"To be a person is to have a story to tell." - Isak Dinesen
Meet some of our featured national tellers:
Bill Harley uses songs and stories to paint vibrant and hilarious pictures of growing up, schooling and family life. A two-time Grammy award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Harley's work spans the generation gap and reminds listeners of common humanity. A prolific author and recording artist, Harley tours nationwide as an author, performing artist and keynote speaker.
Barbara McBride-Smith grew up in Waco, TX, was educated in Boston, MA, discovered the ways of the world on the New Jersey shore, and settled down in Oklahoma for three decades, where she worked as a school librarian and mentored pastors in the art of storytelling for ministry. Her stories have been featured on Sirius XM and National Public Radio. Mcbride-Smith travels the country as an entertainer, comedian, historian and storyteller. She is a member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence and a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling.
Connie Regan-Blake is one of America's most celebrated storytellers. She captivates the hearts and imaginations of people around the globe with her powerful performances rich with wisdom, humor and drama. Listeners are quickly drawn to her engaging humor and Southern charm through stories that range from Appalachian mountain tales to poignant true-life drama. Regan-Blake is an award-winning recording artist who has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, ABC Good Morning America and CNN.
Oba William King, known as The Poetic Storyteller, enthralls audiences of all ages and cultures with stories, songs and drum performances across the nation. A U.S. military veteran and Illinois Arts Council Fellowship award recipient in Traditional Folk Arts, King is an entertaining educator who masterfully combines professional theatrical training with a distinct poetic style. He recently performed at The National Storytelling Festival and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. Visit Oba's website
Meet some of our featured local and regional tellers:
For more than 20 years, Natalie Daise has facilitated interactive learning experiences for audiences of all ages. Her enthusiastic presentation style is well known to television audiences through her work on Nick Jr. and Noggin TV's "Gullah Gullah Island."
Storyteller, documentary filmmaker and percussionist Julian Gooding uses drumming and oral traditions of West Africa to open and engage the creativemind and spirit of a child. His interactive storytelling style encourages both children and adults to take part in each story and become the characters or create mood and imagery with props and world percussion.
Martha Reed Johnson
According to her parents, Martha Reed Johnson has been telling stories since she could speak. As one of five children raised in New England, Johnson shares humorous and heartfelt tales of growing up in a family of adventurers and their travel mishaps from Massachusetts to California, Central America to Africa and everywhere in between. Visit Martha's website.