|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
April 17, 2001
UNCA to Host Mountain Echoes
UNC Asheville’s Mountain Echoes Storyfest will launch its inaugural storytelling festival April 27-29. The festival will feature national award-winning storytellers Heather Forest, Jay O’Callahan and Connie Regan-Blake along with five regional storytellers.
"Storytelling focuses on the importance of oral history and the cultural heritage of our region. This three-day festival brings together the community and the campus and provides everyone an opportunity to hear and meet wonderful national and regional tellers. It’s fun, it’s educational and it’s a great fit with UNCA’s liberal arts mission," said UNCA Assistant Drama Professor Laura Facciponti, one of the festival’s organizers.
The three-day festival will kick off Friday, April 27, with Education Day. More than 600 area first-, second- and third-graders will come to campus to hear 20 local and regional storytellers. Students will experience personal tales, legends, fairytales and folktales and have the opportunity to volunteer and interact in these stories. Teachers who participate will receive a packet of storytelling lesson plans aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
Ticketed events begin at 8 p.m. Friday, April 27, in Lipinsky Auditorium with an evening of storytelling for adults. O’Callahan will tell "Pouring the Sun," a recently commissioned story commemorating the steel mill workers of Bethlehem, Pa., with a sampling of tales from Forest and Regan-Blake. General admission tickets are $10.
Forest will hold a storytelling workshop from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, April 28, in the Owen Conference Center. She will lead participants in using the voice as an instrument, exploring rhythm, pattern and musicality in the art of storytelling. Tickets for the workshop are $20.
A daytime festival for families will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at outdoor locations across campus. Forest, O’Callahan and Regan-Blake will be joined by regional tellers Lloyd Arneach, Douglas Haynes, Elijah Liebowitz, Nancy Shapiro-Pikelny and Diane Williams. Tellers from the Asheville Storytelling Circle and the UNCA campus community will be showcased. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students of all ages and are available from UNCA’s Box Office or in front of Carol Belk Theatre the day of the event. In case of rain, the festival will move to Carol Belk Theatre and Lipinsky Auditorium.
Forest will take center stage with world folktales at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in Lipinsky Auditorium for the second evening of storytelling for adults. O’Callahan and Regan-Blake will provide a sampling of their tales as well. General admission tickets are $10.
A special telling of sacred tales for adults will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 29, in Carol Belk Theatre. The eight featured national and regional tellers are slated perform sacred tales from many cultures. Arneach will tell Cherokee tales, Liebowitz and Shapiro-Pikelny will tell Jewish tales, Williams will tell African-American tales, and Forest, Haynes, O’Callahan and Regan-Blake will tell sacred tales from around the world. General admission tickets are $8.
Weekend ticket packages are available for $35 per person. For more information or tickets, call UNCA’s Cultural and Special Events Box Office at 828/251-6584.
Bios of Featured National Tellers
* Heather Forest is a professional storyteller, recording artist and author. For the past 25 years, she has toured her performance repertoire of World Folktales throughout the United States and abroad. Forest has published four children’s picture books, two folktale collections and seven award-winning audio recordings of storytelling. She holds a master’s degree in storytelling and is a recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award.
* Dubbed "a genius" by Time Magazine, Jay O’Callahan breathes life into the stories of ordinary people. He was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts for his solo performance excellence as well as numerous other awards for his performances, books, audiotapes and videos. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and leads creativity workshops for corporations and other interested groups.
* Asheville’s own Connie Regan-Blake, one of the country’s most celebrated storytellers, helped shape and ignite the American storytelling revival. Both as a solo artist and as a member of the acclaimed Folktellers duo, Regan-Blake has enchanted audiences in North America, Europe and Asia. She has been featured on five award-winning recordings and two videos by PBS. Regan-Blake has been praised in numerous magazines and on television and radio programs.
Bios of Featured Regional Tellers
* An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Lloyd Arneach learned his first legends from two storytelling uncles. Presented in a humorous, informative and moving style, Arneach tells stories ranging from the "old stories" of the Cherokee to contemporary tales. He resides on the North Carolina Cherokee reservation.
* A professional storyteller with a repertoire nearing one hundred tales, Douglas Haynes has traveled throughout the world collecting stories. He recently received an award for his leadership in promoting budding tellers and the art of storytelling. Haynes resides in Asheville.
* A resident of Asheville, Elijah Liebowitz learned the art of storytelling from his grandfather. Liebowitz, who tells tales based in Jewish culture, brings heart and soul to his endearing characters.
* Nancy Shapiro-Pikelny, a seasoned educator, brings storytelling into the lives of children and adults. With humor and compassion, she weaves her family stories into the tapestry of traditional Jewish tales. Shapiro-Pikelny is known for her original midrash, giving voice to the people of Biblical times. She resides in Chicago.
* Diane Williams, founder of the Mississippi Storyweavers Guild, is a griot storyteller. Active in many storytelling circles, Williams also works with the Mississippi Humanities Council on the Family Reading Bonds Program, bringing parents and children together to read.Media Contacts:
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