19th Annual Storytelling Celebration Kansas City: Listen to our stories- Hear the world
19th Annual Kansas City Storytelling Celebration
November 7-10, 2018

Brother John Anderson

For over 20 years, John 'Br. John' Anderson has dazzled audiences throughout the United States and the Carribean with his unique style of enthusiastic, stage presence. His speciality is African and original, contemporary tall tales and song parodies. A former early childhood educator and children's minister, Br. John enjoys infusing Arts in Education techniques and literacy empowerment skills with a big dose of interactive fun. 

Rosie Best-Cutrer

Rosie Cutrer started life as a storyteller in first grade when she fell on the floor pretending to faint to get out of class for the day. The stories have gotten bigger and bigger ever since. A life-long resident of Topeka, Kansas she has performed at: Nebraska’s Kearney Storytelling Festival, The Homestead National Monument, The Kansas Storytelling Festival and The Cape Girardeau Storytelling Festival. In 2010 she made her international debut doing a storytelling tour for the County Wexford Ireland Library System.  Please visit her website at: www.rosiecutrer.com.

Susan Bravo

Susan returns to us after an absence of 6 years. She spent the winters in Peru and is excited to use the many stories, history of Peru, and legends including two in particular,  The Loose Goose and My Miracle On The Mountain. Her repertoire includes myths, legends, fairy tails and personal experience stories. She promises some of this, some of that, a little salt and a little pepper.

Larry Brown

Larry Brown is a resident of Millersburg, MO., near Columbia. Larry has been telling for over 30 years and is the president of MO-TELL (Missouri Storytelling, Inc.).  He tells to all ages and is known for original Jack Tales, chicken sagas, and mystery stories. Larry was a featured teller at the 2012 Cape Girardeau Festival, 2012 Bloomington, IN Festival, 2012 Jefferson City Festival, 2011 Nebraska Storytelling Festival, the 2010 St. Louis Storytelling Festival, the 2008 Wilderness Road Festival, and the 2007 Kansas City Storytelling Celebration. To learn more about Larry visit his website at brownstory.com.

Beth Byrd-Lonski

Beth Byrd-Lonski is a professional mime, clown, physical theater artist, producer of physical theater and teacher. She'd been performing since 1982.  She's enjoyed touring the country as a solo artist for schools and lovraries as well as collavorating with various artists and arts organizations to create original material.  She created Byrd Productions in 1995, a small arts organization dedicated to providing physical theater through performance, education, scholarships and collaboration.  You can find her at www.byrdproductions.org.

Anthony Clark

Anthony Clark has been sharing his programs of stories and music across Missouri and beyond for over 18 years. He’s a published author of over 10 books and multiple stories and articles. His children’s music CD won a Parents’ Choice Award in 2004; songs from the CD aired on radio stations in dozens of states and several foreign countries. Anthony also offers workshops on storytelling and creative writing. To learn more about Anthony visit his website at www.thesingingstoryteller.com.

Dr. Gladys Coggswell

Dr. Gladys Coggswell was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Missouri St. Louis in May 2015 for Storytelling. She is passionate about people and storytelling. She has been telling stories for over 35 years. Gladys will have you laughing, crying, and thinking.  Visit her web-site to find out more about her, www.coggswell.com.

Diane Cox

Diane Cox believes in the power of the spoken word and painting pictures for the mind to savor. She is seldom at a loss for words as she shares folktales and life stories. A school librarian from Omaha, NE, she is known to her students as "Mrs. Cox in Purple Socks" (or whatever outlandish socks she can find to wear). She has been telling stories as long as she can remember, and loves the fact that people now actually ask her to tell them. She is a long time member of OOPS (Omaha Organization for the Purpose of Storytelling), RAPS, and the National Storytelling Network.

Denise Dodd

Denise had enjoyed telling stories to children for the past 30 years as an elementary teacher. She has co-sponsored storytelling clubs and family festivals for grades 3-5. She also enjoys sharing the importance of storytelling as she facilitates workshops for students, parents and educators. Denise believes it’s a great day when the sun is shining through the window and she is piecing a good story or fun quilt together!

