Summertime in the Sierra foothills always flies by! There are so many fun things to do outside, concerts and live theater and farmers markets and so many other events going on. Many many things to keep you busy and keep a smile on your face.
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild has had fun every month this summer at our MONTHLY OPEN TELLING events at Sonora Joes Coffee Shoppe in downtown Sonora, right on Washington Street. Thanks to Joe and his staff for welcoming us every month. Sonora Joes makes great coffee, tea, smoothies, etc. and also tasty bagel sandwiches, salads, and other food. Also we want to give huge thanks and shout-outs to our community radio station, KAAD-LP (103.5 FM local radio or http://kaad-lp.org/ streaming online). Dave comes and records us every month to play our live storytelling on the radio and it is a blast! We've had jokes, camp songs, true stories, fairy tales, and more. How fun!
Monthly Open Telling is every 3rd Saturday from 4-6 pm at Sonora Joes from January-September. That means this next telling on September 21 is our last one until 2020! Hope to see you!
Some of the Storytelling Guild members recently took a field trip (!!!) to the Bay Area, because the National Storytelling Network had its annual summit right here in Fremont, CA. https://storynet.org/nsnevents/conference/, It was a wonderful experience and we experienced every emotion you could think of. Kathy volunteered with the summit. BZ and Dominick worked together to accept our community's own Bill "Billy Button" Roberson's award from the National Storytelling Network. We were honored to tell history of magic, imagination & loving humor to an audience of storytellers from across the U.S. & Canada. Bill passed away this month and we will continue to honor his memory. What a lucky bunch we have been to sit in his story circle. He was a deep river of compassion & dedication to the healthy development of families.
The Storytelling Guild board has been hard at work preparing for our annual event, the 6th annual Mother Lode STORY SLAM contest. Ever did something that turned out to be not-quite-right? Ever made a decision you wish you could un-do? The theme this year is "Mistakes Were Made" http://www.sierranevadastorytelling.org/story-slam-contest.html .
Teller sign-up is at 6:30 pm / Story Slam begins at 7 pm at the Murphys Old School House (60 Jones Street). Admission is free (donations appreciated), we will again have a bake-sale by Waldorf School students, a raffle with awesome baskets prepared by Kathy, and live local judges. Cash Prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and People's Choice Award. We are very very excited that professional and beloved storyteller Tim Ereneta, from Berkeley, will be the featured emcee and make our evening extra-fun!!
So there's a lot of things going on as we move from Summer to Fall. Gotta run... Yoga in the park starts in 30 minutes and I need to find my mat!
Between the very snowy weather, the monthly story-tellings, and some out-of-town tellings, we have been off to a very busy 2019. Can you believe it will be March in just one more week? I can hardly believe it's the new year!
Next month we'll have two great public events in Sonora - The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild, Columbia College, and Tuolumne County Arts welcome Internationally Acclaimed Storyteller Dovie Thomason for two exciting evenings. Dovie is a National Endowment for the Arts and Arts International recipient. She was also awarded The Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers’ Traditional Storyteller of the Year, and is a member of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence
On Thursday March 14, she will be presenting a program at Dogwood Forum, Columbia College called “The Spirit Survives: The Indian Boarding School Experience Then and Now," discussing the tragic history of the Indian Boarding School Movement. Dovie shares the story of Native-born children, who were taken from their homelands and families for the purpose of “assimilation.” She will help her audience take a more serious look at how this practice affected families and communities, breeding anger, prejudice, and violence. Even today the impact reverberates. Columbia College counselor Stephanie Beaver will moderate this event, which will include a Q & A session. This event is presented by Columbia College Foundation and the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild, and is free to the public.
The next evening with be our annual For Adult Ears Only event! Dovie will share her culture with understanding, humor and elegance. $20 Tickets include an elegant dessert, and are available at Tuolumne County Arts’ offices, in the Sonora Inn, and at Mountain Bookshop in the Sonora Junction. During intermission there will be a gift basket raffle and a quilt raffle. In addition, wine by the glass will be available for an additional charge.
In between, Dovie will be telling stories at local schools! What a great experience for those lucky young people.
And the next day, Saturday March 16, is our monthly storytelling at Sonora Joes. Free to the public, and this month will be our annual Irish/St. Patrick's Day theme. There's been a lot of rainbows out lately. Anyone have any stories of finding gold at the end of one? I could sure use some tips!
