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contact info for Kentucky Storytelling Association: P O Box 4148, Frankfort, KY 40604-4148  secretary@kystory.org

2017 Conference Workshops


Friday, November 3, Pre-conference (separate fee per session)

Pre-Conference 1 – Stories Old and New – a Path to Healing and Resilience

Description: Traditional stories ignite our connection to self and affirm our belonging to community.

Connecting our personal stories with traditional stories we can access a deeper wisdom about life. We’ll explore the intersection between storytelling and the healing arts, and learn skills to guide others in a creative and empowering experience.  Length: 6 hours. Intended Audience: Adults, especially counselors, preachers, therapists, social workers, community leaders. Presenter: Noa Baum.


About Noa Baum:  Israeli born Noa Baum focuses on storytelling’s power to heal across the divides of identity and build bridges for peace. She trained in theatre and education at NYU and performs internationally with diverse audiences ranging from the World Bank, prestigious universities, festivals and congregations, to inner city schools and detention centers. Highlights include: The National Storytelling Festival, US. Defense Department, Mayo Clinic, Brandeis University, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Kennedy Center, Fabula Festival, Sweden. Noa is a winner of Parents’ Choice and Storytelling World Awards and author of a new memoir: A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman’s Quest For Peace. www.noabaum.com


Pre-Conference 2 – Interviewing for Stories That Matter

Description:  Learn how to interview people to gather meaningful stories. A good interview aims not just at fact-finding but – primarily – at story-finding. We will explore and practice how to conduct powerful interviews that call forth stories: how to listen to emerging memories, how to be silent when silence is needed, and how to ask effective questions at the right moment. Length: 3 hours. Intended Audience: Teens to adults; useful for anyone interested in gathering information through interviews, including family and community historians, teachers, librarians, and storytellers collecting stories. Presenter: Jo Radner.

About Jo Radner: Jo Radner (Lovell, Maine) has performed stories from Maine to Finland to Hawaii.  Committed to strengthening communities by helping them find, shape, and present their stories, she conducts oral history projects and workshops for organizations, families, and individuals.  Her CD, Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People, won a 2013 Storytelling World Award.  In April 2013 she received the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award “in recognition of extraordinary commitment, dedication and loving encouragement to the New England storytelling community.”  Jo is past president of the National Storytelling Network and the American Folklore Society. www.joradner.com


Pre-Conference 3 – Inviting the Ghosties:  Write and Perform Your Own Ghost Story

Description: Participants will be coached through creating a ghost story to be told/performed with the group. Thomas Freese, author of 9 ghost story books, both fiction and nonfiction, will assist participants in both writing a brief ghostly tale and in performing too. Length: 3 hours. Intended Audience: Teens to adults, including writers, storytellers, teachers, librarians, youth counselors, parents, others with interest in the topic. Presenter: Thomas Freese.

About Thomas Freese: Thomas Freese has dozens of story programs and performs as a professional storyteller and musician. He has entertained audiences from Ashland to Argentina to Alaska with singing, guitar and character voices. He authored 11 books, including 9 books of ghostly tales. He teaches workshops in art and storytelling, and he is a juried teaching artist with the Kentucky Arts Council. Thomas Freese has a Master’s Degree in Expressive Therapies and is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). He is also an Art Therapist (ATR-BC). Books include Haunted Battlefields of the South and Ghosts, Spirits and Angels. www.ThomasLFreese.com


Saturday, November 4, Conference Workshop (included in Conference Registration)

Round 1 (you’ll be able to attend Workshop 1, 2, or 3)

Workshop 1 –  Helping Fledgling Storytellers Soar

Description: In this fun, interactive workshop, award-winning storyteller Katie Ross will share helpful hints that she wishes someone had shared with her when she was just beginning. Special focus will be given on how to craft a memorable plot driven story. Length: 135 minutes. Intended Audience: Beginning storytellers, ages teen – adult. Presenter: Katie Ross.

