Avery Hill, June 20, 2017

Dreams & Ghosts: A Family Album

Avery HillFamily legend has it you could hear Avery Hill singing and telling before she even came out. Since then, she has taken a winding road toward her present work in performance and education, all the while developing her singular style of storytelling and songwriting by integrating stories of the past into her observations of life today.

This performance, titled Dreams & Ghosts: A Family Album will dwell on the theme of family – specifically, how one’s family history impacts our personal histories in progress, the decisions we make, and the meaning we find in our own lives. In both song and story, Avery Hill spans the scope of history, from a 1920 road trip on through Kansas to a 2006 funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, from the decision to say “yes” in 19th century Missouri to the decision to say “no” in 20th century Germany. In the backdrop, the steady question remains: Not where, but who are you from? How does understanding our ancestors’ lives help us make sense of our own?

The story swap at the Port Angeles library is free to all. Avery will tell during the first hour. Then after a short break for refreshments we will have an open mike session for anyone who has a story to tell. More details about story swaps on this page: Story Swaps.

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Shirley Routliffe rescheduled, March 21, 2017

Change of teller

Due to a health problem, Shirley Routliffe is unable to come to our story swap.

Ingrid Nixon and Alice Susong share stories from National Parks

Alice Susong

Alice Susong will tell a story from her time living in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Ingrid Nixon and Alice Susong from Sequim will be our featured tellers this month.

Alice spent over 30 years living in national parks: Rocky Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. She has a lot of stories of “Life With Ranger Dunbar.” She tells on cruise ships, churches, clubs, and schools from here to Seattle to Arizona. She will be telling a story from the Great Smoky Mountains, “Life at the End of Happy Valley.”

Ingrid Nixon tells stories all around the world.

Ingrid Nixon tells stories all around the world — from all around the world.

Ingrid tells stories on expeditions around the world and at special events and festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. She was a former National Park Service ranger at Denali and Glacier Bay national parks in Alaska, and Mount Rainier.” More at www.ingridnixon.com

The story swap takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday March 21st in the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.

Admission is free and the program is geared toward adults and teens; newcomers are welcome.

Refreshments and Open Mic

Ingrid and Alice will tell during the first half of the Story Swap; then comes a refreshment break and time for anyone to step up and share a short tale.

The nonprofit Story People of Clallam County group hosts these swaps on the third Tuesday of the month, along with other public events: the annual Liars’ Contest June 3rd, the Forest Storytelling Festival in Port Angeles October 20-22, and, this year for the first time, the International Story Slam at Sequim’s Olympic Theatre Arts on May 18.

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Shirley Routliffe, March 21, 2017

Canadian Teller Featured

Reveal a secret dream. Slip into the past to walk with a departed friend. Find the comedy in a situation.Shirley Routliffe

A story can do these and then some, said Shirley Routliffe, the teller who’ll come to the free Story Swap in Port Angeles on Tuesday, March 21.

The title of her set is “Daring Deeds and Jarring Events: Tales from My Family Archives,” but that’s about all Routliffe will say at this point. She doesn’t want to give anything away until the night of the swap, which takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.

Admission is free and the program is geared toward adults and teens; newcomers are welcome.

Humor and Heart

Routliffe, who’s lived all over Canada — Halifax, Nova Scotia; Ottawa; on Baffin Island inside the Arctic Circle and now balmy Victoria, B.C. — will bring a fistful of stories with her to the United States. She’ll also bring a light heart, in that she’s a big believer in the power of humor.

Now 73 and retired, Routliffe’s work experiences include acting as a therapeutic clown at a cancer clinic.

“Our job as clowns was to make a ‘heart connection,’” she recalled, adding that this connection would happen in the stories she told.

One patient told her that a little humor helped him transcend his illness: “When I laugh, I come back to myself,” he said.

Today, when Routliffe walks onto a stage — or just to the front of the room at a house concert — she wants to give listeners that feeling of connection.

The message, she said, is: “You’re not alone.” Other people have dealt with the struggles you are going through now.

