Storytelling Comes to Life in Kansas City

Olga Loya
Storyteller Olga Loya

Storytelling has served a number of functions throughout history. Before the written word, it preserved the people’s history. Today, it helps people find the common connections across boundaries and is a wonderful tool for educating and enlightening minds of all ages. And a story, in the hands of a great storyteller, brings magic to the listener and teller alike.

Kansas City is hosting some great storytellers this week during the 11th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, and the magic is coming to a Kansas City Public Library branch near you. In addition to smaller events throughout the week featuring many of our region’s finest tellers, this weekend the Library is hosting the Celebration’s major events, tailored for people of all ages.

Friday and Saturday, tellers with international reputations will be delighting children and adults alike with magical stories from many lands. On Friday, November 5, ghost stories will be featured at the Plaza Branch’s Truman Forum at 7 p.m. For those who prefer milder tales, a family event will take place upstairs in the Kids Corner at the same time.

Saturday will be a day full of performances and workshops. A workshop for adults that provides tips for gathering and telling family stories will be offered, with an interactive workshop for children taking place simultaneously. Children and teens who wish to tell a tale of their own will have an opportunity to do so following the afternoon concert at 2:30. The Celebration culminates at 7 p.m. with the Storytelling Spectacular. All Saturday events will take place on the lower level of the Plaza.

In addition, regional tellers will be presenting programs at several of our branches Wednesday through Friday. For a complete schedule of the series and to read profiles of the storytellers, visit www.mcckc.edu/storytelling.

The Storytelling Celebration is a collaborative effort of Maple Woods Community College, RAPS Storytelling group, and a number of other agencies, including the Kansas City Public Library.

For more information about the events offered at the Kansas City Public Library, click on the links below.

Wednesday, Nov. 3

Bluford: 10 a.m.

Southeast: 10 a.m.

Westport: 10 a.m.

Thursday, Nov. 4

Central: 10:30 a.m.

Waldo: 10 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 5

Trails West: 11a.m.

Plaza: Friday Family Fun Night Concert: 7 p.m.

Plaza: Ghost Stories: 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6 (All events at Plaza Branch)

Storyshop: Workshop for children, 1 p.m.

Black Sheep and Kissing Cousins:Workshop for adults, 1 p.m.

Family Concert: 2:30 p.m.

Kids Tell: Youth Storytellers, 3:30 p.m.

Storytelling Spectacular: 7 p.m.

-- Jamie Mayo

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