Each year, more than 20 regional and 6 featured storytellers and their audiences gather during this three-day event for the telling of tales.
The Festival is coordinated by the School of Professional & Continuing Studies and the College of Fine Arts & Communication at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, in partnership with various organizations throughout the St. Louis area. This free cultural event is made possible through the gracious support and participation of its sponsors and is offered at a variety of locations, including: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, The University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis Public Library, St. Charles City-County Library (selected branches), Brentwood Public Library, Kirkwood Public Library, University City Public Library, Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, and Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Most events are free and open to the public.
The Festival is an annual event for all ages. Primary attendance during the first three days of the Festival (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) is for area school children.
In recent years, Thursday evening activities for families and adults have been added to the Festival schedule.Storytellers also visit outreach sites to bring the Festival to audiences who may not be able to attend at the scheduled locations.
The St. Louis Storytelling Festival lays the foundation for 21st Century learning. Students of all ages have the opportunity to experience culturally diverse professional storytellers tell a wide variety of traditional, literary, historical and family stories. The Festival provides educators and parents with tools to move students toward achievement of the Common Core State Standards.
The National Storytelling Network (NSN) has named the St. Louis Storytelling Festival and Executive Director Becky Walstrom as the South Central Regional Service and Leadership Award winners as part of their 2010 Oracle Awards.
The NSN annually presents their Regional Leadership and Service Awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to their local or regional storytelling community and have used storytelling to make a significant contribution to the larger community in which they live.
“What an honor to receive the ORACLE award for leadership and service! After 20 years, I am amazed at the impact the St. Louis Festival has had on my personal and professional life. It has been both rewarding and fun to work with so many gifted and giving storytellers. The Storytelling Festival has served the St. Louis Community for more than 31 years, partnering with more than 20 historic sites and organizations in the community. More than 550,000 people, from all walks of life, have participated in a Festival that truly belongs to the St. Louis regional community.
My sincere and heartfelt 'thank you' to friends and colleagues who nominated the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, and me, for this award. What a privilege to work with so many people who are supportive of my role as the Executive Director and committed to the mission of the Festival.