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Storyteller Featured at Shelter Benefit

New Milford Times (New Milford, CT) , September 3, 2004

Summary:

New Milford native Valerie Tutson has made a name for herself by telling stories, and she'll share that talent with her hometown Sept. 10 when she participates in a benefit for the New Milford Shelter Coalition.

Her journey into the storytelling career began in high school, when a storyteller and Grammy award winner named David Holt from North Carolina visited her hometown to entertain the elementary school children.

"My mother and her friends had met [David Holt] and she told me about this man who told stories, played the banjo and sang songs," Ms. Tutson said. "I was a senior in high school and I didn't see anything relevant about this, for me -- I was ready to go to college. But I went to see him the last night he was there, I stood in the back of the room and I was amazed by the way he took the whole audience on a trip through Appalachia. I was rapt."

"I didn't really think too much in terms of really making storytelling a career," she said. "I came to Brown University in the fall, a few months later, and there were three professional storytellers in the university bookstore. I was taking a course in Afro-American folk traditions, and it was all those things coming together that made me look at storytelling as a teaching tool."

"I love to tell stories, but the other piece I really hope to do is help people connect," Ms. Tutson said. "We all tell stories. We all have something to share."

Subjects Covered: education


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