Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years he made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore, and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers, and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival. He has lectured and conducted workshops at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has led ranger training sessions for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C.
In recent years he has received a variety of honors. The National Storytelling Network (the largest storytelling membership organization in the world) inducted him into their Circle of Excellence for “exceptional commitment and exemplary contribution to the art of storytelling.” The International Herb Association presented him with the Otto Richter Award honoring his work with herbs and useful wild plants. The National Association for Interpretation (the professional organization of park rangers, naturalists, museum curators, etc.) gave him the Master Front Line Interpreter Award for his “mastery of interpretive techniques, program development, and design of creative projects” celebrating the natural world and our human connection to nature.
He is the author of five books, many articles in regional and national magazines, has recorded a number of award-winning albums of stories and songs, and is occasionally seen on PBS-TV, and the History and National Geographic Channels.
Susan is recognized as a top speaker on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has given 100s of presentations to corporate audiences worldwide.
Sue’s passion for the American vision of “equal opportunity for all” started in high school when she became part of an interracial Civil Rights youth group. She was trained by adults who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he lived in Chicago. With these adult mentors, Sue traveled to the Black side of Chicago’s color line and listened to radically different stories from those she had heard in her all-white, working-class neighborhood. Her quest for a way to bridge people’s different perspectives and experiences began.
Since then, Sue has continued to give keynote addresses plus design and teach seminars and webinars in diversity, equity and inclusion for Fortune 500 companies. She is a sought-after expert on racial justice issues and has appeared on such media programs as PBS and ABC Nightline and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Chicago Tribune.
Sue is the author of seven books including Avoiding Cross-Cultural Mistakes. In addition, O’Halloran is a producer and director of multicultural performances and internationally recognized films. She brings her storytelling expertise to her engaging keynotes and seminars. In the storytelling community she has been honored by The National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence award for her entertaining and absorbing performances.
Mara Menzies is an award winning performance storyteller whose dynamic, colourful style brings this ancient artform to life.
She has been invited to share stories in 27 countries with her latest production, ‘Blood and Gold’ exploring the legacy of colonialism and slavery through myth, legend, and fantasy. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019 as part of the Made in Scotland showcase and was one of 5 shows nominated for the Filipa Braganca award for best emerging solo female performance, receiving rave reviews from top theatre critics.
Mara draws on her rich cultural heritage to create stories that explore our deepest fears, joys, loves, jealousies, passions, and mysteries. She finds the truths about humanity in stories. She creates bespoke stories informing, inspiring, and entertaining.
She is the founder of the Kwale Sculpture Park and Heritage Trail in Mbegani Village at the Kenyan coast, creating a heritage trail that demonstrates the beauty and richness of the local culture and stories alongside Mbegani Rising, a unique community development organization.
Carolina is a Colombian Bilingual Storyteller Performer, Podcaster and Author, who graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University. Her vast repertoire of bilingual stories explores the Myths, Legends, Folktales, Historical and Literary Tales of Latin America. She has performed at several regional festivals and conferences in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Colorado, and Kansas City. Also, she has told stories at numerous schools, libraries, universities, and colleges to culturally and socially diverse audiences.
In early 2019, Carolina’s bilingual literary podcast “Tres Cuentos,” dedicated to the literary, historical, and traditional narratives of Latin America, received numerous grants. In September 2019, Carolina published her first book on Aztec myths, “The Hungry Goddess and The Five Suns.” A month later, she was a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
Liz Weir is a storyteller and writer from Northern Ireland. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling.” The story of Liz’s journey begins back in the 1970s. As Children’s Librarian for the City of Belfast, she learned about the healing power of storytelling. Liz has told stories to people of all ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs, prisons, and hospital rooms. She’s worked on stages in the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s Grand Central Station and in the Royal Albert Hall.