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Josh Goforth

Every Meal is a Story

Every Meal is a Story

ISC’s Kiran Sirah to be Key Contributor at National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary

Tennessee Arts Commision continues Gift-A-Tag Campaign

The Uncalled for Trio Tour 2016: Unwrapped

Tim Lowry in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Lyrics & Lore

What’s Your First Memory

This week’s teller in residence: Don White

2016 National Storytelling Festival Schedule Now Available

Stories in Motion: Meet the Tin Man

Stopping Through Selma

Stopping Through Selma

Stories in Motion: Meet the Tin Man

National Storytelling Festival 2016

Storytelling Studios

    During the National Storytelling Festival, come inside the Storytelling Studio for up-close and revealing interviews with some of storytelling’s most exciting voices.  A one-time only opportunity, these fascinating and intimate conversations offer listeners a look at some of their favorite tellers in the theater of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. 

    Tickets are $15 and on sale now.  Call (800) 952-8392, ext. 222 or (423) 753-2171 for tickets or more information.  Seating is limited (and usually sells out quickly!), so be sure to reserve your seat soon.

    2016 Storytelling Studios

    The Greatest Shows on Earth
    Tim Lowry
    Saturday, October 8 · 1:00 pm
    It’s obvious that Tim Lowry’s storytelling is rooted in Appalachian traditions, but some of his other influences might be harder to spot. Ed Stivender talks to Tim about about how good old-fashioned show business—circuses, pageants, operas, musicals, and all sorts of of other staged spectacles—ignited his imagination as a child and continue to inform his storytelling today.

    Circling Back
    Minton Sparks
    Saturday, October 8, 4:00 pm
    Old jobs, former flames, family histories—our semi-forgotten pasts have a way of influencing the present. Minton Sparks revisits some of her own “past lives” as a family therapist and a divinity school dropout to explore how she uses storytelling to connect with her audience (and help them tap into their own pasts). Minton’s host is Kevin Kling.

    How They Linger
    Donald Davis
    Sunday, October 9 · 11:30 am
    When Donald Davis “met” his grandmother for the first time, she’d been dead some 50 years. Through his father, who at the age of 92 brought her back to life in his stories, she imparted all sorts of wisdom that the storyteller has used to this day. Join host Corinne Stavish as she talks with Donald about the life lessons you can learn from family members, including the ones you never had the chance to know.

    2016 Storytelling Studio Schedule Announced

    Jonesborough welcomes John McCutcheon

    John McCutcheon

    John McCutcheon

    Stay up late for Midnight Cabaret

    This week’s teller in residence: Dovie Thomason

    A Festival Favorite: Ghost Stories

    Celebrate with Festival Tellers at the Yarnspinners’ Party

    Pre-Festival Events

    A Week in the Life

    Stories in Motion: The Culture of Children

    Stories in Motion: The Culture of Children

    A Week in the Life

    Erin Rosolina

    Jordan Foltz

    Preregister Now for the National Storytelling Festival

    Welcome to the International Storytelling Center

    Sam Payne

    Pat Nease

    Katie Liesener

    Jasmin Cardenas

    Joe Herrington

    Carol Cain

    Pat Nease

    Sam Payne

    Joe Herrington

    Katie Liesener

    Jasmin Cardenas

    Carol Cain

    Pre-Festival Concert featuring Donald Davis - Wednesday, October 5

      A Pre-Festival Event featuring Donald Davis

      Wednesday, October 5 - 7:30 P.M.
      Library Tent on the Festival Grounds

      Don’t Kill Santa
      Get a jump on the holiday season with Donald’s collection of hilarious Christmas stories.

      Separate ticket required, $15 all ages.  For tickets or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

      For other ticket options to Donald’s Tellers-in-Residence week.

      Visit Donald’s website.

      *photo by Fresh Air Photo

      Pre-Festival Concert featuring Kathy Mattea and guitarist Bill Cooley - Thursday, October 6

        Sponsored by Mauk’s of Jonesborough and Carnegie Hotel

        A Pre-Festival Concert Featuring Kathy Mattea

        Thursday, October 6 - 7:30 P.M.
        Library Tent on the Festival Grounds
        Separate ticket required, $20 all ages.  Buy Now!

