27th Annual Weber State University Storytelling Festival

Children, community members and storytellers attend the 23rd Annual Storytelling Festival at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden on February 26, 2019.
Children, community members and storytellers attend the 23rd Annual Storytelling Festival at Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden on February 26, 2019.

“Once upon a time…” is alive and well at the 27th Weber State University Storytelling Festival! This year’s theme, Tales to Remember: Stories Amplified, is sure to entertain.

Weber State’s event is one of the very few storytelling festivals in the nation that is university-sponsored, and it has become a beloved annual community happening. The Festival itself occurs at the end of February, and there is something for everyone: preschoolers to senior citizens, college students to families with children of all ages. During the three-day event from February 27 to March 1, the Festival welcomes the best of international and national storytellers and the best of Utah’s storytellers and youth talent from surrounding schools. This year’s Festival will feature internationally renowned tellers Sheila Arnold, Valentina Ortiz, and Bil Lepp. Sheila uses her knowledge of human development, passion for history, compassion for humanity and extraordinary performance skills to engage and entertain audiences. Valentina speaks the ancient Aztec words as well as the modern stories of Mexico. Bil comes to us with humorous, family-friendly tall tales that often contain morsels of truth, presenting themes in clever and witty ways.

On Festival mornings, a conference format of concurrent sessions allows listeners to select from various storytelling genres and is open to the general public. Afternoon workshops, seminars and story presentations are also available. Some of these events are aimed at university students, faculty and staff, but most are open to all. These events take place at the Ogden location of Weber State University. In addition, national storytellers present their superlative tales at events scheduled for each evening of the Festival, including family-oriented story concerts and a special fundraising banquet. The Festival has been honored with the Utah Association of Teacher Educators’ Distinguished Project Award, a recipient of Weber State University’s Exemplary Collaboration Award, a Community Service Award from the Utah Association for Gifted Children, and the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award. This award-winning Festival is nationally recognized for its emphasis on youth storytellers who perform their stories on stage with practicing professionals. Children prepare stories, either individually or in tandem, at their schools and are selected by their school districts to participate in the Festival. All participating storytellers will capture your hearts and create an unforgettable experience in literacy, culture, and the arts. Weber State University Storytelling Festival events are FREE of charge, except the Storytelling Festival Dinner on Tuesday evening. Visit weber.edu/storytelling for the schedule of events.

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