National Storytelling Festival

Tennessee, Jonesborough

International Storytelling Center
International Storytelling Center
116 W. Main St.
Jonesborough, TN   37659
More information:
From http://www.storytellingfoundation.net/festival/history.htm :

About Us

Storytelling is as old as humankind yet as new as this morning's news headlines.

We have told stories since the beginning of time. They are the narratives of life, spanning the centuries and connecting the generations. They are the vessels in which we carry our history and traditions, our values and lessons for living, our hopes and dreams.

Storytelling encompasses virtually every facet of human endeavor. This ancient tradition is at the heart of the human experience and is just as vital today, just as much a thread of our social fabric, as ever before.

Inspired by an international renaissance of storytelling, people around the world are turning to the ancient tradition of storytelling to produce positive change in our world.

The International Storytelling Center"to further infuse storytelling into the mainstream of our society"is building nearly 40 years of history to promote the power of storytelling and its creative applications to build a better world.


A Little History about the Festival

Over thirty years ago, a high school journalism teacher and a carload of students heard Grand Ole Opry regular Jerry Clower spin a tale over the radio about coon hunting in Mississippi. And the teacher"Jimmy Neil Smith"had a sudden inspiration: Why not have a storytelling festival right here in Northeast Tennessee?

On a warm October weekend in 1973 in historic Jonesborough, the first National Storytelling Festival was held. Hay bales and wagons were the stages, and audience and tellers together didn't number more than 60. It was tiny, but something happened that weekend that changed forever our culture, this traditional art form, and the little Tennessee town.

The festival, now in its 38th year and acclaimed as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, sparked a renaissance of storytelling across the country. To spearhead that revival, Smith and a few other storylovers founded the National Storytelling Association. The founding organization became the center of an ever-widening movement that continues to gain momentum to this day. Storytelling organizations, festivals, and educational events have popped up all over the world. Teachers, healthcare workers, therapists, corporate executives, librarians, spiritual leaders, parents, and others regularly make storytelling a vibrant part of their everyday lives and work.

The story of how it all started is one that many Northeast Tennesseans are familiar with. As news of the festival and of the movement it spawned aired on national television and in magazines as diverse as Los Angeles Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, People, and Smithsonian, the story of how a happenstance hearing of a folktale on a car radio ignited a national movement often seems to be a fundamental ingredient.

Did the story get told again and again because people like stories about innocent beginnings, or because they like to marvel over what can happen with the serendipitous timing of a good story and a carload of receptive listeners, or simply because it's a colorful tale? No matter the reason, it's a classic example of how a simple story breathes life into information people want to share with each other. As millions of storylovers all over the world already know, there is no substitute for the power, simplicity, and basic truth of the well-told story.

Red Internacional de Cuentacuentos :: International Storytelling Network

www.cuentacuentos.eu - red@cuentacuentos.eu - Teléfono: 0034 + (Spain)