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07 Sep, 2017

2017 Timpanogos Storytelling Conference

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Timpanogos Storytelling Conference 2017


Interested in learning more about storytelling?

Come and learn about the traditional art of oral storytelling from some of the most accomplished storytellers in the world. 

This year’s conference presenters include Charlotte Blake Alston, Carmen Deedy, Priscilla Howe, Rona Leventhal, Bil Lepp, Tim Lowry, Barbara McBride-Smith, Anne Shimojima, and Joseph Sobol.

The 2017 Timpanogos Storytelling Conference will be held the same week as the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, allowing attendees to participate in the Conference on Thursday and then enjoying the Festival on Friday and Saturday.  The program begins at 9:00 am and finishes at 4:30 pm.


Ashton Gardens, Thanksgiving Point

3900 N. Garden Drive

Lehi, UT 84043

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All Days
  • All Days
  • Sep 07 2017
All Times
  • All Times
  • 7:00-8:00 AM
  • 8:00-9:00 AM
  • 9:00-10:00 AM
  • 10:00-11:00 AM
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
  • 12:00-1:00 PM
  • 1:00-2:00 PM
  • 2:00-3:00 PM
  • 3:00-4:00 PM
  • 4:00-5:00 PM
  • 5:00-6:00 PM
  • 6:00-7:00 PM
  • 7:00-8:00 PM
  • 8:00-9:00 PM
  • 9:00-10:00 PM
All Locations
  • All Locations
  • Storytelling is a Conversation
  • Our Stories Tell Us Who We Are
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking &Telling: Suggestions for Incorporating Storytelling into your Curriculum
  • Dispatches from the Other Kingdom”: collecting and sharing illness narratives
  • Hidden Memory; An American Story
  • Crafting a Personal Narrative
  • Tell another! Creating connections with stories, songs and silliness
  • Hidden Memory: My Family History Project and What I Learned
  • Moving the Body, Freeing the Mind: The Art of Storytelling—
All Performers
  • All Performers
  • Bil Lepp
  • Catherine Conant
  • Charlotte Blake Alston
  • Tim Lowry
  • Carmen Deedy
All Activities
  • All Activities
  • Storytelling
  • Music
  • Workshop


Bil Lepp—Keynote

Storytelling is a Conversation

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Most good storytelling is an extension of the front porch or the supper table conversation. Storytelling needs to be passively interactive, with the teller being aware of how the audience is reacting to the tale, so that the teller can adjust the presentation to best suit the audience.

Catherine Conant—Breakout session A

Our Stories Tell Us Who We Are

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Our stories reflect what we see as our place in the world. They also illustrate our experiences and introduce the people who have had an impact in our lives. This workshop will provide guidance in the search for the stories that are waiting to be discovered, how a meaningful story is structured and the importance of listening to the stories of others.

Charlotte Blake Alston—Breakout session A

Reading, Writing, Speaking &Telling: Suggestions for Incorporating Storytelling into your Curriculum

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Whether it is stimulating ideas for writing, bringing history alive, enhancing auditory skills, expanding children’s appreciation for oral telling, storytelling is a readily accessible vehicle for classroom teachers. This workshop will explore some of the ways teachers can make use of storytelling in the classroom.

Joseph Sobol—Breakout session A

Dispatches from the Other Kingdom”: collecting and sharing illness narratives

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

This workshop provides a model for collecting and sharing illness narratives, allowing us to practice collecting, shaping, and retelling our own stories in the framework of the Hero’s Journey.


11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Anne Shimojima—Showcase performance

Hidden Memory; An American Story

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Anne Shimojima’s Japanese American family was imprisoned in incarceration camps during World War II. Their crime: looking like the enemy. Their experience: racial prejudice, imprisonment, and finally, triumph and strength.

Tim Lowry—Breakout session B

Crafting a Personal Narrative

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Noting, crafting, telling, and preserving the stories of personal experience is the beginning of recording history for future generations. Tim will help you generate story ideas from your own life, mold those ideas into tellable tales, and share ways you can preserve these stories for future reference.

Priscilla Howe—Breakout session B

Tell another! Creating connections with stories, songs and silliness

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Come learn simple stories and songs, perfect for parents and teachers to connect with children while waiting in line, between classroom activities, on long car rides or at bedtime.

Carmen Deedy—Writing Intensive

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

This is not your usual writing workshop. It’s not about lists, storyboards or tips of the trade. This is about digging deep into the conceptual waters that feed our writing. It’s about being innately curious and insatiably interested. It’s about asking questions and figuring out what we believe about the world and what we have to say about it?

Carmen Deedy—Writing Intensive (cont)

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This is not your usual writing workshop. It’s not about lists, storyboards or tips of the trade. This is about digging deep into the conceptual waters that feed our writing. It’s about being innately curious and insatiably interested. It’s about asking questions and figuring out what we believe about the world and what we have to say about it?

Anne Shimojima—Breakout session C

Hidden Memory: My Family History Project and What I Learned

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Learn how to create your own family history project with interviews, historical documents, a photobook, and digital slide shows. Give the gift of memories to your family!

