Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 56

NATIONAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL

T

he International Storytelling Center has been hosting the National
Storytelling Festival since 1973. This year's festival takes place October 4-6 and features such storytelling artists as Donald Davis, Barbara
McBride-Smith, Josh Goforth and Bill Lepp. Some of the new voices set to
speak this year include Simon Brooks, Mara Menzies, Sam Payne and Carolina Quiroga-Stultz.
The three-day festival draws more than 10,000 people into Jonesborough
and offers workshops, a Swappin' Ground where anyone can tell a story, a
Yarnspinner's Party, Story Slam!, Ghost Stories, Midnight Cabaret and more.
ISC president Kiran Singh Sirah says the festival creates moments that lead
to stronger interpersonal bonds.
"Storytelling is the binding force," he says. "When you create this space,
you will see someone who supports the NRA sitting next to a Bernie Sanders
supporter and they are laughing together and using their imagination. Creating face-to-face interactions is something we should all be encouraged to do
in all of the art forms."
For ticketing information and other details, visit storytellingcenter.net or
call 800-952-8392.
-MHM

about their struggles.
One of the newest ISC initiatives is
"Stories for Change," which is an 8-week
program geared toward at-risk teenagers
in our region. The idea is to help them
transform their lives through exposure
to world-class storytelling training. The

program currently serves more than 1,700
youth.
"They are learning multiple ways of
expressing themselves through story,"
says Sirah. "These strategies are designed
to help young kids address things like
trauma or social exclusion, isolation and

YOUR TICKET TO THE

Blue Ridge Mountains

loneliness. When they feel their voice
matters, they can make a contribution just
by learning to tell their story."
He knows first-hand the importance of
this shift.
"I came from a background where I
participated in a gang as a kid," explains

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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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