        Grammy award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and guitarist Bill Cooley will share songs and stories from their rich musical partnership of over twenty years. Mattea’s work has garnered multiple CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards. A genuine storyteller, Kathy draws inspiration from her Appalachian roots.

        Visit Kathy’s website.

        Pre-Festival Workshop with Ann Randolph - Thursday, October 6

          A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Ann Randolph

          Thursday, October 6 - 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M.
          Separate ticket required · $125 all ages · Very limited seating
          Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

          Write Your Life
          From the mundane to the extraordinary, everything in your life is a story waiting to be told. In this highly acclaimed workshop, Randolph will use improvisation, writing exercises and more to help you discover your own unique and powerful story. For anyone interested in a personal essay, memoir solo performance, or even everyday journaling. There will be a break for lunch on your own.

          A nationally recognized educator, performer and playwright, Festival guest artist Ann Randolph has been featured on NPR, PBS, and the BBC.

          For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

          Visit Ann’s website.

          Pre-Festival Workshop with Kim Weitkamp - Thursday, October 6

            A Pre-Festival Workshop presented by Kim Weitkamp

            Thursday, October 6 - 1:00 P.M. to 4 P.M. •  Fee $75
            Class size is limited. Register early.
            Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall

            Wielding the Storytelling Light Saber
            Hello, Jedi. What is your quest—writer, director, manager, storyteller, genealogist, parent, college student? Regardless, storytelling can be a powerful tool for meeting your goals. Learn how to use story in your daily verbal and written communication so you can defeat the dark side—an approach you’ll apply to all aspects of your life.

            A well-known teller and trainer, Weitkamp has helped others utilize the power of story for over 20 years. Her clients include Forbes 500 companies, all of whom call her Yoda.

            For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

            Visit Kim’s website.

            Storytelling Theater featuring Special Guest Ann Randolph

              Storytelling Theater with Special Guest Artist Ann Randolph

              Friday, October 7 · 8:00 pm
              Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall
              Separate ticket required, $20, Adult.

              Randolph brilliantly portrays a plane full of hilarious characters as she flies cross-country to attend a relative’s funeral. Achingly funny and poignant. ‘Adult language and sexual content’

              Inappropriate in All the Right Ways
              Saturday, October 8 · 8:00 pm
              Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall
              Separate ticket required, $20, Adult.

              Randolph shares her autobiographical wild ride, from living as a volunteer in a mental institution to residing off the Alaskan coast pretending to clean the Exxon oil spill. ‘Adult language and sexual content’

              For reservations or information call 800-952-8392 or Buy Now!

              Visit Ann’s website.

              Story Slam!

              Old School, New Rules

                Join us for the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam on Saturday, October 8 at 5:30 pm!

                Congratulations to our finalists:

                Raymond Christian – North Carolina
                Cooper Braun – Colorado
                Ariel Gratch – Georgia
                Wes Hazard – Massachusetts
                Amy Yeary Holmes – Tennessee
                Madeline Pots – Florida

                Thanks to everyone who entered this year’s Slam!


                Midnight Cabaret

                  Stay up late and enjoy a night of rollicking, grown-up fun at the ever-popular Midnight Cabaret.

                  • Tickets are sold separately. $20 for adults.
                  • Buy Now!
                  • Not recommended for children.
                  • Stories begin Friday night, October 7 at 10:30 p.m.

                  Ghost Stories

                  Ghost Stories

                    Sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts

                    Crones and gnomes and creepy things fill two nights of fanciful adventures in open-air concerts beneath the stars.

                    Brave the Ghost Story Concerts with two different collections of frightening tales served up beneath the nighttime sky during open-air performances which are always a Festival favorite.   

                    Tickets are sold separately.  $10 for all ages. Buy Now!

                    Stories begin at 8 p.m. each night in any kind of weather.  Tickets are available at the gate.  Only ground seating is available, so bring your blankets.

                    The 2016 National Storytelling Festival Ghost Story Tellers.

