executive committee member.

This year’s festival marks the first time that a portion of the event will be held in Davis County. On March 5 and 6 the festival will be held at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center and Peery’s Egyptian Theater (2415 Washington, Blvd.). On March 7, the event will be held at the Davis Conference Center (762 Heritage Park, Layton). Visiting storytellers will also give presentations at schools throughout Davis, Morgan and Weber counties.

“We wanted to share our festival with a larger audience, while still being true to our roots,” Eliason said.

As in past years, the 2007 festival will feature four nationally renowned storytellers:
Patrick Ball, Dianne Ferlatte, Sid Lieberman and Olga Loya. All four performers have entertained audiences at previous WSU Storytelling Festivals. In addition, the festival will include performances from 27 regional storytellers and 54 student storytellers from the Davis, Morgan, Ogden and Weber school districts. Festival organizers hold auditions every other year to choose participants. It is one of the few opportunities in the country for children to share their tales on stage.

The festival continues to grow in popularity. In fall 2005, the festival attracted more than 13,800 visitors, and organizers expect this year’s audience could exceed 14,000.

The WSU Storytelling Festival is unique in that it is the only one 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.

Workshops on the art of storytelling provide teachers from sponsoring school districts, students and other interested adults the opportunity to enhance their storytelling proficiency and strengthen their literacy skills.

Visit for more information about the festival, including a schedule of events, ticket information and biographies on this year’s national storytellers.

Visit for more news about Weber State University.

Ann Ellis, WSU Storytelling Festival chair

(801) 626-7343 ·


Claudia Eliason, WSU Storytelling Festival, executive committee member
(801) 626-7719 ·

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 •