State Liaison Quarterly Report
July 12, 2018
I always knew that a lot of storytelling is happening near me. As a new liaison, I’m discovering that storytellers are active throughout our area.
I have sent emails to the StoryCircle listserv (the storytelling group serving the Capital District and beyond) and NEST listserv. I am creating an email list of people interested in hearing more about NSN activities and in submitting information to me to be used in future reports.
Many local storytellers and groups have no formal association with NSN. Although I’ve been telling stories for about 15 years, I have rarely seen NSN materials in our area.
I hope to address that in the coming year.
I plan to reach out to organizations that often sponsor storytelling events, such as the Academy of Lifelong Learning, the Immigration Coalition, and the Folklife Center at Glens Falls Library to let them know more about NSN.
Storytelling Organizations in Eastern NY State
Black Dirt Storytelling Guild in Florida, NY.
For information, contact Madelyn Folino firstname.lastname@example.org
Children at the Well. (http://childrenatthewell.org/)
This group has promoted storytelling among teens of different faiths. Paula Weiss, its founder, has recently written a book about the group, now available on amazon.com, entitled Our Stories Connect: Creating Youth Storytelling Programs to Raise Confident, Compassionate, and Capable Leaders. (See below for more information.)
Interfaith Story Circle of the Capital District. (http://withourvoice.org/ifsc/)
This year the group celebrates their 25th year of monthly meetings between September and June. Their goal is to connect with people of all spiritualities and faiths; to rejoice in the richness of diversity, to break down barriers which sometimes divide, and to build up that which people have in common.
Interfaith Story Circle of Dutchess County. (https://www.dutchesscountyinterfaith.org/interfaith_story_circles.html)
This group is hosted by the Dutchess County Interfaith Council. It meets monthly from October to June at various houses of worship. The group was started thirteen years ago by Gail Burger, Kusum Gupta, Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi and Muriel Horowitz.
Rye Storytellers’ Guild. (https://patch.com/new-york/rye/ev–storytellers-guild-at-the-rye-library)
The Rye Storytellers’ Guild, formed in 1987, is a group of adult story lovers who meet at the Rye Free Reading Room on the first Tuesday of each month to share traditional and personal tales and trade tips on storytelling techniques.
Saratoga Storytelling Open Mic (https://margaretfrench.com/openmic/)
This open mic was created in 2005 and meets monthly between September and June. A featured teller follows the first two tellers and is followed by an intermission and more tellers. Beginning this fall, open mic will be at Caffè Lena in Saratoga at 7 p.m. every fourth Tuesday between September and June. (Since Christmas falls on the 4th Tuesday this year, open mic will be cancelled in December.) Producers are Jeannine Laverty, Margaret French, & Christie Keegan.
The StoryCircle of the Capital District (http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/sc/)
was created in 1983 as a place where storytellers could meet to practice works in progress. It has since fostered many activities and alliances, many of which are mentioned in this report. Kate Dudding and Joe Doolittle have done an extraordinary job of promoting storytelling in the Capital District.
The Storytellers of Salem, NY
A new storytelling group from the Salem/Cambridge/Greenwich area has been meeting once a month for almost a year, led by Siri Allison. Many of the participants recently took storytelling workshops in Saratoga or Glens Falls. Some have begun sharing their stories in events in the wonderful old theater, the Ft. Salem Cabaret.
Tales ‘n Stuff at Arthurs in Schenectady, an open mic (http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/sc/Arthurs-Open-Mic.shtml)
Joe Doolittle has found a welcoming spot for an open mic for story and song at Arthur’s Market and Historic Café in Schenectady. Each month there is a featured teller with plenty of time for other performers. This open mic is every month between September and June on the first Tuesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sign-ups at 6:45 p.m.
College Storytelling Workshops in Hudson Valley Community College and Russell Sage College
Marni Gillard is leading these workshops, entitled Telling Life Stories to Find Your Voice. Participants meet once a week.
Do Tell Beginners Storytelling Workshop (email@example.com)
Betty Cassidy and Margaret French lead this annual four-week beginners’ workshop in Glens Falls, NY, sponsored by the Folklife Center at Crandall Library. The director, Todd DeGarmo, and his staff have provided funding, hosted the workshop, and recorded and edited all participants’ stories and made them available on YouTube, with copies of the stories going to each participant. You can view their stories at (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLq5rn8NWzQ3Kz2I5ZLwF2TUVQMBb6YEI)
Elizabeth Ellis Workshop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kate Dudding hosts an annual weekend workshop led by Elizabeth Ellis every October. Although participants often return year after year, there is usually room for one more. Accommodation may be available for out-of-towners.
