Oct. 20-22 the Arts Council of Scotland County presents a roster of award-winning storytellers and soulful musicians. The 12th annual Storytelling Festival of Carolina has a variety of local tales, timeless stories and fantastic music. “It is a small festival, but it draws people who perform all over the world,” said Erin Rembert, storytelling and arts center representative.
The storytellers for this year’s festival are Bil Lepp, Michael Reno Harrel and Priscilla Best.
Lepp is a five-time winner of the West Virginia Liars Contest, an award-winning author, and has received many other national and international accolades.
Harrell has performed at the National Storytelling Festival and was the Teller-inResidence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He is also a talented musician and often incorporates music into his storytelling.
Best tells contemporary stories, folktales and chants from her African-American heritage and other cultures. Rembert described her as a “local girl with stories that make you feel good.”
Rembert said the storytellers are talented professionals who “engage the audience, feel the story and know where they are going, all (while) remaining flexible.” She added, “They are performers, and they tell it like they lived it.”
Due to the success of last year’s festival, the council will once again welcome musicians. Momma Molasses blends alt-country, blues and other musical styles into the sweet, slow-moving style of music that earned her name. Further performances will come from Clay Brown and The Legends Band as well as 2015 Native American Music Awards nominee Lakota John.
For the first time, the festival will take place in downtown Laurinburg. This means there will be a greater variety of food and entertainment options for attendees. Proceeds from ticket sales will be channeled back into the Arts Council and help fund next year’s festivals as well as other projects. The council’s goal is to bring in more opportunities and programs that Laurinburg wouldn’t have otherwise.
The festival begins Friday, Oct. 20, with a student’s day from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and a sample of events to come at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday morning the venue opens to the public at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. with a variety of performances, workshops and autograph sessions. Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. there will be gala where attendees can meet the storytellers and enjoy a sweet and savory dessert buffet. The final day of the festival is Sunday, Oct. 22, and features performances from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Call (910) 277-3599 or visit www.storyartscenter.org for tickets and more information.
PHOTO: Bil Lepp