Storytelling festival back at North Columbia Schoolhouse |

Storytelling festival back at North Columbia Schoolhouse

ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Seven storytellers will be at this weekend’s Sierra Storytelling Festival which returns after a 2-year hiatus to the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center.

Charlie Chin, Willy Claflin, Dan Keding, Rafe Martin, Barbara McBride-Smith, Liz Warren and emcee Diane Ferlatte will be featured storytellers.

Festival events include all seven storytellers Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday’s morning and afternoon events include hour-long performances by each teller, a panel discussion about the similarities and differences in writing and telling stories, and the Open Telling event for audience members to present three- to five-minute stories. Sunday’s events are the morning children’s concert with Claflin and his puppet Maynard Moose and the finale featuring all tellers.

Diane Ferlatte: The international storyteller of African, African-American and multicultural stories and songs focuses on tales of inspiration, struggles, values and character.

Her numerous honors include receiving the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the National Parenting Publications Gold Award and the Storytelling World Honor Award. Ferlatte’s recordings include “Aesop, Alive & Well,” “Knick Knack Paddy Whack, Vol. 1 and 2,” “Yes M’am, Respect for the Elders” and “Favorite Stories.”

Ferlatte has performed at other Sierra Storytelling Festivals. For more information, visit on the Web.

Charlie Chin: Teacher, writer, Tai Chi Chuan instructor and performer for more than three decades, Chin shares stories about the Chinese-American experience.

Chin was awarded a Community Folklore Scholar Certificate in 1989 by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. in honor of his Asian-American Studies.

Last year, he was on the National Storytelling Festival stage in Jonesborough, Tenn. For more information, visit on the Web.

Willy Claflin: Claflin is an award-winning teller, musician, and puppeteer featured at festivals here and abroad.

During a teaching career from 1969 to 1981, Claflin developed his first major puppet characters: Maynard Moose, Boring Beaver, Bunny (The World’s Smartest Rabbit), and Dr. Alligator.

His 1987 folk-rock album, “Bones of Love,” was listed as a Recommended Release in Billboard Magazine. “Maynard Moose: Sleeping Beastly & Other Tales” (1992) was selected by the American Library Association as a Notable Children’s Recording, as was “The Wolf Under the Bed” (1996) for which Claflin received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Claflin won his second Parents’ Choice Gold Award and a Storytelling World award for “The Uglified Ducky” (2002) recording.

The Petaluma performer will be featured at the children’s concert. For more information, check on the Web.

Dan Keding: After listening to tales told by his Croatian grandmother as he grew up in Chicago, Keding has told stories for almost three decades on traditional world folk tales, personal narratives of his childhood, ghost stories and dark tales. A ballad singer as well, Keding accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and spoons. He plays festivals throughout the United States, Great Britain and Ireland.

Keding was inducted into the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence in 2000. For more information, check on the Web.

Rafe Martin: The author of almost 20 books, Rafe Martin has received three American Library Association Notable Book Awards, Four Parent’s Choice Gold Awards, two Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Awards, an American Folklore Society Aesop’s Accolade Award and several American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.”

Martin has told stories in every state and Japan. His books have been translated into Swedish, French, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, Korean, Japanese and Portuguese.

For more information, visit on the Web.

Barbara McBride-Smith: McBride-Smith has performed in prestigious festivals across the United States. Her stories have been recorded on six tapes (three new CDs will be released soon), published in seven anthologies and featured on National Public Radio. She has written three books: “Greek Myths Western Style,” “New Testament Women” and “Tell It Together.” For more information, visit on the Web and see the adjacent story.

Liz Warren: Storyteller, teacher and cofounder of the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, Warren tells stories which reflect the heroic journey of personal transformation. She also teaches mythology, folklore, life stories, and storytelling classes at the college. For more information, visit on the Web.

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