About Katie Ross:  Katie Ross specializes in multicultural folktales, sacred tales, Appalachian stories, tall tales, and personal stories.  She especially enjoys including French and Spanish words in international tales. She successfully auditioned to be a regional teller at the National Storytelling Network’s Conference in Richmond, VA. Often Otto Ross, her husband, joins her by playing the banjo, guitar, and accordion as part of their presentations.  Together they have given workshops for the Virginia Storytelling Alliance; the West Virginia Storytelling Guild; the Kentucky Storytelling Association; West Virginia University; and as part of continuing education at Allegany College of Maryland.


Workshop 2 – Moth-Style Storytelling: Make It Real, Personal, and Captivating

Description: The Moth StorySLAM invites participants to tell true, personal stories (5 minutes or less) at monthly open-mic events around the world, including here in Louisville. Learn from the producer of the Louisville Moth how to select, craft, and practice telling your story. Length: 135 minutes. Intended Audience: Adults. Presenter: Tara Anderson.

About Tara Anderson: Tara Anderson is the the producer for the monthly Moth StorySLAM in Louisville, and she's working on an MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University. She's also the host, producer, and editor of Five Things, a podcast from Louisville Public Media that explores human stories through the objects we treasure. (It's like show and tell for grownups.) She reports on arts & culture and immigrant communities for WFPL, and she has been a contributor for NPR, the Gravy podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance, American Theatre, and Louisville Magazine. She doesn't sleep enough.


Workshop 3 – Tall Tales, History, or Just Plain Lies

Description: Do you know what your hometown story is? Every place has a story, but is it really history or is it just a tall tale? Maybe it’s just a plain old lie. This workshop will discuss how to research your hometown’s story to see if it’s genuine history or not, and discuss when it really doesn’t matter. Length: 135 minutes. Intended Audience: All ages, no storytelling experience needed, especially suitable for librarians, teachers, historical researchers, tour guides, students, and writers. Presenters: Legina Adams, Sam Adams, Tessa Caudill.

About Legina Adams, Sam Adams, & Tessa Caudill: Legina and Sam Adams and Tessa Caudill tell stories in their hometown that range from the silly to the truly horrifying. Stories they have performed include tales from Uncle Remus, local history, ghost stories, and folk tales. Legina is a bookmobile librarian and Tessa is a children’s librarian. Sam is a reporter and author. Legina and Tessa have been working together as storytellers for nearly six years. Sam and Legina have been married for 26 years, and have been telling each other stories the whole time.


Round 2 (you’ll be able to attend Workshop 4, 5, or 6)

Workshop 4 – Meet Your Neighbors: Hear Their Stories

Sponsored by: Louisville Free Public Library

Description: This international panel of presenters will share their stories and discuss how storytelling is part of their culture. Buddha Dhakal with the Immigrant Services Department of the Louisville Free Public Library will moderate this session. Length: 75 minutes. Intended audience: All ages. Presenters: (to be announced)


Workshop 5 – Bringing All Aboard: Adapting Storytelling for Special Needs Audiences

Description: Storytelling is for everyone, but audience members with disabilities may need adjustments by storytellers to increase enjoyment and meaningful participation.   You will learn about their needs as they relate to storytelling, with a focus on developmental and learning disabilities and vision loss, along with simple modifications to meet those needs.    Length: 75 minutes. Intended Audience: adults. Presenters: Rebecca and Rachel Oshlag

About Rebecca and Rachel Oshlag: Rebecca and Rachel Oshlag, a mother-daughter team, have been telling stories for over 25 years and professionally as StoriesGalorious since 2010.   They have experience in working with persons with learning disabilities, vision loss, developmental disabilities, problem behaviors, physical disabilities, and multiple disabilities.  They take pride in adapting stories and performances to meet special needs.  Rebecca, a retired special education teacher with a Ph. D. in educational psychology, has presented storytelling workshops at the local, state, and national levels.  Rachel holds an LMSW with specialization in school social work.  She has given demonstrations on learning and telling stories to beginning storytellers. www.storiesgalorious.com   