                    Exchange Place

                    Explore the diversity of American storytelling at Exchange Place, featuring tellers new to the National Storytelling Festival stage. A revered Festival tradition, the program includes specially invited storytellers from across the country who share their finest tales during the National Storytelling Festival. 

                    The Exchange Place event is included with your weekend admission, but has limited seating.

                    Yarnspinners’ Party

                      Celebrate, meet the National Storytelling Festival’s featured tellers, and enjoy great food and fellowship at the Yarnspinners’ Party on Saturday, October 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

                      Entertainment provided by the Jonesborough Novelty Band, who will be joined by some of your favorite musically-talented tellers ― including Donald Davis on the accordian.

                      The Yarnspinners’ Party is hosted by the ISC Board of Governors and sponsored by Holston Distributing and One Stop Wines & Spirits.

                      Proceeds from this private event go to support the work of the International Storytelling Center.  Tickets are $100.  This is a tax deductible contribution.  For reservations or more information, call (800) 952-8392, ext. 283 or Buy Now!

                      Wine and Beer Garden

                        Sponsored by Holston Distributing

                        Relax in the afternoon at the Festival’s Wine and Beer Garden, featuring a selection of regional beer and wine available for purchase.  A popular festival feature.  The Wine and Beer Garden is sponsored by Holston Distributing.

                        On the front plaza of the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

                        4–7 p.m. Thursday
                        4–8 p.m. Friday & Saturday

                        Swappin’ Ground

                        Under the Swappin' Ground

                          At the first National Storytelling Festival in 1973, a handful of storytellers gathered around the courthouse in Jonesborough’s town square and traded tales.  An old wagon served as the stage, and listeners took their seats on bales of hay. 

                          Today the Swappin’ Ground tradition continues in the center of Storytelling Park.  Here, anyone can tell a tale—and many do.  Stop by and listen as tellers recapture the humble beginnings of the National Storytelling Festival.

                          To share a story of your own, just sign up at the Festival Headquarters.

                          Swappin’ Ground is hosted by the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.

                          Free Event (does not require separate ticket).



                          Marketplace Tent

                            During the Festival, be sure to visit the National Storytelling Festival’s official store for storyteller merchandise and Festival souvenirs including the latest storytelling books, teller CDs and DVDs, shirts, tote bags, and more! The Marketplace Tent is located on the corner of First Ave. and College St. next to the Food Court.

                            Meet the Tellers!

                            Throughout the Festival weekend you can also come to the Marketplace to meet your favorite storytellers face-to-face and get autographs!  Further information will be included in your Program of Events, which you’ll receive when you arrive at Festival Registration.

                            ISC at TEDx Nashville

                            Stories in Motion: The Story of the Stuff

                            Stories in Motion: The Story of the Stuff

                            ISC at TEDx Nashville

                            ISC president travels internationally and nationally to promote peaceful storytelling

                            International Storytelling Center President to give The Botkin’s Lecture at the Library of Congress

                            Everyone is a Storyteller

                            United States of Arts

                            Storytelling Live! series starts May 5th

                            Tellers in Residence 2016

                            Barbara McBride-Smith

                            Bil Lepp

                            Kevin Kling

                            Carol Birch

                            David Novak

                            Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton

                            Ingrid Nixon

                            Storytelling Live! tickets to go on sale April 1

                            Storytelling Workshop presented by Tim Lowry

                            Storytelling Workshop presented by Minton Sparks

                            Storytelling Workshop presented by Anne Rutherford

                            The Silver Dove

                            Stories in Motion: Modern Art Meets Ancient Myth

                            Stories in Motion: Modern Art Meets Ancient Myth

                            The Silver Dove

                            Leigh Ann Schneider

                            Children’s Concert with Olga Loya

                            Children’s Concert with Willy Claflin

                            Evening Concert Featuring Rev. Robert Jones

                            Rachel Stiltner

                            Storytelling & Community in Jonesborough, Tennessee

                            Mr. George and Me

                            Stories in Motion: Remembering David Bowie

                            Stories in Motion: Remembering David Bowie

                            Mr. George and Me

                            Clare Muireann Murphy

                            Don White

                            Oba William King

                            Minton Sparks

                            Noa Baum

                            Olga Loya