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.