MEET THE STORYTELLERS!

This year's line-up looks to be very exciting! Stories by the river in beautiful Berg park. Evening performances featuring selected storytellers on Friday and Saturday.

Bill Harley

Recognized as one of America’s finest performers for families, Bill Harley is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, author and playwright who offers concerts, workshops and keynotes on a variety of subjects. With over twenty recordings of songs and stories and four children’s books to his credit, Bill’s humorous, yet meaningful work chronicles the lives of children at school and at home. The recipient of numerous national awards, including two Grammy nominations, bill was also received into the Circle of Excellence by the National Storytelling Network in 20001. Bill tours nationally as a solo artist as well as with his band, the Troublemakers and he has been a regular commentator on NPT’s All Things Considered since 1991. He makes his home in Seekonk, Massachusetts with his wife, Debbie Block, and two sons, Noah and Dylan.

Joe Hayes

Joe is an award-winning author and the Southwest’s premier storyteller – a nationally recognized teller of tales from the Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures. His bilingual Spanish-English telling have earned him a distinctive place among America’s storytellers. Joe’s most recent awards are the 2005 Land of Enchantment Award, 2005 Latino Family Literacy Award and the 2005 Talking Leaves Oracle Award from the National Storytelling Network and the 2005 Storyteller of the Year IPPY Award.

Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp is five time champion of the West Virginia Liars Contest. He tells original, hilarious, tales that will bring a smile to the face of even the most ill-humored person at your event. Bil has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival several times, and at The Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Bil is the author of three books of tales, four audio collections, and he has had stories published in several national magazines. Duke Divinity Magazine called Bil’s stories, "Awe inspiring cathedrals of flapdoddle and bull." Bil has been telling tales for over fifteen years. He tells original tall-tales written by himself and his brother. Bil has been a regular at the West Virginia Liars Contest since 1990.

Olga Loya

Olga Loya was captivated by the vivid stories her Mexican grandmother and father would tell. Absorbing all of their secrets and following the tendrils of memory that bind people and families. Olga fashioned and invented for herself, out of her own substance and imagination, a stirring universe of creation. Growing up in the barrio of East L.A. where family rituals and traditions were the center of her emotional life, the young Latina, performing improvisation as a girl, has mastered the expressive vocabulary of artful storytelling. With her poetic eloquence Olga's stories are an impassioned quest to keep alive not only the fabric of her family, but the larger Latino culture, richly robed in folk tales, ancient myths and history. There are personal tales, short stories inspired from a mix of newspaper and dream, healing stories, tales of extraordinary women, of myriad voices and inflections, and sometimes music and dance. Olga Loya's journey revealed to her the capacity to make one's life a surprise, even to herself, and especially to her audiences. And the magic is how she draws her listeners into unexpected realms.

Motoko

Award-winning storyteller Motoko enchants audiences of every age with her weaving of ancient lore, original tales, lyrical movement and traditional music. A native of Osaka, Japan, Motoko first came to the U. S. as an exchange student to the University of Massachusetts. She has trained with late master mime Tony Montanaro (1927-2002), and with master storytellers Eshu Bumpus and Elizabeth Ellis. Motoko has performed professionally since 1993. Her featured appearances include PBS’ “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”, CarnegieKids in Miyazaki Concert sponsored by Carnegie Hall, and the 2007 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Tim Tingle

Tim Tingle gave his first performance at the National Museum of the American Indian on Saturday, June 23, 2007 at the outdoor amphitheater of the Smithsonian complex. An appreciative audience, including dozens of Oklahoma Choctaws, saw Tingle sing "Shilombish Holitopa Ma," play the native flute, and perform "Crossing Bok Chitto," "The Choctaw Way,"and "Turtle Grew Feathers," his latest children's book. Tingle is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a sought-after speaker and storyteller, and an award-winning author of Native American fiction and folklore. Choctaw Chief Gregory Pyle has requested a story by Tingle previous to his Annual State of the Nation Address at the Choctaw Labor Day Gathering--a celebration that attracts over thirty thousand people-- from 2002 to the present.

Kim Weitkamp

Kim Weitkamp has been telling stories for almost 19 years, 15 of them being dedicated to helping youth in crisis. Four years ago she took her love of humor and storytelling to the stage and has been warmly received! Best known for her original Pitscreek stories, Kim will charm the audience with her storytelling style that volleys back and forth between comedy and heart felt story weaving.  As one reporter put it, "With complete fluidity she took us from heartwarming childhood stories into the outrageous world of the impossible. It was a hilarious take off and a wild ride. Kim weaves the threads of her individual stories into a single tapestry full of quirky characters, fantastic situations, and heartfelt wisdom - all the best that a storyteller can offer.”

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