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WTAMU to Host Storytelling Conference

June 4, 2012

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU to Host Storytelling Conference

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University’s Department of Communication and the Tejas Storytelling Association are sponsoring a summer storytelling conference June 8-10 at the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex on campus.

Featured tellers for the “High Hopes and Great Expectations: A High Plains Conference on Gaining New Perspectives” are Dan Keding, a ballad singer, author and storyteller of international acclaim, and Eldrena Douma, who began her storytelling journey on Laguna and Hopi tribal lands.

During the three-day event, participants will have the opportunity to attend workshop sessions, fringe performances and evening storytelling concerts. The conference will close Sunday, June 10 with a special Sacred Story Concert at 9 a.m. in Hill Memorial Chapel on the WTAMU campus. The conference is recommended for educators, librarians, law professionals and ministers.

Keding and Douma, rooted in their perspective cultures and traditions yet open and innovative in their approaches to their chosen art form, will be featured in evening concerts at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Recital Hall of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex.  They also will present keynote addresses at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday. A Texas Performance Grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts has provided support for Douma’s performance at the conference.

Featured workshops for the conference include “Storytelling and Critical Thinking” by Dr. Charles Temple, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y.; “Growing Creatively as  a Writer and Storyteller” by Jodi Thomas, WTAMU writer in residence; “Cracking the Story Code” by Connie Meeker of Houston; “Ancient Roots of Science Fiction and Fantasy” by Fran Stallings, Bartlesville, Okla.;  “Finding Your Story, Then Making It Your Own” by Tony Hardman, Goodwell, Okla.; “Great Expectations: Storytelling and STARR Testing” by Paula Schlegel, WTAMU; “Oral History, Intellectual Property and Storytelling” by John Davis, Mason; “Making Storytelling a Community Event: The Success of George West Storyfest” by Mary Margaret Campbell, George West; “The Galimoto: Folk Art/Story Art” by Janet Latham, Denton; “So You Want to Record a Storytelling CD or DVD? How to Turn Great Expectations into Reality” by WTAMU broadcasting students Isaak Chavez, Eric Brown and Rebekah Purl; “Happily Ever After: High Hopes and Great Expectations in Fairy Tales” by Mary Grace Ketner, San Antonio; “I Love to Tell/Tell Me a Story” by Loralee and Edwin Cooley, Cordell, Okla.; “We All Tell Stories the Same Way” by Tony Hardman, Goodwell, Okla.; “Social Media: Why All the Fuss?” by Dr. Leigh Browning and Lori Westermann of WTAMU and “Science: Tell It Like a Story” by Fran Stallings, Bartlesville, Okla. Participants also will have the opportunity to attend a panel presentation at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum on “Artifacts as Stories” with Guy C. Vanderpool, director of the museum, Warren Stricker, research center director, Millie Vanover, education coordinator and Andrea Porter, communication coordinator.

Fringe performances, which are solo performances by tellers focusing on a particular storytelling genre, are scheduled at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 8 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall. Storytellers from across the High Plains will be featured in a special Panhandle Only concert from 3:15-4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9. Scheduled tellers include Eric Strong of Lubbock, Urisonya Flunder of Lubbock, Paula Schlegel of Canyon and Judy Carter of Amarillo as well as tellers from Abilene and Midland.

To register for the conference, go to tejasstorytelling.com/ to download the registration form. Registration also can be completed onsite in the lobby of the Fine Arts Complex during the conference. Individual tickets for evening concerts are priced at $10 each and can be purchased the evening of the performance. Those wishing to attend a single workshop session also can choose to purchase tickets for single sessions. The conference hotel is the Best Western Palo Duro Canyon Inn and Suites. Conference attendees also can attend the outdoor musical “Texas” on Thursday, June 7 at a special group rate. For details about attending “Texas” or for more information about the conference, contact Dr. Trudy Hanson at thanson@wtamu.edu or call 806 651 2800.  



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