Workshops at the Consultation Center in Albany (http://www.consultationcenteralbany.org/)
Marni Gillard leads a four-week workshop for beginners or more advanced tellers that helps us all go deeper in our everyday stories.
Storytelling Camp at Pyramid Lake in the Adirondacks (www.pyramidlife.org)
This annual storytelling retreat and workshop will be held from July 13-15 this year. It is led by Laura Packard and Marni Gillard. The workshops will be about creating and crafting life stories and performing them—and there will be lots of time to enjoy the lake!
Storytelling Series, Open Mics, and Festivals
Front Parlor, Albany (https://frontparlorseries.wordpress.com/)
At the Olde English Pub in Albany, tellers volunteer their names in a can and the MC selects the order at random. (Bribes encouraged.) Tellers share five-minute, true stories based on a common theme. Front Parlor also features “Flash Nonfiction,” one or two sentence, audience-submitted stories responding to a prompt based on the evening’s theme. Flash nonfiction is a relatively painless way to share your stories. Meets monthly. See website for details.
Front Parlor, Troy (https://frontparlorseries.wordpress.com/)
At the Ale House in Troy, tellers volunteer their names in a can, and the MC selects the order at random. (Bribes encouraged.) Tellers share 5-minute, true stories based on a common theme. Front Parlor also features “Flash Nonfiction”- 1-2 sentence, audience-submitted stories responding to a prompt based on the evening’s theme. Flash nonfiction is a relatively painless way to share your stories. Meets monthly. See website for details.
House Concerts at the home of Dee & Frank Wind
Dee and Frank Wind of Frank-Lee Speaking host Storytelling House Concerts three to four times a year. Many people who were not familiar with storytelling have been introduced to this wonderful performance art by attending a House Concert. Their next house concert will be on October 21, 2018 featuring Barb Palumbo, Jane Ainslie and Mary Murphy (The Telltale Trio).
Immigrant Stories: In Their Own Words (http://www.caffelena.org/2017/09/22/immigrant_stories/)
Stories are sponsored by the Saratoga Immigration Coalition, a network of concerned individuals, faith communities and civic groups. The events take place bi-monthly at Caffè Lena in Saratoga Springs. This past year immigrants from many different countries shared their stories. The storytelling series is meant to create a space for dialogue for presenters and listeners in a casual, safe environment.
Irish Tea and Tales
Every March, sponsored by the Rye Storytellers Guild in the Rye Free Reading Room.
Jewish Cultural Festival (http://www.saratogasinai.org/saratoga-jewish-cultural-festival/)
Storytelling is part of this summer-long event at Temple Sinai in Saratoga Springs. The Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival produces thirteen shows with a range of Jewish themed events—including storytelling–between Memorial Day and Labor Day at multiple venues in the Saratoga region.
Jewish Storytelling Event at Temple Sinai (http://www.saratogasinai.org/annual-storytelling-event/)
For the past four years, the Annual Jewish Storytelling Event has featured local and regional storytellers retelling both traditional and contemporary tales.
Not Just for Kids Storytelling Festival (https://parks.ny.gov/events/event.aspx?e=27-21311.1.1)
At the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, Visitors Center. Sundays in the summer are for stories. This year nationally renowned and local storytellers will tell every Sunday at 1 p.m. from July 29 to September 9th.
Held every February, hosted by Dutchess County Interfaith Council, this annual storytelling event for grownups and older children features a variety of tellers. The audience seems to grow each year as people come to feel the power of story to transport listeners to a more peaceful place.
Story Night at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in Saugerties (discontinued this year)
For years, Janet Carter hosted Story Night on the third Friday of each month at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in Saugerties, NY. Janet has moved to be closer to family, but Saugerties will miss her and her stories and those of her guest tellers.
Seanachie Evenings (https://www.irish-us.org/)
Evenings of stories with an Irish flavor by various tellers.