Routliffe has been a schoolteacher too, the founder of the kindergarten program in the tiny Canadian Inuit community of Pond Inlet. She told stories then, of course, having learned from her folks how to deliver a tale.

“My dad was a great storyteller. It was what our family always did,” she said.

“And for me, the writing and the telling was very therapeutic.”

Refreshments and Open Mic

Routliffe will tell during the first half of the Story Swap; then comes a refreshment break and time for anyone to step up and share a short tale.

The nonprofit Story People of Clallam County group hosts these swaps on the third Tuesday of the month, along with other public events: the annual Liars’ Contest June 3rd, the Forest Storytelling Festival in Port Angeles October 20-22, and, this year for the first time, the International Story Slam at Sequim’s Olympic Theatre Arts on May 18.

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Board Members and Volunteers Needed

The Story People events are run entirely by volunteers

We need board membersyou-can-help

Secretary

Someone who can:

  • Attend board meetings (once a month, or every other month, it varies) and take minutes
  • Organize computer files of documents

Volunteer Coordinator

Someone who has good people skills, and good organizational skills. Who can solicit volunteers (particular for the storytelling festival), fit volunteers into jobs they like, make the volunteers feel appreciated for the contributions and their time and energy.

We need volunteers for specific projects, who do not need to be board members

Raffle Assistant

Someone who would help the raffle chair with selling raffle tickets, and getting volunteers to sell tickets. The raffle raises over $1,000 annually to support the costs of the Forest Storytelling Festival. If interested this person could train to take over as chair next year.

Silent Auction Assistant

Assist in all aspects of the silent auction at the storytelling festival. This person would work with the silent auction chairperson to inventory all donations, set prices, display the auction items attractively, record the bids, collect bids, distribute the items that are sold. The silent auction brings in over $2,000 annually to support the costs of the Forest Storytelling Festival.

Contact Erran Sharpe (360-460-6594) or Chris Wright (360-452-8092) if you are interested in any of these positions, or if you have other skills you would like to contribute to the Story People.

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Norm Brecke, Feb. 21, 2017

Spaghetti Squids & Zombie Arms!

From kitchen disasters to pranks gone wrong, Norm tells a lively mix of personal and traditional tales about fooling the ones we love…including ourselves!  He’ll have you laughing and shaking your head, not to mention tapping your foot along with the songs he’ll sing.Norm Brecke with banjo

Norm’s music, zeal, and humor add to any occasion. When Norm tells … people listen, and often join in. Norm specializes in folktales he spices to make unique. His personal stories reflect his Northwest roots. Norm often brings music to his stories, accompanying himself — on guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin or mouth harp!

Norm Brecke is a spirited storyteller who revels in telling a good story. He officially started telling stories to people in the Fall of 2002 and told daily in his classroom when he was an elementary school teacher. Norm has told stories all over the west from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles, CA. His career highlights have been as featured storyteller at the Powellswood Garden Storytelling Festival, Seattle Art Museum, the American Library Association Conference in Anaheim, CA, and narrated with the Seattle Symphony. In April, Norm will be a featured teller at the “Art of the Story” in Washington County, Oregon. He will be a “New Voice” at the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival in South Carolina later in April. He will be performing his “The Lighter Side of Lincoln” as part of the “Fringe” at the National Storytelling Conference in Kansas City in early July.  Later that month, he and his wife, Anne Rutherford, will once again be doing music for the Powellswood Storytelling Festival in Federal Way. We are fortunate to have him right here in Port Angeles!

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Trio of Tellers, January 17, 2017

Colleen Squier, Dana Casey and Erran Sharpe all love to take the stage to tell a good story. They will share some of their favorite stories on Tuesday, January 17, at 7 p.m. at the monthly gathering of the Story People of Clallam County at the Port Angeles Main Library.

Colleen Squier Storyteller-75

Colleen Squier.

Dana Casey

Dana Casey

Erran Sharpe

Erran Sharpe

The three storytellers will present a diverse program as they share the featured teller role. Casey says, “I am telling the story of an unforgettable character my husband and I met in Texas. I just call it ‘John.’” Squier says, “I have a great ghost story to tell.” Sharpe has a folk tale from Africa that he will tell and accompany with traditional African drumming. “This old story from Africa has surprising similarities to our current society where we have to learn to relate to others who oppose us” he reports.

