Song and dance will help tell stories at Jackson Storyfest this year

JACKSON COUNTY, MI – The arts will come alive this year during Storyfest.

The week-long event, hosted by the Jackson District Library and featuring storytellers from across the country, begins Monday, November 1 with school sessions. The 34th annual event continues with public performances on November 3 and concludes with a final presentation on Friday November 5.

The theme for this year’s Storyfest is “Storytelling Through the Arts,” said JDL Director Sara Tackett.

“(It’s) spoken words for singing and dancing,” Tackett said. “We are excited to partner with local organizations and professional storytellers to provide a unique storytelling experience to the Jackson area community. “

Storyfest begins with storytellers, including Larry Castleberry, La’Ron Williams, Laura Raynor, and Jenifer Strauss, performing in person and virtually with students in 35 area pre-K-12 school buildings.

Residents of the Jackson area are then invited at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 3 to a free public performance by Cynthia Shelhart in the Community Hall of the Ella Sharp Museum, 3225 Fourth St. Shelhart, an international expert in the double-string harp, won the United States award. Scottish National Harp Championship in 2005.

The Storyfest Showcase takes place Friday, November 5 at 7 p.m. at the Weatherwax Hall of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, 215 W. Michigan Ave. It includes performances by the Jackson School of the Arts Dance Troupe, poetry and music duo Lonnie & Clyde, Center Stage Jackson, and storytellers Tre Howl and Satori Shakoor. The event is free, but registration is required via the JDL site.

Storyfest is partially funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and by donations from more than 40 local people and organizations, officials said.

To learn more about Storyfest events, visit JDL website.

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