MaryAnn Blue
Co-Artistic Director
Mary Ann Blue lives in San Antonio and is a retired Spanish teacher with forty-five years of experience using storytelling to teach oral language skills. Mary Ann is also a storytelling teacher and has coached twenty-seven National Youth Storytellers. She has been a featured teller at both the Texas Storytelling Festival and the George West Storyfest.  MaryAnn is a recipient of the Tejas Storytelling Association’s John Henry Faulk Award, is a past TSA Board Member, and has served the Texas Storytelling Festival in many capacities for its 35 festivals. She continues to work as a storytelling coach and consultant. mabstories@me.com

Toni Simmons
Co-Artistic Director
Toni Simmons is an award-winning, dynamic storyteller and author who brings new life to her stories with songs, rhythms, chants, and audience participation. She has captivated audiences at many festivals including the National Storytelling Festival Exchange Place, the National Black Storytelling Festival, and Texas Storytelling Festival. Internationally, she has performed in schools in South Africa, Germany, and in Mexico. Toni is listed on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Artist roster and was designated as an American Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her interactive sessions also use creative drama with a variety of age-appropriate folklore. The audience is taken on an imaginary story trip to different continents all the while helping to tell the stories. toni@tonisimmons.com

Elizabeth Ellis
Co-Managing Director
Elizabeth Ellis has a long history with the Tejas Storytelling Association, having been our first president. In our thirty-two year history as an organization, she has served fifteen years on our board of directors. When she is not busy calling you to ask you to volunteer for the festival, she spends her time as a traveling storyteller. Those travels have taken her as far away as New Zealand. She was the first recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award and has received both the Circle of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Storytelling Network. Originally from Appalachia, she lives in Dallas. http://elizabethellis.com

Kanute Rarey
Co-Managing Director
Kanute Rarey has a life-long love of story and oral tradition. His family would say he has always been a storyteller. Kanute says his dad could make life sound like a tall tale just sitting around the dinner table. He has told stories from courthouse steps in Jonesborough to NPR Story Slams in Asheville and places in between in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Since its beginning in 2015, he helps with the annual Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival, is a founder of Mountain Area Storytellers, and produces a monthly Open Mic Night for storytellers, writers, poets, and singer-songwriters in his hometown in western North Carolina. kanutetells@gmail.com