Jaye McLaughlin, Artistic Director
Jaye has been attending the Texas Storytelling Festivals since 1986. After retiring from many years as a Children’s Librarian, Jaye is now very involved with many storytelling organizations. She has served as a board member of the Tejas Storytelling Association, run the Story Store at many past festivals, and is the National Storytelling Network Liaison to the TSA board. She has been involved with the Tarrant Area Guild of Storytellers since about 1991 and is a founding member of Tipi Tellers. For the last 7 years, Jaye has been researching the Abernathy Boys. Her many years of service to the storyteller community was recognized when she became a recipient of the Marvin Brown Volunteer Service Award in 2012. Enjoy the City of Denton Texas Storytelling Festival!


Janet Bickel-Burton, Managing Logistics Director
Janet grew up in rural southwest Ohio living on the land that once belonged to the Miami Peoples. After college, she married her high school sweetheart and moved to Texas. She taught history and cultural geography in a private Dallas high school. Upon learning that librarians have the fun of teaching but don’t grade papers, she switched careers. She “retired” in 2018 after 27 years working at Texas Woman’s University medical library and as an instructional designer. Janet still teaches research strategies and skills at SMU’s Business Library. During her journeys to earn a master’s degree in library science, a class assignment led to discovering the Texas Storytelling Festival in Denton, TX. Janet and Wilgus have returned each year since 1991. Fun fact: She applied for (but did not win) a Fulbright scholarship to study maritime stories in a small island’s museum located off the coast of Iceland.

Dean Keith, Technology Specialist
Dean Keith is an active storyteller and member of the North40 Storytellers Guild which meets on the third Monday of each month. He has performed in several roles at Lakeside Community Theater but now limits (sometimes) his non-storytelling performance activity to teaching technology to senior citizens at Dallas College. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown daughters, Kelly and Rebecca. Four days a week, they have the pleasure of babysitting (thanks Becca) their now 7-month old grandson, Eli (Elijah). Dean is excited that Zoom has allowed the Tejas Storytelling Association Festival to be seen all over the world.

Elizabeth Ellis, Financial Manager for the Festival
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 travelling 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 Excellent and Lifetime Achievement awards from the National Storytelling Network. Originally from Appalachia, she lives in Dallas.www.elizabethellis.com


Kim Lehman, Marketing Director
Kim Lehman of Smithville is an educator, storyteller, musician, workshop presenter, and author. Currently on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, Kim has performed at hundreds of festivals, schools, libraries, and museums including being a featured teller at the Texas Storytelling Festival. Kim is in demand throughout Texas as an effective workshop presenter with practical, inexpensive program ideas for librarians, teachers and parents. Kim is honored to be last year’s recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award.