Arts and Entertainment

Port Angeles to host storytelling festival

"Now There Is This To Tell" is the theme of the 16th annual Forest Storytelling Festival that will be held Oct. 15-17 in the Peninsula College Little Theater in Port Angeles. It is a rare opportunity to experience professional storytelling at its best and is the largest storytelling festival on the West Coast.

Over the three days, internationally-known tellers weave their magic for local residents as well as storytellers and story listeners from near and far as they share stories and tales that bridge many cultures and traditions, offering insights into people and places that might be unfamiliar to many listeners.

Featured tellers include Laura Simms from New York, Michael Parent from Maine, Kim Weitkamp from Virginia, Heather McNeil from Oregon and Kirk Waller from California. Their biographies are at

A special feature of the festival is a raffle of a quilt made and donated by the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club. A silent auction and open mic story swap also will be part of the weekend's festivities.

The festival officially opens Friday evening, Oct. 15, when all of the featured storytellers appear in concert, starting at 7:30 p.m. The opening event will be preceded by children's concerts Friday morning by special invitation and a prefestival workshop Friday afternoon, led by master storyteller Simms, an award-winning storyteller, recording artist, teacher, writer and humanitarian. Preregistration is required for the $50 Simms workshop, which will run from 1-3:30 p.m. on Friday. Because the workshop is limited to 30 participants, individuals will be admitted based on the earliest postmark of those who have registered and paid for a full weekend pass.

Saturday morning highlights include two sets of concurrent workshops. Featured at

9 a.m. are Parent and Weitkamp, and at 10:30 a.m., Simms and McNeil. Saturday afternoon features an Open Mic Story Swap at 12:15 p.m., followed by storytelling by Waller, Parent and Simms. All of the storytellers will be featured in concert again Saturday evening.

Sunday's activities start at 10 a.m. with an inspirational concert featuring all of the guest storytellers. The afternoon features McNeil and Weitkamp as individual storytellers. The festival will close with the quilt drawing.

Cost for the full weekend pass is $75. Attendees also may opt to attend individual events for prices ranging from $12-20. Children ages 10-16 and Peninsula College students with a current student activity card will be admitted at half price to all of the main festival events.

A complete schedule is on The Story People website at For more information, contact Cherie at 417-5031 or Rebecca at 360-866-6308.

The Storytelling Festival is supported by Peninsula College, Port Angeles hotel/motel tax fund, Washington State Arts Commission, First Federal, Seattle Storytellers Guild, Mount Tahoma Storytelling Guild, South Sound Story Guild, John Wright/Olympic First Aid Training, Seven Cedars Casino,

Americorps and The Story People of

Clallam County.

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