Storytelling Open Mic in Saratoga (https://margaretfrench.com/openmic/)
This open mic was created in 2005 and has met monthly between September and June since then. A featured teller follows the first two tellers and is followed by an intermission and more tellers. This fall, open mic will be at Caffè Lena in Saratoga at 7 p.m. every fourth Tuesday between September and June.
Story Sunday at Glens Sanders (discontinued)
The final Story Sunday was held January 28, 2018. The producers, Joe Doolittle and Kate Dudding, appreciate the active interest and support for the past nineteen years.
Tales ‘n Stuff at Arthurs in Schenectady (an open mic) (http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/sc/Arthurs-Open-Mic.shtml)
Joe Doolittle has found a welcoming spot for an open mic for story and song at Arthur’s Market and Historic Café in Schenectady. There is always a featured teller with plenty of time for other performers. This open mic is every month between September and June on the first Tuesday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sign-ups at 6:45 p.m.
Every October Kelvin Keraga produces an evening of ghost stories at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY. It’s a benefit for Hubbard Hall’s Youth Scholarship Program. Storytellers and actors tell classic Victorian ghost stories, comic ghost stories, and original works.
Winter Storytelling series in Saratoga (https://www.esc.edu/all/)
In January and February, the Academy of Lifelong Learning hosts free, well-attended storytelling concerts in Saratoga Springs. Each Wednesday at noon, a different storyteller tells stories for adults between noon and 1 p.m.
Word Plays in Schenectady (http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/word-plays.shtml)
This coming season, September to April, will mark the twelfth year of Word Plays in the Fenimore Gallery in Proctors Theater. Each afternoon features stories by a variety of tellers on a single theme. Sept. 16: Mavericks, Nov. 18: Sparks, Oct. 14: Irresistible, Jan. 27: Starting Over, Feb. 24: Inside Out, Apr. 7: Shenanigans.
Word Plays in Salem (email@example.com)
This coming fall will mark the fifth season of Word Plays in Salem, NY, at the Ft. Salem Cabaret theater. Dates to be announced.
The Story Circle of the Capital District will hold its annual Tellabration on November 18th from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the GE Theater at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. The theme will be Sparks.
Salem has now celebrated Tellabration since 20014. Wonderful how this little village supports the arts. Siri Allison hosts the event.
Kingston held its annual Tellabration on November 19 of 2017. The theme was Tales of Imagination and Inspiration. It was hosted by Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi.
Sponsored by the Rye Storytellers Guild. Saturday, November 17, 2017 at 3:00 PM at the Rye Free Reading Room in Rye, NY. Angela
Shrub Oak, NY
To be Saturday, November 17 at 10:00 AM at the John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak, NY.
Story By Story: Celebrating the Human Spirit
Joe Doolittle and Kate Dudding host a TV program about storytelling. The series features stories and storytellers from the region as well as upcoming events. They are grateful to Channel 17, Town of Colonie Government Station, for taping and editing this show. For broadcast information, go to http://storycircleatproctors.org/story-by-story.shtml.
Collections of Stories on YouTube
Story Circle of the Capital District. http://storycircleatproctors.org/youtube.shtml
Hundreds of stories by members of the Story Circle of the Capital District.
Stories recorded by the staff of the Folklife Center of Glens Falls public library, told by students of the Do Tell storytelling workshops led by Betty Cassidy and Margaret French.
Recent books by Tellers
Fran Yardley. Finding True North: A History of One Small Corner of the Adirondacks, 2018. This recently published book is described as ‘An evocative and personal history of a unique historic place in the Adirondacks.
Paula Weiss. Our Stories Connect: Creating Youth Storytelling Programs to Raise Confident, Compassionate, and Capable Leaders.
A book based upon Paula Weiss’ experience swith the successful teen group: Children at the Well. Published May 2018.
Grants offered by storytelling groups to storytellers
The Story Circle of the Capital District is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Story Circle Grants. The winners are Karen Pilsworth, Eileen Mack, Siri Allison, and Dee and Frank Wind. Proceeds from the storytelling series Word Plays funds the grants. If you are a teller living in or near the Capital District, think about applying next spring for one of these grants.
Speakers sponsored by the Story Circle of the Capital District. At regularly scheduled professional and community meetings of business and civic leaders, speakers can provide brief educational presentations about storytelling and its values, uses, and forms.