Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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Time For Once Upon a Time

US News & World Report, October 27, 2003

Summary:

The National Storytelling Festival began in 1973, when 60 people came to hear mountain men and others spin yarns from the back of a hay wagon. In the 30 years since, the old-fashioned art of storytelling has become a 21st-century sensation. This year, 10,500 listeners flocked to Jonesborough.

Some 200 annual festivals take place in the United States. And in 2002, the folks at Jonesborough opened the $10 million International Storytelling Center. Funded primarily by government grants and loans, and affiliated with the Smithsonian, the center hosts summer storytelling and periodic workshops.

Only a rambling and intimate story can reveal such truths, which tend to be subsumed by the roar of our electronic, visual, and virtual culture. "Nothing in modern media can compare to being face to face with a person and feeling that person's heart and soul being poured into the images and action of their stories," says Joseph Sobol, author of The Storytellers' Journey: An American Revival. "It can be intoxicating."

Subjects Covered: humor, personal storytelling, storytelling festivals


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