Storytelling is a way to enjoy imagination beyond words. It is a way to entertain, share history and build community. Telling stories was popular before television and even books. Before anyone could read, stories were passed down through generations. It’s how family histories were preserved; how older generations taught the younger members of tribes and villages. Even though it may not seem as common, storytelling is still a big part of our world. From dinner tables to playgrounds, stories connect people to each other and to significant events and ideas. The Storytelling and Arts Center celebrates its 10th anniversary Oct. 16 -18.

Story telling is not just for children. It is  for adults as well, and the Storytelling and Arts Center has rounded up some of the best for the weekend. Entertainers include Bil Lepp, Bill Harley, Sheila Arnold Jones and Diane Ferlatte. Regional teller Martha Johnson and the winner and People’s Choice of the Bold-Faced Liars’ Showdown winners  Pamela Alberda and Jadie Fuson are in attendance, as well.

Bil Lepp, storyteller and comedian, is known for his tall tales and clever stories that people of all ages can appreciate. Lepp has received many awards and is the author of three books of tall tales, 10 audio collections, a non-fiction book and a novel.

Martha Reed Johnson, a well-traveled storyteller, uses her own experiences to connect with her audiences. Since traveling across three continents, Reed can relate to any audience through her storytelling.

Diane Ferlatte, a natural born nurturer, has spoken to audiences across the globe.  Her listeners can be from all walks of life. After performing internationally many times over, anyone can relate to her words.

Bill Harley, is also known as a children’s entertainer with many witty ways of connecting with children. Also awarded a Grammy for Best Spoken Word album
for Children.

Sheila Arnold Jones, has used her talent to perform during historic character presentations, Christian monologues, motivational speaking for schools, churches and organizations throughout the U. S. Jones tells original, folktales, tall tales, African-American, multicultural, historical and personal stories.

Participants can choose the teller they would like attend by the schedule provided on the SACs website.

SACs invites students, both public and homeschooled, to join during the student sessions on Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The student sessions will include special storytelling segments for youth. 

Look for craft vendors, a children’s play area and five storytelling workshops.  

The festival takes place at the John Blue House Complex in Laurinburg, North Carolina, tickets are available online at www.storyartscenter.org.

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