We live in a world that is overflowing with stories. Or, rather, certain kinds of stories. Entertaining, exciting stories we see in films. Contemporary, edgy stories we find as television or internet series. And yet, in this forest of stories (with, perhaps, more stories than trees) somehow we continue, as a culture, to not care as much as we should for the roots.
Stories rooted in traditions and told for a contemporary audience is what we’re all about. That’s why our featured tellers for our inaugural Cincinnati Storytelling Festival were Lyn Ford and Bil Lepp. Lyn is a fourth-generation, nationally recognized Affrilachian (of African American heritage and history, from the region called Appalachia) storyteller. Bil comes authentically from the West Virginian tradition of Tall-Tales. Bil and Lyn are also two of the funniest and most entertaining people one could experience onstage.
For our second festival (2022) we proceeded cautiously outdoors, but our tellers were two of the best on the circuit. Sheila Arnold tells personal stories rooted in the African-American experience alongside folk and fairytales that inspire and delight. Adam Booth is an Appalachian teller whose precise but oh-so-entertaining telling weave traditional tales into contemporary narratives that stick in your head for years to come.
For our third festival, we will have Master Storytellers Megan Hicks and Antonio Rocha. They'll require the audience to recognize how and why we must look to our past in order to better learn how to look forward to a better, more empathetic and righteous future. And they will do that by being edge-of-your-seat entertaining. The stories they tell will live on in your head for months after you hear them.