All three tellers live in Port Angeles and have performed at a variety of events, including opening tellers at the Forest Storytelling Festival, Seattle’s Folklife Festival, the Story People’s Liars Contest, schools, church gatherings, and bookstores.

This free event is held in the Raymond Carver Room at the library, located at 2210 S. Peabody Street in Port Angeles. Casey, Squier and Sharpe will perform for about an hour. After a short break with refreshments, the Story People host an open mic until 9 p.m. for all wishing to tell a brief story without reading or notes.

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December 20, 2016 Story Swap — Winter and Holiday Tales

December Story Swap is ALL Open Mic30825-sun-winter-snow-mountain-ice-icicle-photocase-stock-photo-large

Rather than have a featured teller this month, we have an extended open mic evening. EVERYONE who wants to tell a story should get an opportunity! Our theme is winter and holiday stories. Bring us your favorites, your winter experiences, memories of holidays past, or any story that you feel appropriate for this theme.

Potluck — Finger Food First, Desserts LaterChristmas gingerbread stars

We will have extra time to socialize — starting at 6:30 we will have a finger food potluck. Sometimes our story swaps are so tightly scheduled that there isn’t enough time to visit with everyone. So we’ll have a half hour to mingle and munch before we begin telling stories. At 7:00 we’ll have stories; then a break around 8:00 for desserts and more visiting; then more stories until we are finished.

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Pat Peterson, November 15, 2016

Folktales and a WWII Love StoryPat Peterson full

“Don’t let my bun and bifocals fool you!” Pat Peterson warns listeners, before regaling them with stories with twist. The Seattle and Port Angeles based storyteller loves a good road trip with the opportunity to see new places and meet new people. Peterson will share traditional folktales and a WWII love story, enriched with details from her travels. Her performance is on Tuesday, November 15, at 7 p.m. at the monthly gathering of the Story People of Clallam County at the Port Angeles Main Library. A location map and more information about our story swaps can be found by clicking here.

Based in Seattle, Peterson performs around the Pacific Northwest, including as the beloved MC of the Forest Storytelling Festival in Port Angeles for 22 years.

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Festival is ON! The weather is fine(ish)

Don’t listen to doomsayer weather predictionsFestival banner, cropped

Last night’s predicted 60 mph winds did not amount to even a whisper in Port Angeles. The festival is a go. (We will have some backup systems in place, in case we should be so fortunate as to have a power outage.) Sure, the skies are gray, and there’s a little rain here and there, but not much. Come, cozy up for a wonderful weekend of stories with our renowned tellers from far and wide.

2016-featured-tellers-collage

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Tobey Ishii-Anderson, Sept. 20, 2016

Stories “achi kochi” from Asia and Europetobey-ishii-anderson

“Be careful of what you say, that one has big ears!” Tobey Ishii-Anderson’s aunties would say of her as a child. Now an accomplished storyteller, Anderson will share some of the stories she overheard. Her program will be on Tuesday, September 20, at 7 p.m. at the monthly gathering of the Story People of Clallam County at the Port Angeles Main Library.

Ishii-Anderson’s program will be “achi kochi,” Japanese meaning “here and there”. She will be sharing folk tales and experiences from living in Asia and Europe as a teacher and Peace Corps volunteer. Other stories Ishii-Anderson heard from her Japanese grandmother.

Based in Olympia, she performs around the Pacific Northwest, including as an opening teller at the Forest Storytelling Festival in 2015. She is also an award-winning liar, taking third in the Story People’s Liars Contest earlier this year.

This free event is held in the Raymond Carver Room at the library, located at 2210 S. Peabody Street in Port Angeles. Ishii-Anderson will perform for about an hour. After a short break with refreshments, the Story People host an open mic until 9 p.m. for all wishing to tell a brief story without reading or notes.

Story Swap Theme: “Peace”

As September 21 is the International Day of Peace, stories about peace are encouraged at the open mic story swap.

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