Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stories at the River's Edge

The first time my tails ever went mobile! This lady was one of the best story helpers I've ever had.


A little drummer helps me with the tongue drums. Don't you love the delight on her face?


Tails, all lined up for a tale. This story, Uwungalema, is one of my most popular for audience participation.

I skipped right over sharing these photos from July 16th. That was my day to tell stories for the local storytelling festival, Stories at the River's Edge, arranged by Ohio storyteller Donna Wilson and me. Mostly Donna, though--I helped write the grant and come up with storytellers, but Donna is the main mover and organizer for the festival.



What it is: 8 days of storytelling for communities that border the Ohio River. This year we included the communities of Middleport Ohio, and Mason, Ripley and Ravenswood, West Virginia. Each week we featured a different storyteller who would tell at two locations on Wednesday and tow locations on Thursday.



How it's funded: through a generous grant from the Ohio River Border Initiative, a grant from Pleasant Valley Hospital, and matching funds from three libraries. Also through Donna's efforts to raise the funds (I stink at that), her ability to get people to commit to help, and assistance from several other sources. We were able to purchase a small sound system with this year's grant, which was a lot easier than lugging around my equipment. And now we're set up for next year too.

The series is over for this year. We're already thinking about what to do next year--add some more sites? Keep it the same size? Seek more donors? Add evening programs? One thing is certain--the audiences loved it and it is something our small communities need: performance art brought to their front door, or at least, to a local park.

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