Normandale hosts Storytelling for Changing Times: a Storytelling Festival on September 15

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Normandale Community College will collaborate with Story Arts Minnesota to host Storytelling for Changing Times: A Storytelling Festival on Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be free performances and workshops by a variety of local artists from 1 to 4 p.m. These performances will culminate with an afternoon concert suitable for adults and teens at 4 p.m. in the Normandale Fine Arts Theatre.

There will be paid workshops for educators and professionals interested in incorporating the power of storytelling into their work from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each of the morning workshops is $25-30. For information or to reserve tickets, go to and leave a voicemail message at 651-724-4723, or email

The mission of Story Arts of Minnesota is to promote and support the tradition of storytelling as art, as education, as entertainment, as a profession and as service to individuals and communities.

The following is information for each of the sessions:

Morning Sessions: The three-hour morning workshops include The Magic of Metaphor led by Dr. Michael Dorer, a life-long educator and storyteller. Through the lens of metaphor, he will look at the seven basic story types used in schools, what "no-story stories" are, and the LIBRA method for learning a story.   

Working With the Brain to Make Learning Fun is led by local storyteller and educator Katie Knutson. Knutson explores how our brains are wired for story and why storytelling is so vital to educating our youth. During either session, teachers will leave with classroom ideas they can apply immediately.  

Business and non-profit leaders, managers, health professionals and anyone who works with people, will enjoy Laura Packer and Loren Niemi's workshop, The Need for Storytelling in Today's World. This hands-on workshop will explore stories as powerful tools for individuals and organizations to share mission and vision, build a brand, focus advocacy and social justice and create meaningful sustainable communities.   

Afternoon Sessions: Starting at 1 p.m., a variety of local storytellers will present a selection of six free workshops and six concert options for audiences to explore. Workshops cover everything from how to craft a story for a slam, collecting oral histories, sharing bedtime stories with children and a session for youth tellers. Concert themes include Journey Stories, Peace Stories, Kid's Concert, Youth Showcase, a traditional story swap and a story slam. There is something for those who just want to listen and for those who want to share a story.  

Afternoon Concert: The day ends with the Storytelling For Changing Times concert, hosted by playwright, musician, and poet Khary Jackson. The concert also features some of the most diverse storytellers in the Twin Cities, including Nancy Donoval, performance coach, blogger and storyteller Laura Packer, Greg Pickett whose stories are as lyrical as they are street savvy, and Christy Marie Kent, whose stories often explore the complexities of gender and faith.