Becky Everly

Becky has shared stories with elementary-aged kids for over 22 years.  She has facilitated experiences with parents and educators, exploring benefits and applications of storytelling.  She has co-sponsored a storytelling club for 4th and 5th graders which culminates in a Family Storytelling Festival.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, and is also an R.N.  her proudest moments and best stories have come with family, especially her six grandchildren.  To learn more about Becky visit her website happyeverlyafter.com

David Everly

Dave has told stories and played his ukulele for adults and children for many years.  He has been involved in teaching K-5th grade students storytelling techniques through storytelling clubs.  He has co-facilitated workshops for storytelling (personal, inspirational & Biblical stories), as well as marriage enrichment, parenting and communication workshops.  He has been in ministry in churches for over forty-five years.  "Thinking story first" guides him in preparing sermons.  He has been a pastor and has also done music, educational and family ministry.  He has a business degree from Washington University, as well as a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Seminary.

Anna Francesca Garcia

Anna Francesca loves the magic of stories with their power to affirm and to transport us. She comes from a family rich with stories that they have generously shared with her.  Also, Anna Francesca grew up performing in plays and went on to earn her Graduate Academic Certificate in storytelling from the University of North Texas. Anna Francesca is now in her second year as a regional teller with the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, her fifth year as the Kansas City Public Library’s Education Librarian, and her twelfth year working in programming and reader’s advisory capacity in libraries. She is the proud mom of a nine-year-old who is becoming quite the proficient teller herself.

Sue Godsey

Sue Godsey has been a teller of tales for most of her life. She began as a high school student in a contest. Since then, she has told stories, taught stories, done workshops, and continues to share a variety of stories through teaching drama in high school and public performances. She has been active in coaching your storytellers, and in bringing story into her communities in Texas and in Missouri.

Geneva Greenfield

Geneva Greenfield loves to tell all kinds of stories.  She tells folktales, slavery stories and ghost stories.  She also tells Teddy Bear tales to all ages.  Her stories are filled with laughter and tears, and she specializes in customized programs. Geneva says the story is the star, not the teller.

Heather Harlan

Heather Harlan hails from Columbia, Missouri and performs stories and songs to audiences of all ages. Whether spinning an Irish tale, an African folk fable or a heart-warming story from her own small town Missouri childhood, she finds a common chord with listeners and plays that chord with resounding energy, insight and plain old fun. Warmth, animation and audience participation hallmark her performances.  Harlan has also completed two recording projects.  For more information about Heather visit her website at www.heatherharlan.com.

Sue Hinkel

Sue Hinkel, Storytelling Artist, “She paints pictures with her words.” Sue has been spinning talks for over 30 years, locally, statewide, and nationally. As an educator she shares her talent with many audiences. She will tickle your senses, reboot your imagination and electrify your creativity.

Jo Ho

Jo Ho is an accomplished storyteller, actress, and drama instructor. The year 2016 marks 28 years of storytelling for Ho. Transitioning from a career in professional children’s theater in 1989, she created the storytelling company to delight all ages with collections of folktales, fairytales, holiday stories, and curriculum enhancement stories. She spins tales year round at preschools, elementary, libraries, museums and festivals. In every program, Ho offers a dramatic flair for listeners and opportunities to role-play in the stories. To learn more about Jo visit her website at johostoryteller.com.

Priscilla Howe

Storyteller Priscilla Howe travels the world--four continents and counting--with a bag full of puppets and a head full of stories. Her favorite audience is the one in front of her at the moment.  A full-time storyteller since 1993 and a former librarian, Priscilla lives in Lawrence, Kansas. She's also searching for the best restaurant pie on earth. To learn more about Priscilla visit her web-site at priscillahowe.com.

Barbara Kellogg

Barbara Kellogg has been telling stories 1995.  Having worked in the business world leading seminars and workshops, as well as inside sales and marketing her greatest joy is in storytelling.  Stories from "aha to amen".  Stories that cause you to pause...reflect.  Stories that make you laugh and maybe cry.  Her storytelling avocation began over twenty years ago and extends to children, retirement homes and church audiences.

