Today’s featured event:
The Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s 34th Annual Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival begins at 7 tonight at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive.
This festival, which continues through Saturday, celebrates the art of storytelling and with performances by local and nationally known storytellers, workshops, a family matinee, a poetry stand, live acoustic music and more.
It is with great sadness that one of the original storytellers, Syd Lieberman, has had to cancel this week due to health reasons. Lieberman is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education and has appeared in major storytelling festivals across the country and in New Zealand, including eight appearances at the National Festival in Jonesborough, TN.
In his place, we now welcome Elizabeth Ellis. Also known as “the Divine Miss E,” Ellis grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and was a children’s librarian at the Dallas Public Library before becoming a professional storyteller. She is a winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network, as well as a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award from the Tejas Storytelling Association and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network.
The festivals featured tellers include:
• Elizabeth Ellis: Also known as “the Divine Miss E,” Ellis grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and was a children’s librarian at the Dallas Public Library before becoming a professional storyteller. She is a winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Storytelling Network, as well as a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award from the Tejas Storytelling Association and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Network. Ellis is stepping in for Syd Lieberman, who was originally booked for the festival but had to cancel for health reasons.
• Donald Davis: A graduate of Duke University Divinity School and a retired Methodist minister, Donald is former chairperson of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Association and a featured teller at the Smithsonian Institution.
• Bil Lepp: A five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Lepp has been featured at venues across the nation, including a recent appearance for Comedy Central.
• Lyn Ford: Fourth generation nationally recognized Affrilachian (African American heritage and history from Appalachia) storyteller famous for telling her “Home-Fried” tales.
The Storytelling Festival will include three evening performances geared toward adult audiences and one family-friendly matinee. In addition to performances, workshops are offered Friday and Saturday to build your own storytelling skills.
The performance schedule includes:
Tonight – Evening performance, 7 p.m.
Friday– Workshops, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening performance, 8 p.m.
Saturday – Workshops, 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Family matinee, 4 p.m. StorySLAM at Urban Roots, 322 NE Second, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Evening performance, 8 p.m.
Each evening: A poetry stand featuring Oklahoma City poet and artist Kerri Shadid, who will write free, customized poems for event attendees.
Storytelling Festival performance tickets are $10. Workshop passes are $10 or $25 for a whole day, $50 for both Friday and Saturday workshops, and $75 for all festival workshops. The family matinee ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children.
For more information, go to www.artscouncilokc.com and check out my big feature on the fest Friday!
For more events, go to newsok.com/events.