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New MU Extension specialist to lead St. Louis Storytelling Festival


Linda Geist
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9185

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MU Extension's Lisa Overholser is the new director of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015

Story source:

Lee Ann Woolery, 573-884-9025

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A former folklorist for the New York Folklore Society is the new director of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival as it enters its 36th year.

Lisa Overholser will lead the festival, which is set for April 30-May 2, said University of Missouri Extension community arts specialist Lee Ann Woolery. MU Extension recently announced a partnership with the free, three-day storytelling festival.

Overholser began her duties as a new extension community arts regional specialist on Jan. 2. In addition to directing the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, she will work with urban communities to promote and foster art-based community and economic development. MU Extension recognizes the crucial and valuable role the arts play in local community and economic development.

Overholser holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, a master’s in music history and piano performance from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in ethnomusicology/folklore from Indiana University.

As a Fulbright scholar, she conducted research with the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble on the staging of folk dance forms. She recently participated in immersive drumming and dance workshops in Ghana. She enjoys tango, salsa and Balkan dancing, and volunteers with area refugee and international organizations.

The free storytelling festival will feature almost 30 culturally diverse storytellers, a youth storytelling concert, faith-based storytelling, ghost stories and family storytelling.

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