Founded by the late Selma author Kathryn Tucker Windham, who believed that families should laugh together, the festival blends music with song and dance, hilarious misadventures and sacred inspiration.
Coming from the rich oral tradition of her Lakota and Plains Apache family, Dovie Thomason has had a lifetime of listening and telling the traditional stories that are the cultural “heartsong” of community values and memory. Both wise and mischievous, Dovie unfolds the layers of her indigenous worldview and teachings with respect, sly humor and rich vocal transformations. When she adds personal stories and untold histories, the result is a contemporary narrative of Indigenous North America told with elegance, wit and passion. Learn more about her work at www.doviethomason.com.
Alabama’s own Wanda Johnson returns to Tale Tellin’ this year. From Prichard, AL, Wanda was mentored by Kathryn Windham. As a storyteller, she challenges her audience to take pride in the lessons, rituals, and experiences of life. She encourages young and old to appreciate their personal stories as lasting wealth that should be passed on and preserved. The personality, humor, and charm of this sought-after inspirational speaker touch hearts, inspire dreams, and stimulate the imagination. Read more at www.arts.state.al.us/programs/AIE/artist_roster/wandajohnson.aspx.
Birmingham’s Dolores Hydock is an actress and story performer, and a really good storyteller! She has been featured at a wide variety of festivals and concerts throughout the United State. Dolores has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesboro, and has been Teller-in-Residence at their International Storytelling Center. Explore www.storypower.org to learn more.
“2017 is the first year of Alabama’s Bicentennial Celebration and we are excited to be featuring storytellers that can celebrate her people, all of her people. We have a new friend coming to tell stories of the First Nations, a homegrown treasure to remind us of our roots, and an adopted Alabamian returning to be with us,” said Chairman Peggy Christian. “We are offering special rates to encourage family attendance, and these entertainers will have tales for every age!”
Sponsored by ArtsRevive, the fun begins at 6 p.m. with The Swappin’ Ground, where amateurs can tell their own stories. The main event starts at 7 both evenings. Selma’s Doris Butler Truax will emcee the event and tell a few tales herself, and light refreshments will be offered by Joyce’s Catering both evenings.
Tickets will be sold at the door, 3 Church St., and are $15 for adults, $10 for students with ID and free for children under six. The special family rate for two adults and two children under 18 is $30. Tale Tellin’ is funded in part by a generous grant for the Alabama State Council on the Arts.