Meanwhile, Kathy has gathered together a bunch of great pictures from recent events, hope to share those with you soon here and on the facebook page.
For details on the public events, check our facebook page or call/text our President, B.Z. Smith 209.559.7697.
THANK YOU to everyone who supports the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild throughout the year, and to all the people, organizations, and businesses that contributed to make the Sierra Story Weekend happen!
Thank you to our HAPPILY EVER AFTER sponsors
Thank you to our ONCE UPON A TIME sponsors
Thank you to our LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE sponsors
If you would like to sponsor an event or contribute to the outreach of the storytelling guild, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year storyteller Kathy Martinez puts together these AWESOME baskets for the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild to raffle. Thanks Kathy!! These baskets are filled thanks to the GENEROUS DONATIONS of local businesses. This year, the total value is approximately $1000! We are excited to sell raffle tickets for each of FOUR BASKETS at the Storytelling Weekend (coming up in one week: October 19 & 20, 2018)!!
Thank you to our basket donors!
Mother Lode Storytelling Guild announces its 5th Story Slam Contest: “Out On A Limb.” You’re invited to create an original story, and then tell it in the contest before a live audience on Friday evening, October 19th, at the Old Schoolhouse, 65 Jones St, in Murphys, CA.
We’ll have enough time for 10 storytellers. Cash prizes are given to the top three winners and to The People's Choice winner. We have an experienced panel of 3 judges, and then the audience votes on The People’s Choice Award. The contest is wide open and a whole lot of fun!
“This is a lively way to jump into storytelling,” says Colleen Dolan Nunn, who will emcee the contest night. “Last year our winner was singer-songwriter Tim McCaffrey, and this year Tim launched his first storytelling performance on the Fall Strawberry Music Festival PlayStage at Westside. We're excited to hear more from him as a storyteller!” McCaffrey will be at the 2018 Competition Concert to tell a new tale. “As our most recent past winner, we're jazzed that we will get to hear a story from him again,” Nunn states.
Interested people should visit our Story Slam webpage (www.sierranevadastorytelling.org/story-slam-contest.html) to learn how to prepare. “It's a convergence of a poetry slam, a comedy show, and a storytelling show,” says Guild member Liz Gilbert. “There is a lot of energy in the room, all offering a whole lot of support. Knowing the rules will help you 'wow' the judges and win over the audience!”
There are five basic rules for the Story Slam Contest. First, stories should be mostly true and original, written and created by the performing storyteller. Second, stories should stick to the theme “Out On A Limb,” but broad interpretations are allowed. Third, stories must be told, not read. Fourth, tellings need to stay at 7 minutes or under. Fifth, stories ought to have a clear beginning, middle and ending. In addition, there is no age-restriction for contestants. We don't restrict content, but the story needs to align with the theme of "Out On A Limb.” You might keep in mind that there may be a few kids in the audience. However, this event is mostly a night for adults to have fun and cut loose with words!”
At our next two Open Tellings (www.sierranevadastorytelling.org/mother-lode-storytelling-guild.html), I will give a brief overview on how to prepare. Make a date for some coaching sessions before the competition, too. It helps to work with an experienced teller ahead of time to get tips on strengthening your story and your performance. Our next Open Tellings are (in Tuolumne County) on Saturday, September 15th, from 4-6pm, at Sonora Joe's in downtown Sonora. Then (in Calaveras County) On Sunday, September 30th, from 4-6pm, at Manzanita Arts Emporium in downtown Angels Camp.
On the evening of the Story Slam, doors open by 6pm. Aspiring contestants must arrive by 6:30pm to sign up for one of the ten storyteller spots. This is done on a first come-first serve basis. “We have a great contest night planned,” says the event's emcee Colleen Dolan Nunn. “Now in our 5th year we have a lot of folks who come each year, and the stories just get better and better.” During the event, the Guild also hosts a gift basket raffle and collects donations to raise funds for their various outreach programs.
See you soon!
