WEEKEND: Tale-spinners, word-weavings at Forest Storytelling Fest

PORT ANGELES — A dozen storytellers will spin their tales — and teach others to do a little spinning of their own — at the 18th annual Forest Storytelling Festival at Peninsula College.

The festival, which starts today, celebrates the tradition of storytelling, an art that combines theater and literature, with performances by six internationally known storytellers as well as six North Olympic Peninsula artists.

“It began as a dream,” said Cherie Trebon, Forest Storytelling Festival director.

The Story People of Clall­am County started as a guild in 1992 to promote the art form on the Peninsula.

One of the guild’s founding members, Josephine Pedersen, dreamed of gathering noted storytellers in Port Angeles — and it happened, Trebon said.

“It was like the ‘Field of Dreams’: Hold it, and they will come,” she said.

Some of the best

Trebon said the Port Angeles storytelling event has become a gathering of some of the best storytellers in the country.

The event grew from a room in the Port Angeles Senior Center to the college’s Little Theater, with the addition of several campus classrooms used for storytelling workshops, she said.

It also includes storytelling for children.

Today, students from four schools — Dry Creek, Franklin and Jefferson elementary schools in Port Angeles, and Greywolf Elementary School in Sequim — will take part in storytelling events designed for children.

The children’s storytelling events are not open to the public.

Public storytelling tonight

The first public event will begin with a “storytelling concert” featuring storytelling masters Bill Harley, Lyn Ford, Robert Owens Greygrass, Will Hornyak and Allison Cox in Peninsula College’s Little Theater at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The storytelling concert will be repeated at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the concerts is $12 per person. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Registration opens at 6 p.m.

Port Angeles singer-songwriter Paul Chasman will perform at 7 p.m. today to entertain guests waiting for the storytelling event, Trebon said.

All events will be held in Peninsula College’s Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Performing in the concert:

■ National Public Radio commentator and singer-songwriter Harley, who wrote “My Sarajevo,” a stage play set during the Bosnian War.

■ Ford, an “Afrilachian” storyteller — one who specializes in African-American heritage in Appalachia — an art passed down in her family.

She performs folktale adaptations, spooky tales and original stories that often use call and response, choral response, rhythm and rhyme.

■ Greygrass, a mixed-heritage storyteller with Lakota, French and Irish ancestry, draws on traditional, spiritual practices of listening to Lakota elders and created his own style that includes rapid-fire personal stories, ironic experiences and twisted insights in the human experience.

■ Hornyak, who started out as a newspaper reporter in Latin America, learned storytelling while working as a carpenter in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

He draws inspiration from Irish legends, Mexican fables, Russian fairy tales and Native American myths.

■ Cox, a Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department prevention specialist, tells stories that promote good health.

She also shares Celtic tales at storytelling events that specialize in cultural heritage.

Storytellers from the Story People of Clallam County — Howard Adler, Bonnie Anderson, Margret Lott, Mary Anne Moorman and Vi Nixon — also will perform.

A full weekend pass to the festival costs $75, and individual events cost $12 to $20. Children ages 10 to 16 and Peninsula College students pay half-price.

Free events

Two events will be free to the public.

On Saturday, the Open Mic Story Swap begins at 12:15 p.m.

A Concert of Inspirational Stories at 10 a.m. Sunday also will be free to the public.

Pat Peterson will emcee the festival.

Peterson has told traditional and original tales to audiences of all ages for more than 25 years.

Quilt raffle

The annual quilt raffle continues this year,with a blue, green and purple vertical floral and herringbone pattern quilt made and donated by Phyllis Luther.

The quilt drawing will take place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

A complete schedule is available on the Story People website at www.dancingleaves.com/storypeople.

For more information, phone Trebon at 360-417-5031 or email forestfest@yahoo.com.

The Storytelling Festival is sponsored by Peninsula College, the Washington State Arts Commission, KUOW Radio, Port Angeles Hotel/Motel Tax Fund, First Federal, 7 Cedars Casino, The Bushwhacker restaurant, Strait-View Credit Union, John W. Wright Antiques & Silver, Seattle Storytellers Guild, South Sound Story Guild, Mount Tahoma Storytelling Guild, Portland Storytelling Guild, AmeriCorps and the Story People of Clallam County.

________

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Life

During the PSHA game show at the Crosby arena in Agnew last weekend, Duncan Parks, 18, and Ed ran a blazingly fast “A” division time of 8.45 in the Keyrace. (Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News)
HORSEPLAY: Olympic Peninsula equestrians beat the heat

ARE YOU FEELING beat by the heat? It’s sure had me feeling… Continue reading

Scribble Bots STEAM event for tweens at NOLS locations

Kids in grades 4–7 will build robots that scribble… Continue reading

Emma Weller
Former Port Angeles Roughrider graduates from Harvard

Port Angeles High School alumna Emma Weller recently graduated… Continue reading

Dan Peacock, on left, receives the 2024 Community Service Award from Lora Brabant, president of the Clallam County School Retirees Association.
Peacock receives retirees’ community service award

Dan Peacock has received the 2024 Community Service Award… Continue reading

The DAISY Foundation has recognized Thomas Batey with its DAISY award.
Thomas Batey recognized

The DAISY Foundation has recognized Thomas Batey with its DAISY award. Batey… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Gardening fun in the summer sun

SUMMER HAS OFFICIALLY begun, school is out, for a couple weeks the… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Living honorably is a marathon, not a sprint

THE OPENING CEREMONY of the Paris Olympics is a week away. The… Continue reading

Jamal Rahman will discuss teaching stories and sacred verses that transformed his life at 11 a.m. Sunday. Rahman will be the guest speaker at Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship speaker set

Jamal Rahman will present “Healing Extremism and Polarization” at… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “Maintain Peace of… Continue reading

The Rev. Donna Little will present “The View From Here - 2024” at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Unity speaker slated Sunday

The Rev. Donna Little will present “The View From… Continue reading

Repair jewelry, bicycles at Sunday event

Volunteers to show participants how to fix common items

Diane Fatzinger uses the wind phone in Sequim, located just north of the Olympic Discovery Trail on West Hendrickson Road. (Elijah Sussman/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Wind phone offers a place for therapeutic discussion

Sequim woman constructs unwired booth to speak to lost loved one