The 7th Annual Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival will convene in Bethany, Oklahoma on the campus of Southern Nazarene University, June 13-14, 2014. The location is on the “Mother Road”, historic Route 66, so it will be an exciting time with keynote teller, Kent Rollins, “The Cowboy Cook and Storyteller.” Rollins has been featured with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. The exciting two-day event is presented by Oklahoma’s only statewide storytelling arts organization, The Territory Tellers.
Along with slingin’ hash, Kent has become pretty good at slingin’ bull as he describes life on the range through poetry and storytelling. Don’t be surprised if Kent gets a chuckle out of you because his poetry and storytelling talents have earned him the Skinny Roland Humor Award for Best Humorist and Storyteller and he was nominated three times for Best Storyteller, all by the Academy of Western Artists. In addition to Rollins, some of the best of Oklahoma’s very own storytelling artists will be sharing their most tantalizing tales. On Saturday look forward to Rollins’ workshops on “Dutch Oven Cooking and Maintenance Workshop” and “Western Heritage.”
Professional storyteller Fran Stallings will offer “Positive Feedback: A Coaching Workshop” in a 2 part series on Saturday. These session focus on providing crucial feedback to a volunteer teller and in the process others can learn ways to improve how they develop as a story artist.
There will lots of opportunity to hear delightful and intriguing tales during the festival. Major evening storytelling concerts, featuring the keynote and select regional artists on both evenings and spread throughout both days are other mini-story concerts (swaps) and always fun informal “table telling.” Vendors, a silent auction and other events will round out activities.
Musical entertainment on Friday night in a special “pre-concert” event will be with prairie jazz band F5 Four playing music inspired by contemporary Oklahoma folklore and iconography.
Other special events will include shivery “Ghost Tales in the Pavilion” at 9 pm on Friday with Kathryn Thurman, Marilyn A. Hudson (The Ghost Teller), and others. Kathy Anderson will be sharing the history and lore of Route 66, which is Bethany's main street, in a special workshop. Kathy is former president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association and current president of the Billboard Museum Association. A new workshop of note this year is “Biblical Storytelling” on Saturday with Barbara Wright Jones and Cynthia Calloway.
Registration begins at 10 am on Friday and goes all day; first session and registration is at 8:00 am on Saturday and goes all day. There is an admission fee (by day, full event, and some events, such as the Ghost Tales, are free). All events take place in the Webster Commons building on the campus of Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma.