$20 – $40

40th Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival and Conference

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$20 – $40

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The CT Storytelling Center hosts its annual Storytelling Festival LIVE April 23 - 24, 2021, with performances and workshops for adults!

About this Event

The 40th annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference brings together people of different cultures, ages, and backgrounds, and allows them to discover and react to stories together, share emotions, and bridge differences. In addition to masterful storytelling, we offer workshops to help people learn how to tell stories; their own and those of tradition, and how to use stories as tools for educators, parents, and others.

This year we're excited to welcome headliner Geraldine Buckley and fellow performing artists Peg Donovan, Saul Fussiner, Linda Gorham, Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi, Robin Moore, Elisa Pearmain, Carolyn Stearns, and Margie Warner to the virtual stage for live-streaming performances and workshops.

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7:00 p.m. PRE-SHOW Log-on early to get important Livestream reminders, and have a look at pictures of past festivals before we get underway.

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. CABARET The Connecticut Storytelling Center's Executive Director Ann Shapiro welcomes you to the festival and invites you to gather your favorite beverage, dessert, and munchies and settle in for a night of sublime storytelling!

Robin Moore will tell Traditional and Original Stories From His Boyhood in the Pennsylvania Mountains. Linda Gorham will tell Rumpelstiltskin on Abbey Road – her twisted version using Beatles songs, and festival headliner Geraldine Buckley will tell Stories to Laugh and Think About. Your emcee for the evening is storyteller Lorraine Hartin - Gelardi.


9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. PRE-SHOW Log-on early to get important Livestream reminders, and have a look at pictures of past festivals before we get underway.

Ready! Set! Start Your * Stone Soup! Set your slow cooker, crockpot, or stockpot to simmering! Add your ingredients throughout the show, so dinner will be ready with minimal fuss, and everyone can focus on the wonderful stories and workshops.

*In the folk tale, "Stone Soup", people make soup from nothing. A large pot of water is put on the fire with a stone in it. Members of the community bring what little they have: a carrot, an onion...until by the end of the day there is delicious stone soup. Put yours on the fire as we travel together in stories.

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. GATHERING OF TELLERS Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference Festival Director Carol Mon welcomes you to feast your eyes and ears as Linda Gorham performs Folktale from the Folks, Carolyn Stearns performs Magdalena's American Dream, a story of immigration, Robin Moore tells The Talking Fish (folktale), and Lorraine Hartin - Gelardi performs Mary McPhee and the Pooka (Celtic tale). Your emcee this morning is storyteller Bill Wright. Between performances, we will present the Barbara Reed Award .*

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. SESSION 1: WORKSHOPS

• Self - Publishing – Learn how! Led by Robin Moore

• Bullying – How to empower students to support their peers when they are the target of bullying, and more. Led by Elisa Pearmain (Licensed Psychotherapist)

• Story Swap – An informal sharing of short (5 minutes) stories.

11:30 p.m – 12:15 p.m. SESSION 1: PERFORMANCES Lorraine Hartin - Gelardi - Fred's Old Shoes/Linda Gorham - Family! What's Not To Love?

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. LUNCH Visit our vendors, meet our supporters, and enjoy the slideshow during the break. Now's a good time to toss in a few more ingredients for your Stone Soup.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. CONCERT Geraldine Buckley performs More Stories To Laugh and Think About

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. SESSION 2: WORKSHOPS

Forgiveness – Using Storytelling To Move Through The Forgiveness Process. Led by Elisa Pearmain

My Roots Are Showing – Collecting and Telling Family Stories. Led by Carolyn Stearns

Tell Me A Story! – Tips for Beginning Tellers. Presented especially for teachers, librarians, and parents. Led by Peg Donovan and Margie Warner

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. SESSION 2: PERFORMANCES Linda Gorham - Family - Past, Present, and Future/Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi - Christmas Calamity

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. TALK WITH THE TELLERS

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. DINNER & RECEPTION Virtual rooms will be open allowing all to mingle, network, catch up with old friends, make new ones, and dig into your Stone Soup!

7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. PRE-SHOW Log back in for Livestream reminders and more as we settle in for the festival finale when five of our festival's fabulous tellers take to the virtual stage.

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. SATURDAY NIGHT FIVE Performances by Linda Gorham - Tales You Know: Twisted, Turned & Tuned! Saul Fussiner - Tomek, Robin Moore - A Celtic Folk Tale from Robin’s Scots-Irish Ancestors, Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi - A Mother’s Quest, and Geraldine Buckley - More and More Stories To Laugh and Think About, with emcee, storyteller Carolyn Stearns. Our Educator and Librarian Awards* will be presented between these performances.

* CONNECTICUT STORYTELLING CENTER AWARDS Each year, the Connecticut Storytelling Center honors three people who have made extraordinary contributions to the Connecticut storytelling community. The awards are named for three beloved Connecticut storytellers and are presented each year during the Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference.

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Barbara Reed Award - for distinguished and outstanding service to the Connecticut storytelling community. Barbara founded the Connecticut Storytelling Center. A storyteller herself, she encouraged and nurtured storytellers, especially as a children's literature teacher at Connecticut College. In 1981, she and her students produced the First Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival. Barbara went on to create the Connecticut Storytelling Center's Schools Program and produced many storytelling events.

The 2021 recipient of the Barbara Reed Award is Susan Muro from Connecticut Humanities.

Spencer Shaw Educator Award - for nurturing education through professional storytelling and storytellers in Connecticut classrooms. Spencer Shaw was a vastly accomplished educator. He served as Branch Manager in the Hartford Public Library, was Program and Storytelling Specialist in the Brooklyn Public Library. Mr. Shaw received national and international recognition as an authority in Library Service for Children and lectured worldwide. He was a professor at the University of Washington.

The recipients of the 2021 Spencer Shaw Educator's Award are Mamie Bauduccio-Rock and Carlos Leal of Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School.

Kate McClelland Librarian Award - for nurturing professional storytelling and storytellers in Connecticut libraries. Kate was a beloved librarian at Old Greenwich’s Perrot Memorial Library for 29 years. “Mrs. Mac” was credited with forward-thinking ideas that shaped libraries across the country concerning children and books in a technological era. Her daughter, Lauren McClelland Mendoza, is a longtime member of the Connecticut Storytelling Center and serves on our Board of Directors.

This year’s recipients for the Kate McClelland Librarian's Award are Jennifer Keohane and Amanda Stern of the Connecticut Library Consortium.

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