Press release

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March 10, 2014

Contact: Marilyn McPhie, 858-484-1325, 858-337-0990

San Diego Storytelling Festival To Be Held on Saturday, March 21st

The Storytellers of San Diego and the Encinitas Branch of the San Diego County Library will present the fifth annual San Diego Storytelling Festival: Voices at the Water’s Edge on Saturday, March 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Encinitas Library, 540 Cornish Dr., Encinitas, CA.

This year the festival will be held in conjunction with World Storytelling Day, when performances, concerts and festivals all over the world celebrate the art of storytelling. The San Diego Storytelling Festival is regarded as one of the premier festivals in California, and the only one that is entirely free to the public.

More than two dozen storytellers---from full-time, nationally-known professional storytellers to local folks with true, extraordinary tales to share -- will be ready to tell you a tale.

The festival begins with a preschool storytime with stories, puppets, rhymes and sing-along at 10:00 am for kids and families. Another session for kids will be held at 3:00 pm in the children's area.

At 10:00 there will be also a workshop on business storytelling by nationally known expert Karen Dietz, author of Business Storytelling for Dummies and a top curator of content related to business storytelling.

The general kick-off for the festival will be at 11:00 am with a proclamation from the mayor of Encinitas and other dignitaries, followed by a storytelling show for general audiences with the theme of "Wishes," the 2015 theme for World Storytelling Day. Every hour there will be a different show in the community room. At noon elementary school students from Park Dale Lane Elementary School will perform folktales, culminating an arts residency funded in part by a grant from the City of Encinitas and including an "open mic" for any kids who have a story to share. The 1:00 pm show is in the tradition of the amazing, fantastic over-the-top stories of the classic pulp fiction magazines of the 40s and 50s. Following that, five tellers give a nod to the famously grim storytelling brothers, with a few surprising twists on some familiar tales. At 3:00 Kristin Osborn of Spinshuttle Studio will take the stage with her spinning wheel as a backdrop for some tales of spinning, weaving and fabric arts that star in many traditional stories.

For those who are eager to get started with storytelling or increase their storytelling skills, Katy Rydell, a professional storyteller based in Maine, will teach an interactive workshop she calls "Story Aerobics." The workshop is at noon, and Katy says attendees don't need to bring any gym equipment --- just an active interest and enthusiasm for strengthening storytelling abilities.

At 3:00 a workshop on developing personal stories lead by Matt Lewis from the popular literary-performance group So Say We All will be followed by an open mic opportunity for adults. The festival will conclude with a concert of stories by several of San Diego's most noted tellers.

Among the featured storytellers at the festival will be Jim Dieckmann, recently honored by the National Storytelling Network for his contributions to storytelling. He will be joined by Mary Holma, Aunt Li-Anne, Charles Johnson, Patti Christensen, James Nelson-Lucas, Marilyn McPhie, Leo Baggerly, David Schmidt, Fred Laskowski, Linda Whiteside, Mindy Donner, O. J. Mozon, Sule Greg Wilson, and Sarah Saulter.

Festival organizer Marilyn McPhie says, "We're especially excited about the sessions we call "Real People, Real Stories." This year a presentation will feature two first responders will true stories about their experiences with fire and other emergency situations. A second session of "real stories," will showcase a program from a World War II soldier."

As Patti Christensen, a professional storyteller from Oceanside, notes, "The festival is a great chance for people of all ages to fill their hearts and imaginations with the magic of stories brought to life."

The entire festival is free to the public. For more information, call the Encinitas Library, 760-753-7376, or Marilyn McPhie, 858-484-1325.

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