Marilyn Kinsella

Since 1981, Marilyn Kinsella from Fairview Heights, IL, has been telling stories as “Taleypo the Storyteller.”  Her collection of stories has grown from a handful to hundreds of stories including: personal experiences, folk tales, literary stories and historical tales. Her style is animated with subtle "word imaging" to color enhance the story.  She offers a variety of themes to fit any school, park, library, museum, or special events program.  For more information visit her website at www.marilynkinsella.org.

Gary Kuntz

Gary has been sharing his stories for the past 20 years with audiences of all ages, pre-school to senior citizen and all ages in-between. He uses the term sharing a story vs. telling a story because he is inviting the listener to come along and share the experiences within the story. All of his stories are 100% true, while he is sharing the story. He makes no guarantee as to how factual the events in the story are before and after the sharing of the story.

Linda Kuntz

Linda has been entertaining audiences with her energetic stories for years. Known to create a story on the spot to suit the occasion, she also shares experiences from growing up in the Ozarks to timeless stories of classic folk and fairy tales from around the world. Linda brings her own perspective to help the audience find the truth, the humor, or the wisdom behind the telling.

Tim Manson

Tim has a fun and easy-to-understand way of telling a story.  His real-life attitude and lively sense of humor are evident in the stories he tells to young and old alike.  He uses voice, movement and humor to deliver his stories from Grimm fairy tales and literature.

Jamie Mayo

Jamie Mayo started her storytelling journey in the world of children and libraries. She enjoys telling and listening to traditional fairy and folk tales, and cannot resist a good trickster tale. Or a scary story. Or, well, stories from history are good too.

Margaret Meyers

Margaret Meyers delights audiences with stories both humorous and deep. She tells stories like casting a stitch, drawing the audience together into the fabric of the story. She was on the Kansas Touring Artist roster for many years before moving to Minnesota to play with her grandchildren.


Mike & Nancee Micham

Mike & Nancee Micham have been performing 23 years together since meeting each other in Phoenix, AZ. They have been mixing their eclectic choices of music with personal stories and sharing a great time with everyone.  To learn more about Mike & Nancee visit their website at www.frontdoorfarmmarket.com.

Mettazee Morris

Mettazee Morris was born and raised in Mississippi.  For the past 15 years, she has presented stories in public schools, libraries, storytelling festivals and for private organizations.  She traveled with the National Storytelling Network/People to People Ambassadors Programs to China and participated in a storytelling cultural exchange in 2008.

Steve Otto

Steve Otto has been a full time professional storyteller since 1994.  He tells stories to all age groups.  His repertoire of over 500 stories offers the joy of listening to all audiences. He is a traveling artist for the Missouri Humanities Council.  He offers workshops on storytelling to schools, churches and business who need to learn the importance of communicating through the spoken word.  To learn more about Steve visit his website at i-tell.net.

Roger Rose

Roger Rose mines the treasure trove of literature and folklore for nuggets of story which he refines and polishes for telling.  He has been an active teller in the St. Louis area for many years and was featured at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival in 1994.  The walking stick which is his trademark and talisman was made by Roger's father from the woody stem of a saguaro cactus.

Mary Schmidt

Mary L. Schmidt grew-up on a farm in southwestern Minnesota but now calls Overland Park, KS home. She is a member of the the National Storytelling Network, Northlands Storytelling Network and River & Prairie Storyweavers. Her stories involve her love of history, artifacts, farm life, and vintage clothing. She received her BA and MA from South Dakota State University and has taught for over 20 years in Minnesota State College/University system. Here in her new home, she works for the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, Shawnee Town 1929 and KC Dogrunners. Mary volunteers for Missouri Town 1855 and KC Arts & Aging.

Carole Shelton

Carole Shelton is an educator, storyteller, author, and workshop presenter. She tells a variety of stories for all age groups and first person portrayals of historical women. Her stories and characters come alive and she encourages audience participation. Carole believes stories have the ability to inspire, empower, and open worlds of possibilities for the listener and the teller.

