OGDEN, Utah — Talented storytellers will gather to tell their tales at Weber State University’s 21st annual Storytelling Festival, Feb. 27 to March 1. The award-winning event will include the performances of national, local and student storytellers and an art exhibit.
This year’s festival will feature nationally renowned storytellers Omar and Lori Hansen, Antonio Sacre, Kim Weitkamp, Bil Lepp and Sam Payne. All the tellers bring their own style to their performances, some incorporating music, personal experience and humor.
“Weber State's Storytelling Festival grows a little more each year,” said DeeDee Mower, festival chair and teacher education assistant professor. “The highlights of the festival are always the national storytellers, whose experience and lively expressions entertain audiences of all ages.”
More than 12,000 children attend the Storytelling Festival and hundreds prepare and tell stories in their school districts, making it the largest youth storytelling festival of its kind in the country. In addition, 60-70 students are chosen as storytellers to share the stage with regionally and nationally recognized professional storytellers.
New this year, the Storytelling Festival will include paintings that were originally commissioned 41 years ago for Utah’s bicentennial. The artwork has been in storage for several years, but will find a new temporary home at WSU for several days.
Fifteen paintings will be on display in the atrium lobby of the Kimball Visual Arts Center Feb. 3 from 5-9 p.m. and Feb. 4 from noon-5 p.m. Twenty paintings accompanied by video presentations will be on display in the Shepherd Union Ballroom B, Feb. 13 from 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Feb. 14 from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
WSU will host several performances and events during the festival. All of the events are free with the exception of the Feb. 28 fundraising dinner.
Feb. 27, noon – A story slam workshop with Bill Wight will be held in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.
Feb. 28, noon – Students and community members can share their own stories during a story slam open-mic event in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.
Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m. – Storytellers Kim Weitkamp and Bil Lepp will share secrets to crafting the perfect story during a story symposium in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater.
Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m. – A Storytelling Festival fundraising dinner at Timbermine Steakhouse will include storytellers Antonio Sacre, Sam Payne, Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp. To reserve a spot, call 801-626-7515.
March 1, 1:30 p.m. – Storyteller Bil Lepp will perform at Weber State University Davis Building 3.
Several other events will be held throughout the week, including a Spanish session featuring storytellers Karl Behling and Antonio Sacre in the Ogden Eccles Conference Center Ballroom BC, Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. Other storytelling events will be held in multiple locations in the Ogden area, including Peery’s Egyptian Theater, the Davis Conference Center and the Treehouse Museum.
For a complete list of festival events, visit weber.edu/storytelling.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.