Storytelling festival kicks off 38th year 

ST. LOUIS — The 38th annual St. Louis Storytelling celebrates the ancient art of storytelling May 3-6.
The festival, sponsored by University of Missouri Extension’s Community Arts Program and partners, features multiple free venues across the St. Louis area.
The grand finale is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis. A suggested donation of $10 is asked to support the finale.

“Most events are free and open to the public,” says Lisa Overholser, festival director and MU Extension community arts specialist.

The festival will feature culturally diverse national and regional storytellers, highlighting a rich mosaic of experiences shared through story. Festivalgoers can be transported to imaginary worlds far and wide, or can learn how to apply storytelling in educational, community, or organizational settings in workshops and other special offerings.  

Events will be held at public parks, schools, libraries and outreach sites, and there will be a range of events for people of all ages. Several events will highlight emerging youth storytellers, including the annual Ruthilde Kronberg youth concert and the festival’s second GHOST (Ghosts, Horror Or Scary Tales) Project Slam concert.

In addition to the talented pool of more than 30 regional storytellers, this year’s festival will present six award-winning Featured storytellers:

  • Angela Lloyd is a one woman band, whose unique performance style is a whimsical braid of poetry, story and song played on autoharp, tenor guitar, spoon and bell.
  • Donna Washington's storytelling is at the center of her performing life alongside her work as an author and recording artist. She has an expressive style as she relays personal tales and stories from around the world. 
  • Dovie Thomason's stories teach invaluable lessons about human nature and indigenous worldviews, and are coated with affection, humor, and wisdom. 
  • Tim Lowry shares stories of the People, by the People, and for the People, mixing a variety of folk tales and stories from American history in with personal narratives. 
  • Brian Fox Ellis is an author, historian, naturalist, and storyteller whose entertaining manner captures what is most life-affirming and beautiful in the human experience. 
  • Leeny Del Seamonds is a performer of Hispanic/Latino, original and world stories spiced with exquisite mime, a cornucopia of characters, and love of people.

For more information, contact Lisa Overholser at or 314-266-4833.


G.H.O.S.T. (Ghost, Horror, Or Scary Tales) is a University of Missouri Extension storytelling workshop and performance program, sponsored by MU Extension St. Louis Storytelling Festival and Extension 4-H. For more information, visit the G.H.O.S.T. home page.