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  • Writer's pictureFran Stallings

MO-TELL Member of the Month: Fran Stallings

Fran Stallings is an American storyteller for people of all ages. She has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. She performs primarily folktales from around the world.


I met Fran Stallings at a River and Prairie Storyweavers Chicken Festival. She had brought her autoharp and her stories. Fran has combined her biology background with her love of storytelling. She is the force behind EarthUp! on the National Storytelling Network. She brings her scientific background and storytelling experience in the Earth Teller Tales column found on her blog and Oklahoma City University Environmentor. Fran also hosts the Artists Standing Strong Together Online Climate Conversations. Fran felt she needed to tell environmental tales and that the science needed to be correct.


Fran expressed some misgivings about Moth-style stories overlooking or pushing out traditional tales. The Bartlesville Public Library is throwing out books of folk tales, fairy tales and history because they are old. These stories are old because of their universal value. Indigenous people are starting to be heard but it may be too late. Fran is a coach for FEAST and Environmental Storytelling.


Currently Fran is using Zoom for storytelling and workshops. Feedback is so important with your audience so you must make extra strides to have eye contact. Technical rehearsals are paramount. Good internet, background, lighting and sound must be determined before using Zoom. Fran has learned to use Zoom for school visits. All-school assemblies turned into Zoom by Class.


Fran partnered with teachers and wrote lesson plans. Fran volunteers with elementary teacher, Jeff Cauthen. Fran tells a story on Tuesday and then the students brainstorm ‘sharing the fire’ with Fran from her office and Jeff from his classroom. It is a new twist on being a resident artist. Working together with Lynn Moroney, Winter Tales founder and Chickasaw authority on Sky Lore, they concentrate on an Earth and Sky residency in schools training teachers and telling stories to students.


Fran applauds MO-TELL’s State Park program. It gives tellers another platform to “stealth eco- telling” as tellers incorporate eating in season, caring for the earth and science into their stories without lecturing. You can contact Fran Stallings at fran.stallings@icloud.com or 918-397-3079


Fran Stalling’s website is: https://www.franstallings.com/


EarthTeller Tales can be found here: https://www.franstallings.com/web/Environmentor


The Oklahoma City University Enviromentor page is here: https://www.okcu.edu/artsci/enrichment/environmentor


Watch this space at the National Storytelling Society for more information on EarthUp! 2022:https://storynet.org/earth-up/


Artists Standing Strong Together Climate Conversations can be found on their events page here: https://www.artistsstandingstrongtogether.net/upcoming-events

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