For 42 years, the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative has held a Storytelling Festival. This year, the Storytelling Festival is virtual. This allows a lot more area residents to become involved. The Storytelling Festival runs through Friday, May 13.
Attendees can learn the art of storytelling and become storytellers themselves. The online festival features performances by storytellers, fun workshops and the chance to submit your own storytelling video.
Katie Adams is a professional storyteller. Adams is a member of the Friends of Storytelling of Tampa-Hillsborough County. Adams joined the Friends of Storytelling in 2014, but she has been involved with the annual Storytelling Festival since 1987.
Adams explained that attendees will learn everything they need to tell a story and that it’s good for parents and children. You will learn the process of telling a story and even be able to submit a video. The video submission is due by Friday, April 22.
The annual Storytelling Festival is good for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. You can join any time by visiting www.hcplc.org/storytellingfestival. Each session is approximately 30 minutes with a question and answer session.
In addition to virtual sessions, there are some live online events scheduled which require registration by attendees. A library has been set up so that attendees who have missed prior virtual sessions can log in and watch the videos anytime at their convenience.
Adams said, “Storytelling enhances your life. For young people, it strengthens reading, writing and listening skills. It increases confidence as there is a public speaking component. Storytelling can also help strengthen family ties with fun stories. All of these are great even for young children.”
Adams added, “We would love for people to join the Storytelling Festival this year. There is still plenty of time to join and learn how to tell a story.”
Adams is the owner of Make Believe Theatre. She offers storytelling and puppet shows and takes her craft to schools and libraries throughout Florida. She has been doing this since 2000.
For festival information and to learn how to participate, please visit www.hcplc.org/storytellingfestival.