Rona Leventhal—Breakout session C

Moving the Body, Freeing the Mind: The Art of Storytelling—

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Experience a story from the inside out! Through movement, voice, visualization, exploration we will play with story, delve into characters, explore imagery… and see how this stew influences your telling! If you’re new to storytelling, come explore in a safe environment!

Charlotte Blake Alston

With talents as varied as the symphony orchestras with which she often performs, Charlotte Blake Alston is unique in the cultural abundance with which she augments her tales. Stitched together with brilliance and texture, Charlotte tells stories guaranteed to color your world-view with vivid impressions of people and vistas you have never imagined. Often accompanied by music, Charlotte opens your eyes and heart to a new way of experiencing the world around you. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the National Association of Black Storytellers and the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association. Charlotte, with her breadth of experience and skills, her generosity of spirit, and her dignity of character, is gratefully welcomed back to Timpanogos.

Full Profile
Catherine Conant

Catherine Conant grew up in a large Italian family living in industrial New Jersey where stories were the currency of everyday life. She stitched together what she heard, and her imagination, to create powerful and entertaining stories about her world living in the shadow of the New Jersey Turnpike. For more than 25 years she has worked with individuals, groups and organizations seeking to develop original stories for personal and community development. Skilled at using positive humor as a potent tool Catherine helps others create stories that can be both funny and poignant. She was the founding producer of the only outdoor storytelling event in Connecticut, the Doggone Storytelling Festival. For more than a decade she has been an experienced facilitator leading story development retreats for members of nonprofit and other organizations. As a consultant working with Dr. William Graustein, senior trustee of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Catherine has a significant role in promoting his vision of storytelling as a dynamic force for strong community life in New Haven, CT. Some of the diverse groups with whom she has worked are; Project Longevity in New Haven, CT, Yale University Summer Intern program and the Clifford Beers Clinic. She has appeared at colleges, festivals and other settings, including The Moth, the Manhattan venue for ‘urban storytelling’, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival and the National Storytelling Festival. Catherine has produced two award winning CD’s of original stories and her essays appear in more than a dozen publications. A mother and grandmother, when she’s not listening to or sharing stories she can be found in her garden or searching flea markets for hidden treasures. Catherine@catherineconant.com

Full Profile
Carmen Deedy

No one plays with an audience like Carmen Deedy. Regardless of the number of people in the venue, Carmen shares every story from her heart to your heart, individually and personally. She possesses the unique gift of not only speaking to all people, but to each person, simultaneously. She once said, “Great story is the art of letting go.” But even as she ‘lets go,’ Carmen will hold your heart in the palm of her hand. She has been an invited speaker at venues as varied as The American Library Association, Refugees International, The International Reading Association, Columbia University, the Smithsonian Institute, TED, the National Book Festival, and the Kennedy Center, but her favorite audience is her grandchildren, for whom she also loves to cook—a true abuela cubana.

Full Profile
Priscilla Howe

Driven by a passion for connection and communication, Priscilla Howe bravely stepped out of her comfort zone into the world of full-time storytelling nearly 25 years ago and never looked back. While the life of a traveling bard can be precarious at times, Priscilla wouldn’t trade it for anything. With a bagful of puppets and an unquenchable desire to share, she has traveled from Bulgaria to Brazil, from Germany to Colombia, leaving miles of smiles in her wake. Don’t miss your chance to be among those favored by the flavors of her imagination.

Full Profile
Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp is a study in contrasts. A thoroughly honest man, he is a five-time champion liar. Behind that “yup, yup, yup” persona is an absolutely brilliant mind--so smart he’s scary, but really funny too—kind of like a cross between Neil deGrasse Tyson and Robin Williams. An accomplished author, Bil Lepp’s books cover topics from parenting to very little things. As carefully architected as The Eiffel Tower, Bil’s stories often start out plausible, then quickly morph into the outrageous and fantastic. On occasion, he is completely serious and you can follow him into stories of the courage and honor of ordinary folks. But beware—Bil’s wit will hit and you will never see it coming!

Full Profile
Rona Leventhal

“Throughout the story I felt like I was watching a fully staged play with scenery and a cast.” Rona has been a Teller of Tales and a teacher of storytelling for 26 years! Her exuberant, dynamic and down-to-earth style, has landed her as a Featured Teller at The Stone Soup Storytelling Festival (SC), on stages at The National Storytelling Conference and as a winner at story slams. She tells folktales, personal stories and original work to all ages. She aims to leave her audiences with “aha’s!” and “ah’s!”.....laughter in their bellies and stories to ponder. But wait...there's more! She is a workshop leader (see her Timp Conference workshop!), an improvisational theatre and movement specialist, a coach and an Educator who is passionate about bringing what she calls "Living Literacy" to students and teachers. For seven years she produced and facilitated The Summer Storytelling Institute, is coeditor of the book Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories, Storytelling and Activities of Peace, Justice and the Environment and her family CD, “Raps, Rhythms and Rhymes: Stories to Tap, Rap, Shake and Sing” is just out!

