Don’t you LOVE it when you find a hidden gem? And don’t you wonder, “why didn’t I KNOW about this?” I’m here to tell you that the annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference and Festival in Orem, Utah are brilliant hidden gems for elementary school classroom teachers and arts specialists.
In case you don’t know, oral storytelling is enjoying a worldwide renaissance. Tellers from all ages tell old tales, new tales, hilarious narratives, personal stories, tall tales, healing stories, and more to enthusiastic listeners. Perhaps the oldest art form, and the basis of drama, theater, literature and film, storytelling connects deeply with children and adults. The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute, based in Orem, Utah will present world-class professional performers and instructors of storytelling the first week of September 2015.
You can find all the details at http://timpfest.org/. The website is extensive and sometimes you can get diverted by all the great information.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Wednesday Sept. 2 – Thursday Sept. 3: The Conference
Held at the Orem Public Library, Orem, Utah. Keynotes, performances, and classes run all day. Classes are presented by many of the same world-class tellers who’ll be at the Festival later in the week, as well as other experts. There are classes for beginning tellers to advanced tellers, and, from my experience, all the presenters love classroom teachers! You can learn to tell and learn how to teach storytelling.
Classroom teachers should note the irrepressible Bill Harley (“Charting the Emotional Lives of Children”) and game master Anthony Burcher (“Recreation Re-Creation: Using Games to Discover Forgotten Personal Stories”). Storytellers and authors Donald Davis and Carmen Deedy are enlightening and entertaining keynotes, and I wouldn’t miss either one of them. Teachers, you need to go look at the schedule of events to see all the richness regarding writing skills, voice, character, culture, etc. you can bring back to your classroom. All the presenters have been carefully vetted. I’ve seen most of them and they are well worth your time.
BONUS: If you buy a full Conference ticket you can attend “Look Who’s Talking” on Thursday evening, Sept. 3, which is a wonderful performance cavalcade of all the tellers presenting at the Festival.
Thursday Sept. 3 (evening), Friday Sept. 5 (day to evening): The Festival
World class professional storytellers converge in our own Provo Canyon delighting audiences old and young. It is truly a festival atmosphere with large jovial crowds under huge sparkling white tents listening to tellers and musicians. Food vendors, puppeteers, jugglers, potters, a large gift shop with lots of material for teachers and a wide assortment of puppets complete the atmosphere in the gorgeous canyon.
If you have never seen a professional storyteller, your best bang for your buck at the festival is one of the evening performances, Thursday to Saturday, either at the canyon stages, or at the SCERA Shell in Orem.
DON’T be afraid to take your children or significant others. There will be plenty of laughs and activities for audiences of all tastes.
DO take the advice on the timpfest website regarding tickets, parking, weather, etc. This is a very well run event but you need to heed the information on the website for a fully enjoyable experience.
AND: BYU offers credit for attending these events. See the website for more information.
FREE! FREE! FREE!: Still not convinced? Go see something for free!
September 2, Riverwoods in Provo, Utah: Storytelling Concert with professional storytellers/musicians, GRAMMY Award Winner Bill Harley and Sam Payne
Sam is also host of BYU Radio’s storytelling program, The Apple Seed.
Convinced and want to storyteller to come to your school, or take your class to the festival, possibly FOR FREE??????
Want to get your students/school involved in the National Youth Storytelling organization?
Go to http://timpfest.org/storytelling/ and find out how you can participate. Look all over this page. You even find storytelling lesson plans (by yours truly).
Hey! If you see me, be sure to say hello! I’ll be there for everything!
Teresa Love is a professional development partner for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program and an adjunct professor for BYU’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts.