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  • Writer's pictureJoyce Slater

A Note from the President

Updated: Feb 8

Hello, my friends,

This past month I was in Downs, Kansas for the annual Kansas Storytelling Festival. Downs is a small town located north and west of Salina, Kansas on Highway 24. The storytellers this year were Brian Fox Ellis, Mo Reynolds, Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr. and Kevin Kling. People come from all over the region to listen to stories. I always go to listen to tales, but I also go to teach children the art of storytelling.

Many years ago, I was one of the tellers. I looked around and the audience looked like most storytelling audiences I have sat in for the last few years. Most of the people had gray or white hair and looked like they were retired or about to retire. I encouraged the organizers of the event to try to change that. Could they have children perform during the event? We could at least get the parents of the kids. They would be younger than retirement age.

Let’s plant the seed when they are young, I said. They agreed to a workshop and a slot in the program for the children to tell their stories. I have been teaching storytelling to children there ever since. I hope I am planting seeds that will grow.

If we want the art of storytelling to grow, we all need to do the same thing. Let’s keep storytelling alive.

Love to you all,

Joyce Slater

President of MO-TELL

“If a nation loses its storyteller, it loses its childhood.” –
Peter Handke

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