Full Profile
Tim Lowry

Tim is a human time machine who makes history happen in your hands and collapses hours into moments of magic. It is a pleasure and a joy to be swept along into one of his narratives and an instant later you realize an hour has passed. With careful and deliberate, but nearly invisible crafting, Tim’s “off-the-cuff” stories flow as luxuriously as melted chocolate and are just as delicious. A Festival favorite, Tim ranks among the top tellers on the audience’s “must-hear” list.

Full Profile
Anne Shimojima

From East to West, Anne Shimojima has scattered storytelling sunshine in every corner of our country. Shining her light on difficult subjects, “Hidden Memory: An American Story,” Anne illustrates the history of her Japanese American family as they were imprisoned in the incarceration camps of World War II. Anne excels at helping others gather, shape, and share their illness narratives in the framework of the Hero’s Journey. In addition, she seeks out and shares the commonalities of many cultures—helping us see that we are far more alike than different and diligently erasing artificially created boundaries.

Full Profile
Joseph Sobol

Joe Sobol’s work in the field of healing stories is legendary. As a preeminent practitioner of this art, he is unchallenged, but it would be unfair to limit a description of his work to only this. With good humor and charm, he tells stories to shed light on the best that is in us, while acknowledging our struggles. A gifted musician, Joe has been known to augment performances with the guitar, mandolin, banjo and cittern, a British Isles ancestor of the guitar. Joe’s book, “The House Between Earth and Sky: Harvesting New American Folktales,” contains a step-by-step guide for Folklore and Storytelling residencies and instructional units for secondary school ESL classes, as well as a dazzling selection of world folktales.

Full Profile

Conference FAQs 

1. Can I attend both the Conference and the Festival?

Yes, if choosing a weekend family pass click the dropdown option to add a conference pass to your purchase.

Or if you are purchasing a single weekend pass (adult, student, or senior) please choose the
ADULT COMBO–Conference & Festival Weekend Pass–2017. This Combo pass is cheaper than purchasing a Conference and Festival pass separately. If you are interested, don’t forget to add a
Conference Lunch 2017  (available soon) to your purchase. Click this link to see who is performing at the Festival: Timpanogos Storytelling Festival September 7-9, 2017.


2. Is there transportation from the airport?

It is approximately a 34 minute drive from the Salt Lake International Airport to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. For shuttle service contact Express shuttle at (800) 397-0773 or visit their website at expressshuttleutah.com

3. Are there discounts to hotels near Thanksgiving Point?

Hotel discounts will be announced soon.

4. Where do I park for the event? 

In contrast to previous years, guests can park onsite at the Festival. Guests will be directed where to park as they arrive at the Ashton Gardens.

Parking in unmarked areas or on the street is not be permitted. Carpooling is strongly recommended to help alleviate traffic congestion.


5. Are the events handicap accessible? 

Disabled parking is available at the front of the Gardens Visitor Center and a valid disability parking permit is required. 

Paths to access the Gardens can accommodate wheelchairs, but wheelchairs and other conveyances are not available for rent through Thanksgiving Point. Volunteers will be available with golf carts to help patrons in the Ashton Gardens.


6. What time do gates open for the event?

Thursday, September 7: 

Registration for the Conference begins at 8:30 am.

7. Can I purchase tickets at the event?

Tickets for events that have not sold out are available for purchase at the event.
In order to avoid disappointment, please purchase your tickets online before the event.

Special early bird discounts are available until August 1.

Unlike previous years, paper tickets can not be purchased at the Orem Public Library.
Please order your tickets online. You can call 801-228-1350 for questions about tickets or events.


8. Is there an online schedule for where each storyteller will be performing?

Yes, click on the schedule tab above to see who is performing at  the Conference.
Click also on the storyteller tab to read more about each of the tellers.


9. Is there a student discount?

Yes, it applies to any high school or college student with a valid school ID.

10. Where can I see a list of ticket prices?

Click here to see the full list of ticket prices.

11. Is there an age limit to attend the Conference?

The Timpanogos Storytelling Conference is open to ages 13 and above. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate nursing infants or young children.

12. Will there be American Sign Language Interpreters?

Please call 801-228-1350 by September 1 to schedule an ASL interpreter.

13. What will the weather be like?

With the exception of the Conference and Shivers in the Night, all events are held outdoors.
Average daytime temperatures are 80 F and above, but early mornings and evenings are often cool.
Large performance tents provide shade, but in case of rain, a poncho may come in handy.

14. Are there discounts to hotels near Thanksgiving Point?

Special event rates are available at these nearby hotels:

Courtyard Marriott Lehi at Thanksgiving Point
2801 Club House Dr.
Lehi, UT 84043
Click here to access their special rate (starting at $99 per night and includes Wi-Fi, fitness center access, pool access, and an onsite restaurant).
(Cutoff date for discount is 8/9/2017)

Hyatt Place Lehi
3700 Outlet Pkwy.
Lehi, UT 84043
Click here to access their special rate (starting at $119 per night and includes free local shuttles, complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, and a pool) or by calling 1-888-492-8847.
(Cutoff date for discount is 8/23/2017)

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