You can experience that magic for yourself at the upcoming Weber State Storytelling Festival, set for Feb. 24-26 at locations all around Layton and Ogden. The free events will feature four nationally-recognized professional storytellers, as well as tons of volunteer storytellers from Davis County and the surrounding area.
“It’s absolutely huge,” said Ann Ellis, director of the festival. “We have a ton of things for everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens all day long.”
This year, the four national storytellers will be Olga Loya, Ed Stivender, Len Cabral and husband and wife pair Eth-Noh-Tec. Ellis is particularly excited about the last pair, who are coming in from California.
“They are absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “Just amazing.”
Cabral will start off the Davis County events on Feb. 25, when he comes to the WSU Davis Campus for a performance from 2-3:30 p.m. This is the first year the campus has been utilized for the festival, though Ellis said it won’t be the last.
“Part of our mission is to enhance the programming of our sponsoring institutions, and we’ve had events at our Ogden campus for a long time,” she said. “The Layton campus is certainly part of our institution.”
The big day for Davis County residents will be Feb. 26, where the festival will move to the Davis Conference Center for a morning full of volunteer storytelling. Several of the storytellers will be from local schools, including 30 from Davis County.
“We have a national reputation, especially in working with young storytellers,” said Ellis. “We know that children who participate in learning and telling stories are better readers and have more confidence. There’s a huge effect throughout the year.”
Later in the day, there will be a storytelling concert at the Apple Village Assisted Living Center in Layton at 2:30 p.m., and a scout night at the Davis Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. Both events are open to the public, as is the big finale concert at 7:30 p.m. at the conference center.
For more information and a complete schedule, visit community.weber.edu/storytelling.
“Storytelling touches every heart,” said Ellis. “You’ll enjoy yourself, and feel better because you were there.”