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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. 

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.

Attendees who purchase full event conference tickets are also invited to attend “Look Who’s Talking!,” the Fe


Ashton Gardens, Thanksgiving Point

3900 N. Garden Drive

Lehi, UT 84043

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Download Schedule
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
All Performers
  • All Performers
  • Bil Lepp
  • Barbara McBride-Smith
  • Charlotte Blake Alston
  • Tim Lowry
  • Carmen Deedy
All Activities
  • All Activities
  • Storytelling
  • Music
  • Workshop


Keynote—Bil Lepp

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Barbara McBride Smith—Story Crafting—Breakout session A

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Story Crafting:

Charlotte Blake Alston—Education—Breakout session A

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM


Joseph Sobol—Dispatches from the Other Kingdom”: collecting and sharing illness narratives—Breakout session A

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—Hidden Memory; An American Story—Showcase performance

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Hidden Memory; An American Story

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—Family Stories—Breakout session B

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Family Stories

Priscilla Howe—Tell another! Creating connections with stories, songs and silliness—Breakout session B

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Tell another! Creating connections with stories, songs and silliness

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 —Master Class

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Carmen Deedy—Writing —Master Class (cont)

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Anne Shimojima—Hidden Memory: My Family History Project and What I Learned—Breakout session C

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Hidden Memory: My Family History Project and What I Learned

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—Grab ‘Em, Keep 'Em - Explorations: How to Begin Stories!—Breakout session C

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Grab ‘Em, Keep 'Em - Explorations: How to Begin Stories!

So...you have this story that you really like......now what?! How do you enter into it to engage the listeners from the start? Let’s dig in and see!

Charlotte Blake Alston

Charlotte Blake Alston was raised on the rich stories and poems of African American writers like Paul Lawrence Dunbar. After a 21–year career in teaching, Charlotte no performs from Carnegie Hall to Africa. Her lively African and African American tales, both traditional and contemporary, are accompanied by time–honored instruments, such as the 21-stringed kora, and are delivered with heart and soul.

Full Profile
Carmen Deedy

Not since Ricky Ricardo has a Cuban brought so much delight to audiences in America. Raised in Georgia by courageous refugee parents who fled Castro’s Cuba, Carmen brings unmatched strength and resiliency to her storytelling. Funny and compassionate, wise and witty, Carmen’s stories are crafted with keen intelligence and humor. For more than 20 years, Carmen has enchanted thousands of school children and adults alike with her oral and written stories.

Full Profile
Priscilla Howe

I live in my head. A lot. I make stuff up, I borrow from old tales, I reinterpret new stories. As a storyteller, I’m a tour guide to that space in my brain, using no script, no costumes, no props. When I’m doing it right, listeners laugh, smile, sigh and breathe together, connected in the space of stories. My ridiculous puppets come along to shows for kids. I tell more grownup stories to, well, grownups and older kids. We play together. It’s the oldest educational method in the world. And it's tremendous fun. Here's the quick rundown on how I became a storyteller: Told stories as a babysitter in my teens, Grew up, lived in Belgium for a year (junior year abroad), lived in Bulgaria after university (1983-84), Decided to become a librarian, got a job as a Slavic cataloger after earning Master's Degree, In 1988 swerved to be a children's librarian at Russell Library in Middletown, CT, Learned to tell stories, attended every festival, conference and workshop I possibly could, In 1993 quit my job, moved to Lawrence KS and leapt into full-time storytelling. Since then, I've told stories in twelve countries on three continents, occasionally in French and Bulgarian, but mostly in English. I perform, teach occasional classes and workshops, and coach other storytellers. I live in Lawrence KS with my cat, Francis Bacon (Sir). I'm also looking for the best restaurant pie on earth. Want more info? Ask me anything!

Full Profile
Bil Lepp

Bil Lepp is a nationally renowned storyteller and five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest. Audiences all across the country have been delighted by Bil’s hilarious tales and delightful insights into everyday life. Be it a hunting trip or a funeral, Bil can find humor in any situation. Though a champion liar, his outrageous, witty stories often contain morsels of truth that shed light on subjects such as politics, religion, relationships, and human nature.

Full Profile
Rona Leventhal

Rona’s audiences and workshop participants have been leaving with smiles and “aha’s” for 26 years. Storyteller, Improvisational Movement Specialist, Educator, Coach, she brings storytelling to schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, organizations. Credits: Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope (book); “Raps, Rhythms and Rhymes” (CD)

Full Profile
Tim Lowry

Tim Lowry has been telling stories of the People, by the People, and for the People for 25 years. Telling a variety of Folk Tales and Stories from American History, Tim has presented thousands of educational programs for schools across the country. At festivals Tim entertains audiences with a mixture of Folk Tales and Personal Narrative. He also presents storytelling/communication workshops at corporate retreats. When Tim is not on the road, he makes his home in Summerville, SC, where he often performs stories of the historic South Carolina Lowcountry: Colonial Tavern Tales, Gullah Folk Tales, and Civil War Ghost Stories.

Full Profile
Barbara McBride-Smith

Barbara transports her listeners from the ancient world of the Greek gods to the modern-day mayhem of her Baby Boomer generation, re-imagines the lives of Biblical tricksters and heroes, tweaks folklore with the heart of an award-winning librarian, and interprets it all as sweet truth laced with Texas grit. Listening to Barbara’s stories will take you on a journey of mythic proportion, and as your life intersects with hers, you will discover new perspectives on your everyday experiences.

Full Profile
Anne Shimojima

Whether it is with a thoughtful story for adults, a funny folk tale for children, or the inspiring history of her Japanese American family’s experience in the incarceration camps during World War II, Anne Shimojima reminds us that to be human is to travel the most fascinating journey of all. Her repertoire includes folk tales from around the world and historical pieces that help us find our places in the world today. A professional storyteller since 1982, Anne performs in festivals, schools, libraries, museums, and conferences, and anywhere people gather to hear a good story. Her thirty-five years as an elementary school library media specialist and decades of performing have given her a deep understanding of the universal truths we can all find in story.

Full Profile
Joseph Sobol

Joseph began his storytelling career in 1981, as a founding member of the Westside Storytellers of Santa Monica, California. ​ In 1983 he picked up and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where as a Masters student in the UNC Folklore Program, he began his immersion in Southern Appalachian and Celtic folklore traditions. He has studied with and written about such masters of traditional storytelling as Ray Hicks, Donald Davis, Kathryn Windham, Stanley Robertson, and Eddie Lenihan. ​ From 1985 to 1989 he worked as a full-time Artist-in-Residence in community colleges, primary schools and secondary schools across North and South Carolina. In 1989 he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he received his doctorate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University. ​ His dissertation on the contemporary American Storytelling revival movement was published in 1999 by University of Illinois Press as the award-winning book The Storytellers’ Journey: An American Revival.​ It has been described as “original, insightful, and leavened with humor and compassion.… a deep exploration of the territory we’ve traveled and a glimpse of future possibilities.”​ ​​ He has taught storytelling and folklore at DePaul University, Hebrew Theological Seminary, and since 2000, as the director of the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University

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 Xpress shuttle at (800) 397-0773 or visit their website at xpressshuttleutah.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  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.

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