What a wonderful weekend! Nearly 700 people gathered on San Juan Ridge to hear some of the finest storytelling around. This gentle spot of natural beauty echoed with an abundance of inspiring tales. Joseph Bruchac, Elizabeth Ellis, Bill Harley, Joel Ben Izzy. Kirk Waller, Muriel Johnson graced the 29th Sierra Storytelling Festival's stage at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in California's Mother Lode. Plus, the Ridge's own wild man storyteller Tom Wade had a chance to hop and jive all over the Main Stage under the stars on Friday night. And pulling the entire program together with grace and elegance was Milbre Burch as emcee. From Waller's telling of "Poor Sandy" to Harley's wild and punky children's concert, everyone in attendance was filled with smiles, laughter and tears.
Along with the outstanding concert appearances, the festival's highlight included the Friday night Slam: "True Tales of Lost and Found." Then Sunday morning's annual Story Swap gave chances for many aspiring tellers to share their gifts, hosted by our own Linda Ramey Kennedy, Linderella.
We highly recommend that you story lovers mark your calendar now for the 3rd weekend in July 2015. Don't miss Sierra Storytelling Festival #30!
The Mother Lode Storytelling Guild is very happy to announce its upcoming performance and workshop with historian and storyteller Linda Teigland Clarke.
Clarke has been charming audiences with her stories of California's Gold Rush since 2007. A writer and persistent researcher, she has taken several stories and crafted them into performances, told by "Hardluck Lin," her "alter ego." Clarke says that when she puts on the hat, Linda disappears and Hardluck Lin emerges.
Along with her 45 minute storytelling performance, Clarke will give a one-hour workshop on how to use storytelling to share history. She is popular entertainer with regional history groups, Gold Rush enthusiasts, touring school groups and Gold Rush region visitors.
Both performance and workshop are free to the public, but donations are very much appreciated for MLSG to continue this work. Call (209)532-7697 to reserve a spot for the workshop (Limited to 35) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With December just about ready to blow cold winds our way, storytellers all around are busy polishing up their finest holiday gems. And here on the Mother Lode that's just what's happening! Especially for me! This coming weekend will mark our 4th year to present "Santa's Gone Hawaiian: A Family Concert of Holidays Stories & Songs."
The event takes place on Saturday, December 1st, from 11AM to 12:30PM, at Stage 3 Theatre in historic downtown Sonora. Tickets are $5 each for anyone 3 yrs old and up. Children 2 & under are free, and do not require a ticket. You can buy the tickets early at the Stage 3 Box Office and at Mountain Bookshop in the Sonora Junction. We're also planning an intermission with cookie and juice snacks. And each kiddle will receive a little goody bag at the end of the show. Two years ago Santa popped in for a quick visit. We hope he'll have time again this year!
Begun in 2009, this event lets us give a real holiday gift to our own community. Plus, I get to perform with Peg Reza and The Blue Shoes Ukulele Orchestra. I pour over my favorite holiday tales, while the band hones its best songs of the season. It is truly a blast! About 125 people of all ages rally together. Along with the storytelling and music, we also host a raffle of great family prizes and yummy refreshments. One of our top prizes for the raffle is a set of family tickets to the Starlight Express, a train ride with Santa on the Railtown 1897 historic steam engine train. Plus, Twain Harte Tree Farm has donated a goody basket that includes a trip to the farm to choose and cut your holiday shrub. And Peg has donated a GREEN UKULELE!
The whole event is a fund raiser for one of Tuolumne County's best family literacy projects: The Read to Me Program, sponsored by Delta Kappa Gamma/Iota Epsilon Chapter. This great group of women educators puts together a gift that is given to every new baby born in Tuolumne County. The gift includes a new book, a book bag, a booklet on family reading & a little baby bib. If you talk to any young mom whose baby was born here, she will remember receiving her "Read to Me" Book Bag!
And this year we've added an additional project. We're asking each attendee to bring one non-perishable food item that will be donated to The Mother Lode Food Project.
We sure hope to see you and your kiddle friends and family at "Santa's Gone Hawaiian!"
This website has been a year in the making. And finally here we are! And today is the perfect day for our launch because it is International Tellabration!™ Day with simultaneous storytelling events going on all around the world! Even here on a rainy Mother Lode day we have two Tellabration!™ concerts: One in Auburn, CA, and one in Angels Camp, CA.
In Summer 2011 I offered to be the Sierra Nevada's first regional representative to the National Storytelling Network. It is a huge honor with a lot of driving! Our region runs over 200 miles north to south through some of California's most rugged lands. Deep canyons cut by fierce rivers and streams create giant gorges that separate small communities that make up the Mother Lode. Along the way I've met wonderful storytellers, librarians, tribal elders, educators, historians, all of whom are devoted to telling the tales of their "neck of the woods" and our connection to the bigger world.
I hope you'll make this website a regular stop. Get to know our gifted and dedicated storytellers! We're helping to keep the Art of Storytelling alive and well in California's Gold Rush Country.
BZ Smith and friends, we tell stories in and around Sonora, CA