Storytelling Festival Fellow
In 2017 we invited nationally recognized local storyteller, Sam Payne, to join the festival on an ongoing basis as Weber Storytelling Festival "Fellow." In this role he performs at a variety of events throughout the year, promotes the festival in Utah and nationally, and advises the executive committee.
Sam’s unique blend of storytelling and song has entertained audiences in concert halls from Bulgaria to Tokyo, and from the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. A regular performer at the Weber Storytelling Festival, he's been featured at other festivals large and small, all over the country. Mr. Payne produces and hosts The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories, a radio program on the art of storytelling, broadcasting daily on Sirius XM 143 since 2013. Sam also created and syndicated The Radio Family Journal, a popular weekly storytelling radio feature (on the air since 2003). As an arts educator, he co-directed the Soundcheck Series, an artist development program for independent songwriters, founded the Southern Utah Songwriters Association, and developed Musicfusion, a series of workshops and classes in which elementary school students interact with music professionals to create and perform individual and collaborative works for the stage. Concurrent with his career as a storyteller, Sam spent 16 years in the classroom and in school administration, and was presented Utah’s Best of State award as a school administrator in 2015. Mr. Payne has an award-winning catalog of seven albums of original solo material, and four albums of jazz standards as the leader of the widely performing quartet, Savoy. He has also shared stages with rock legends Toto and Foreigner, pop stars Air Supply and Marie Osmond, and more. Sam holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Weber State University, and a Master’s degree in Education from Southern Utah University.