Nancy Shelton

 Nancy Shelton found storytelling to be an excellent way to present counseling lessons to elementary children. Now retired, she continues to tell with the southwest Missouri group, Storytellers of the Ozarks. Nancy tells all kinds of stories to all age groups, but she particularly enjoys personal narratives and participation stories.

Joyce Slater

Joyce is a Kansas City gal.  She's been telling stories all of her life so it was only natural that she would become a professional storyteller.  She has some good ol' fashioned tales she tells as well as some newfangled ones.  She likes to make up a story or tell a personal tale about growing up in KC.  She will never turn down a chance to tell a ghost story thought, so watch out.  She loves telling a tale, no matter what the age group.  Preschool through adults, she has a story bag filled with tales for all and workshops for most.  She combines her artistic skills with her teaching skills in her wide range of stories.  To learn more about Joyce visit her website at slatertales.com.

Kathy Smith

Kathy, an elementary school librarian,  has been telling stories for over twenty years.  Her stories include folk tales, fairy tales, adaptations of children's literature and participatory stories.  She has told to a variety of audiences ranging from preschool to senior citizens.

Nancy Stegeman

Nancy Stegeman has been lucky enough to work as a Children’s Librarian for Kansas City Public Library for 20 something years. On the side she is the co-director of a Lithuanian Folk Dance Troupe performing dances whose steps are also stories about family, nature, work and celebration. Her favorite stories are those with satisfying endings and “just desserts” for those who carelessly ordered them.

Jim Stigall

Dr. Jim Stigall is a free-lance storyteller and inspirational speaker. He has been a professional storyteller for over 20 years, but as a United Methodist Pastor and Elementary School Teacher he has been telling stories for about a ½ a century. He tells stories for all ages, but especially enjoys telling for children and youth.  


Deborah Swanegan

Deb explains, I was born to be a story teller. “My great-grandfather determined I should be his successor as the guardian of our family stories the day I was born; I was his seventy second birthday present, and the eldest of his great-grand children.   He passed on the stories he had been taught by word of mouth from his family; stories from the troubled days of slavery”, tribal ancestors, their family members and from all the ancestors had learned and observed. ”   Deb also learned stories from other family members, “old fashioned church”, teachers and parents, and a myriad of multicultural friends encountered during her father’s military duties all over the world, and her personal travels on four continents of the world.

Dianna Waite

A fascination with her Cajun and Creole relatives of Southern Louisiana led Dianna Waite to begin collecting stories of the region. Through her storytelling she brings to life the culture of this unique region of our country.

Jim Two Crows Wallen

National award winner Jim Two Crows is a freelance oral historian who shares his love of history, keeping you spellbound with a good story. His presentations are carefully researched and his clothing is personally hand-designed and historically accurate. He has been recognized throughout the Nation and four continents for his outstanding work for more than three decades.

Listeners are often quoted saying, "He made me feel like I was actually there!"

Two Crows invites you to be submerged in history through his exciting presentations.

Angela Williams

 Angela Williams is a full time professional storyteller who has traveled to many schools and libraries leaving audiences spellbound. She adds drumming to her storytelling, is an Artist as Teacher and a Community Scholar through the Missouri Folk Arts Program. She obtained a degree in Elementary Education from Harris-Stowe State University. She believes stories serve many functions in our day-to-day lives. Stories are the key to the ability for people to think more positively about themselves and others.

LaRita Wright

MS. “W” was introduced to the art of storytelling at the University City library more than 20 years ago. She will delight you with fanciful tales of old and new featuring stories, songs and rhymes that are appropriate for each audience or based on themes. She enjoys seeing children using their imagination while listening to a story.

Karen Young

Karen Young’s stories are for the “young at heart and ancient in spirit.” Her vivid character portrayals from history and folklore, as well as stories told in the voices from many lands and times, entertain and educate audiences anywhere people are willing to sit a’ spell and hear a story well told. A professional storyteller since 1992, Karen has been featured at storytelling events throughout the Midwest and is a teaching artist with Springboard of St. Louis and the Center of Contemporary Art (COCA). Visit Karen Young's website!

Last Modified: 11/9/17