BZ Smith, Guild President
Last Saturday, it was over 100 degrees in downtown Sonora but pretty cool inside Sonora Joes during an open telling that included people from all over! We had two new people from far, far away: One, a guy from New Zealand, put together a very interesting story about his wife's favorite flightless bird. The other was a guy from Kentucky. He knew Appalatchan stories! This guy had gone to storytelling events before, but had never told before. He did a great job, including an excellent story for Out on a Limb (coming up October 19, 2018, learn more!). Four members of the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild also told stories. The theme was campfire tales. All in all, about ten people were present and we raised some donations. The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild aims to bring together people who are hungry to learn more about storytelling in order to improve their public service, all over the Mother Lode region. Skilled professional storytellers in our region educate and entertain, and community members learn expanded storytelling skills, strategies, and techniques.
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild Story Swap has continued to meet for storytelling on the last Sunday of every other month in Calaveras County. The July 29 Story Swap was attended by about ten people people, including one couple visiting from Sacramento. They came here to escape from the smoke . . . . not realizing how smoky it is in Angels Camp. These fires are affecting storytellers, our friends, and all people and animals all over Northern California and beyond! Half the attendees told stories, including one story about New Zealand. That story was very informative. Did you know there are 40,000 acres of California Cost Redwood trees in New Zealand?? I know, who knew? It was a very low key, but fun time. We meet the last Sunday of every other month (Jan-Mar-May-July-Sept-Nov) from at 4-6 pm at Manzanita Arts Emporium, 1211 S Main St. Suite 110, downtown Angels Camp, California. We'll see you in September (hey, isn't that a song?!).
EVERYWOMAN'S HOUR on KQBM Blue Mountain Community FM Radio, was pleased to share an Interview with Claudia Tonge and Kathy Martinez of the MOTHERLODE STORYTELLING GUILD, on Wednesday March 28th on kqbm.org Live Stream/KQBM 90.7FM/103.7FM OnTheDial!
These Two Avid and Experienced Storytellers have fascinating stories to tell us about the Storytellers Guild in Sonora; the developing Calaveras Branch of the Guild at Manzanita Press/Arts Emporium; and, we discuss the beginnings of the Amador Storytellers, starting-up this Spring (contact me, Kat, about That One!)
For All Of Us, of all ages, The Storytelling Arts and the Storytellers: Making a Difference in our Communities, in our Motherlode! Radio ON!
- From KQBM promotion
NEED A HEART-WARMING MOMENT? KAAD-LP 103.5 FM Recordist David Simerley caught it all when Marty went on bended knee to propose to Dana, a true story well told at Open Telling at Sonora Joe's.
KAAD-LP broadcasted the romantic moment, as well as other great stories offered at the monthly gathering at Sonora Joe's in Sonora, on the air the weekend of March 25.
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild hosts two options for Open Telling events in March:
These events help existing storytellers strengthen their skills, encourage new tellers to find their voices, and build appreciative audiences for the art of storytelling. Whatever your family history or muse might be, storytellers of all ages and levels of experience are welcomed to participate in Open Tellings. As always, these are family friendly and informal events, and those who prefer just to listen are important and necessary.
March 17 will be St. Patrick’s day, so Guild members will feature stories from Celtic lands. “My ancestors came to the Gold Rush from Cornwall and from Ireland,” says Claudia Tonge, host of the Sonora Open Telling, “and I would never miss an opportunity to share a few of my favorite stories from those traditions on this holiday.”
On March 25, the Guild is looking forward to hosting an Open Telling event in Calaveras County. The first bi-monthly “Story Swap” afternoon was held on January 28, 2018, and was very well received. The next is scheduled for March 25th. This free public program will follow the same ‘Open Mic’ format as the popular Sonora event. “This is an attractive venue and location for both Calaveras and Toulumne Co. residents” says Kathy Martinez, host for the new program. “We are hoping that teachers and students of language and theater arts will participate in open storytelling as a way to explore and develop skills through this increasingly popular art form.” For information about the Angels Camp event please contact Kathy Martinez mailto:email@example.com.
Although the events are free to the public, the Guild does accept donations that are used to support the Guild’s many activities in the central Mother Lode. Coffee and other refreshment will be available for purchase from Joe’s.
The mission of the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild is to help existing storytellers strengthen their skills, encourage new tellers to find their voices, and build appreciative audiences for the art of storytelling. For information about these and other upcoming storytelling events in the Mother Lode contact Claudia Tonge (209) 588-1698, , or visit www.sierranevadastorytelling.org/mother-lode-storytelling-guild.html.
BZ Smith and friends, we tell stories in and around Sonora, CA