Ever since the advent of television effectively killed the radio drama, oral storytelling has been in a fight for survival. Now that we have the Internet, iPads, YouTube, and any number of other visual media at our fingertips, some may think that storytelling is completely dead. Well, there are some folks that beg to differ. And while this may seem like an odd post for a blog about books, people who love books love stories, so I think it fits.
Starting March 7th and running through the 10th, the Tejas Storytelling Association will host the 28th Annual Texas Storytelling Festival. This year's festival will be held in Denton, just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and will feature storytellers from across the country, including Andy Offutt Irwin, DeCee Cornish, and (back by popular demand) Willy Claflin and his sidekick Maynard Moose.
The Tejas Storytelling Association was started in 1985 with the mission of perpetuating the art of storytelling. TSA promotes all facets of storytelling and hopes to expand the understanding and experiences of storytelling by nurturing storytellers and listeners and recruiting new audiences. They named the new organization Tejas to express founding member Finley Stewart's grand vision of creating an organization that would bring together listeners and tellers from throughout the Texas region (Tejas is the Caddo Indian word for "friend," from which Texas derives its name).
Some of the highlights of this year's event include:
GHOST TALES: Thursday night means ghost stories. Tales begin at 6:30 pm with frights appropriate for the younger set: the really scary stuff for adults begins at 7:30 pm, with haunting legends and eerie tales of the unexplained and unexplainable.
TALESPINNER DINNER AND SILENT AUCTION: From 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 9th you can join the featured storytellers for dinner before the evening concert. There will be great food, plus a chance to place bids on a number of goods and services at the festival's silent auction. All funds raised will go to support activities of the festival.
LABYRINTH WALK and SACRED TALES CONCERT: On Sunday, Jay Stailey will lead a Labyrinth Walk, a kind of moving meditation that opens you to think about your own life journey. The Sacred Tales Concert will offer stories from diverse spiritual traditions.
WORKSHOPS: There are storytelling workshops each day of the festival, ranging from an introduction to storytelling to how to share scary stories to how to use storytelling as a tool in the classroom.
The festival will be held at the Denton Civic Center. Visit the Festival’s website for ticket prices, hotel accommodations, and a full schedule of events.