Stories link the valley to the rest of the world |

Stories link the valley to the rest of the world

The Roaring Fork Valley Spellbinders will host its first “Tellebration,” a worldwide community storytelling event at 7 p.m. at the Waldorf School in Carbondale.

At more than 180 sites in the United States and on every continent except Antarctica, people will simultaneously gather in groups Saturday to tell and hear spoken stories ranging from folktales to personal adventures. Although it is the first event for the valley, Tellebration is nearly 20 years old.

“In the past 50 years, as technology has subordinated much personal, face-to-face communication, public storytelling as a public entertainment has proliferated,” said Spellbinders founder Germaine Dietsch. “There are now large and small storytelling festivals in almost every state, especially in summer, where professional storytellers hold audiences of hundreds to thousands enthralled from one to several days.”

The valley’s Tellebration event will feature selected Spellbinders ” trained storytellers who have presented story-telling programs in elementary and middle-school classrooms from Aspen to Glenwood Springs for the past eight years. To complement the theme of traditional front-porch family storytelling, the Waldorf Hall will be decorated with straw bales, old quilts and rocking chairs.

“We have assembled a program from a variety of storytelling materials and origins ” parables, myths, songs and skits ” that will appeal to family members of all ages,” event chairperson Merrilee Hindman said. “Our theme is ‘a valley enriched through storytelling.'”

Tellebrations were started in 1988 by the National Storytelling Network to encourage more storytelling by the general populace. Those in the storytelling community believe that hearing stories in a communal setting is the most valuable tool human beings have for creating understanding, bridging differences, recognizing solutions, healing difficulties and having fun.

Tickets, available at valley bookstores or at the door, are $5 for adults, and children younger than 12 are free. The event includes free homemade cookies and hot cider. For more information, call 922-1444.

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