Friday, December 1, 2023

The Twelfth Annual San Diego Storytelling Festival: Voices at the Water’s Edge

There will be three unique storytelling sessions for kids and by kids. The first two sessions are presented by adult storytellers for kids. They are: “Tricks Are For Kids: Trickster Tales” and “Participation Stories for Kids”. The third session is “Kids Tell” starring student storytellers from Silver Strand Elementary in Coronado. (Fun fact: These students’ reading teacher,  Ellen Cody, is the ’21 Coronado Teacher of the Year and her former fifth-grade student, Natalie Stringer, is the Coronado  Public Library’s children’s librarian.) This session is followed by an open-mic for any kids/youth who have a story to share.

The San Diego Storytelling Festival is back live, and in Coronado for the first time.  Happening on March 19, our festival is being held in conjunction with World Storytelling Day, when performances, concerts, and festivals all over the world celebrate the ancient/contemporary art of  storytelling. This year’s theme to inspire storytellers and riff from is “Lost and Found.”  Certainly, as a society, we have much that has been lost to reflect upon, and much that has been gained or found.

The festival kicks off with Coronado dignitaries, and the musical riffs of Madame, a teen band who specializes in ’70s pop, jazz and inhabiting a singer/songwriter milieu, and a “Storytelling Games Workshop” by Aunt Li-Anne. Each hour offers a fifty-minute storytelling session by professional storytellers for adults and youths ages 12 and up.

Storytellers of San Diego stalwarts will be featured throughout the day—Patti Christensen, Marilyn McPhie, Jim Dieckmann, Almena Mozon, Fred Laskowski, Mindy Donner, Aunt Li-Anne, James Nelson-Lucas,  OJ Mozon, Jr. and more.

Sessions sure to be popular with a rhythm of their own are this year’s:

“Art & Stories” show “Weaving Stories” with weaver Jeanine Ertl of Creative Weavers, who will be setting up a large standing loom onstage and weaving as the stories are told.

“The Real People; Real Stories” session will spotlight military veterans, in conjunction with the literary performance group So Say We All.

“Catch Them While You Can” A Memoir and Story Recording Workshop by Dave Drexler of Inside Art.

Open-mic for those twelve years and up attending the festival.

The Chinese Women’s Association will be presenting personal stories on topics from bound feet to Lunar New Year’s celebrations.

Guest presenters and workshop leaders are Michael D. McCarty and Angela Lloyd of Los Angeles and Victorville. McCarty will be conducting a workshop on developing personal stories. He is a former Black Panther Party member, and, currently, a powerful creator and facilitator of programs for men in California’s correctional institutions, in which the men develop and perform their personal stories.

Angel Lloyd is a long-time storyteller, and musical educator. Angela is a virtuosa on washboard, and her performances are a whimsical braid of poetry, story and song played on autoharp, tenor guitar, spoon and bell. Her workshop entitled “Sand and Felt” provides sensory delights in the construction of physical storytelling landscapes using these simple and tactile materials.

The entire festival is free to the public. For more information, including the schedule and parking, please visit




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