Workshop 6 – Crack Me Up! – How to Fracture a Fairy Tale

Description: Learn to identify stories and verses that lend themselves to successful parody. Play with several    ways to crack a story up and put it back together. Everyone leaves with a Tool-Kit Full of Little Hammers” – techniques with which they can start fracturing immediately. Length: 75 minutes. Intended Audience: participants need storytelling experience as readers, listeners and/or tellers who have a working knowledge of common fairy tales, nursery tales, and nursery rhymes; ages 12 to adults (age 8 and up if you are bright, feisty and have a well-developed sense of humor!). Presenter: Megan Hicks

About Megan Hicks: As a self-proclaimed Teller-Without-a-Niche, Megan dives heart-first into every story she tells – fairy tale, personal story, American history, parody, ghost & horror, humor – and magically, her listeners are happy to follow.  She performs throughout the United States, and recently added a fourth continent – Asia – to her international storytelling credits. Awards for her storytelling recordings include a Parents’ Choice® Silver, Parents’ Guide to Children’s Media, a Storytelling World Honor, NAPPA Honors, and two          Storytelling World Awards. Megan is a sought-after workshop presenter for teachers, librarians, storytellers, and — as Origami Swami —          classrooms full of kids. www.meganhicks.com


Round 3 (you’ll be able to attend Workshop 7, 8, or 9)

Workshop 7 – Creating Successful Storytelling Events

Description: Come listen as producers of a variety of storytelling events talk about how their events work, their strategies for building audiences, and how they judge success. A bit of Q & A time will also be included. The panelists have experience with:  Louisville Moth – Tara Anderson, Louisville Storytellers Project – Kristina Goetz,  House Concerts – Megan Hicks, Storytelling Coaching Retreats & Intensive Storytelling Workshops – Cynthia Changaris.  Length: 75 minutes. Intended Audience: Anyone with interest in the topic.

About the presenters: Tara Anderson bio here.   Megan Hicks bio here. Cynthia Changaris has been telling stories, singing songs and engaging audiences for thirty years. She has also produced storytelling workshops led by some of our country’s most respected storytellers and small group coaching retreats. Kristina Goetz is a 20-year veteran storyteller. She has gone deep undercover with the police, interviewed a homegrown terrorist and chronicled the life of a 16-year-old gang member trying to change her life. Goetz believes everybody has a story to tell. She is a storytelling coordinator with The Louisville Storytellers Project, a quarterly storytelling program affiliated with the Courier-Journal newspaper.  


Workshop 8 – Surprise! Drawing Stories to Tell and Teach

Description: In this hands-on session, Robin Bady teaches you how – sentence by sentence, line by line – to tell and draw a multicultural grab bag of stories. Then, you will work in a group to create an original draw - and - tell tale. This easily replicated workshop offers success for a wide variety of learners.  Length: 75 minutes. Intended Audience: All ages; especially appropriate for anyone who works with children and families. Presenter: Robin Bady.

About Robin Bady: Award-winning storyteller Robin Bady draws on her background as an actor, writer, director, teacher, and musician to share tales from folklore, personal experience, literature and historic events with exuberance, and compassion. She has a particular love for true ghost stories! She has performed and taught at venues on three continents and one island, hosts the BADYHouse Storyteling Concerts, and curates the Governor’s Island Storytelling Festival. Robin lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tom, and two wise cats. www.RobinBady.com


Workshop 9 – Storytelling with the Incarcerated

Description: Participants will be provided with practical strategies on developing prison storytelling programs, methods on how to use stories, and how to structure the program.  Length: 75 minutes. Intended Audience: Adults. No telling experience needed. Especially appropriate for anyone who works with the at-risk population, in crisis centers, or is interested in using storytelling for social change. Presenter: Octavia Sexton

About Octavia Sexton: Octavia is a storyteller and teaching artist with over 27 years of experience presenting storytelling and educational workshops.  She has extensive experience using storytelling with incarcerated women, and for environmental awareness and social change. www.octaviasexton.com

Copyright 2006-2018 by Kentucky Storytelling Association. All Rights Reserved. Revised June 1, 2018 Web site designed by Kate Dudding