Events on Sunday, March 14, 2021


10:00-10:45 am
Breakfast Chat: Affiliate Guild Meeting

11:00 am-12:30 pm – Concert
Sacred Tales

Tellers: Sam Payne, Kathy Culmer, Warren Holleman, Jane McDaniel, and Tim Couch. Emcee: Peggy Helmick-Richardson

About the Storytellers

Sam Payne
For the last twenty years, Sam has brought a unique variety of storytelling, music, and workshop experiences to festival stages, concert halls, classrooms, universities, museums, and recordings, all over the country and beyond. Sam’s audiences remain loyal friends, and find in his stories and songs resonant images that give faces and names to their deepest feelings about family, faith, and notions of home.

Kathy Culmer
Kathy has shared folktales, historical tales, faith stories and original stories for more than 25 years. In 2008, she was part of a biblical storytelling mission trip to The Gambia in West Africa. She has been featured storyteller for the Network of Biblical Storytelling’s International Festival Gathering, keynoter for the Canadian Festival Gathering, has performed at The Exchange Place at the National Storytelling Festival, and has been a workshop presenter and storyteller at the Texas Festival. Kathy is author of “Big Wheel Cookies: Two for a Penny,” published in The Rolling Stone and Other Read Aloud Stories and editor of Yes, Jesus Loves Me: 31 Love Stories.

Warren Holleman
After spending most of his adult life putting exhausted medical students to sleep with boring lectures, Warren Holleman retired early to pursue his dream of becoming a bona fide storyteller. Over the last five years, his stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, The Moth Mainstage, TEDx, and the National Storytelling Summit. He enjoys telling personal stories as well as family stories from his rural roots in North Carolina and Texas.

Jane McDaniel
From Limerick, Ireland, Jane McDaniel now lives in both San Antonio TX. and Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland. She grew up in the Irish Rambling House storytelling tradition. She treasures an intimate relationship with the great Celtic myths and romances, and delights in telling rollicking Irish 50s folk tales. Voted Biggest Texas Irish Liar (2006) and held the title of US National Irish Storytelling Champion (2004-2007).

Tim Couch
Recently retired, Tim was formerly a lawyer and middle school teacher. He served on the Boards of TSA and the Dallas Storytelling Guild. He has been a featured teller as the Texas Storytelling Festival and a Spirit of Oklahoma Festival Teller. He shares stories at schools, churches, libraries, and museums.

1:00- 2:30 pm – Workshop 6
Storytelling and Social Change

Presenter: Heather Forest. Moderator: Sally Bates Goodroe

This workshop explores the power of words and examines a wide range of multicultural folklore featuring themes of peace, justice, gender equality and the environment. Using traditional storytelling technique, oral history, rhetoric, and spoken word art forms to enrich interpersonal communication skills, the workshop encourages social awareness and supports the use of storytelling in community activism.

Heather Forest comes again to the Texas Storytelling Festival bringing her accumulative knowledge as a storyteller, author, musician and storytelling educator. She has been on the storytelling scene for many years, bringing her love of folklore and folktales to us. She holds a Master’s Degree in Storytelling and a Ph.D In Leadership and Change from Antioch University. She is a recipient of the Circle of Excellence Award from by the National Storytelling Network.

2:00-3:00 pm – Concert
Youth Tellers Showcase

Tellers: Saniyah McGrew, Keren Lee, Rebekah Garcia, Sohan Bhakta, Aashi Bhakta,
Gloria Kunnapilly, and Emily Ashley. Emcee: Sue Kuentz

About the Storytellers

Saniyah McGrew
Saniyah is an 11-year-old who has been a youth teller at Zula B. Wylie Library in Cedar Hill since the age of 6. She continues to enhance her skills and share her love of storytelling with the world.

Keren Lee
Keren is a seventh grader in middle school in Cedar Hill. She’s also a dancer and cheerleader. Her favorite class in school is social studies. She not only enjoys telling stories to young kids but also to seniors in nursing homes.

Rebekah Garcia
Rebekah is 11 years old and has been a Zula B. Wylie Storyteller in Cedar Hill for almost two years. She enjoys reading, crafting, and drawing. She loves animals and aspires to become a zoologist one day. She would also like to become a librarian in her spare time to keep reading stories.

Sohan Bhakta and Aashi Bhakta

Sohan is a student at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. He’s been telling stories since kindergarten and is now on the middle dchool speech team. He’s a National Youth Storyteller, who has performed at the Timpanogas Storytelling Festival in Utah and the Tejas Storytelling Conference. He loves to read, especially books about imaginary places and magical worlds.

Aashi is a student at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas. She’s been watching her brother tell stories for most of her life and is excited to be telling for the first time! She is the original interrupting chicken. She also likes to dance, do gymnastics, and write in her journal.

Gloria Kunnapilly
Gloria is a sophomore at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio. This is her fifth year as a storyteller, and she was a youth torchbearer for Timpanogos National Storytelling Festival in 2018. When she’s not sharing her love for story, she is in DECA, Model UN, Debate, a class officer, and plays the violin.

Emily Ashley
Emily s a 10-year-old 4th grader in San Antonio, Texas. She is an avid reader, ballet and tap dancer, and has a new found love for cooking and baking. She enjoys family time and making new traditions.

3:30-5:00 pm – Workshop 7
Zooming in on Puppets

Presenter: Elizabeth Beamon.  Moderator: Sue Kuentz

Puppets present a magical way to communicate through characters. You definitely need to bring your imagination to this Zoom workshop and grab a puppet or favorite stuffed animal along with a paper lunch bag and markers and let the fun begin. We’ll explore our voices, movement of our puppets while talking and have fun with songs, rhymes, and stories. Families are welcomed to participate!

Elizabeth Beamon is a retired librarian and active storyteller in Justin, TX. She learned all about storytelling by being a mom. Elizabeth made stuffed animals and puppets speak to her children and those stuffed animals and puppets became real!

5:00-6:00 pm – Social Hour with Heather Forest

Moderator: Sally Bates Goodroe

6:30-7:00 pm  – TSA Awards Ceremony

John Henry Faulk Award
Kim Lehman, last year’s recipient, will present this year’s recipient Toni Simmons.

Marvin Brown Award
Karla Sallade, last year’s recipient, will present this year’s recipient Fred Peters 

7:00-7:30 pm – It Takes a Village!

Appreciations and Recognitions followed by music with Sam Payne

7:30-8:30 pm – Concert
So Long, Farewell, and Thanks for the Stories

Featured Tellers: Sam Payne, Eth-Noh-Tec, Donna Washington, and Heather Forest. Emcee: Fred Peters