Utah’s 28th Storytelling Festival begins

Feb 26, 2024, 1:34 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm

OGDEN – On Monday, nationally and internationally known storytellers joined local youth on stage at Weber State University for this year’s Storytelling Festival.

The multiday festival highlights different kinds of storytelling and gets students involved.

This year marks the 28th year Weber State University has put on this festival, a time when students are inspired.

“It’s not a spectator sport. It’s a participatory activity,” Donna L. Washington said.

Donna L. Washington is one of the highlighted professional storytellers for Weber State University’s Storytelling Festival.

Monday morning, Washington told a story to a group of young students including mostly third and fifth graders.

“The version of the story that I just told the audience is the only version of that story that audience will ever hear, and if I told it somewhere else, it will be slightly different,” Washington said.

Youth storytellers also took the stage by sharing the heart of storytelling: teaching & community.

“They tell stories, but it’s like a theatrical performance. They really engage the audience, and it’s really an art. It’s really hard to do, too,” Sara Gailey said.

Gailey, this year’s storytelling festival chair, said from folk tales to tall tales, spooky and mystery stories; storytelling captivates differently.

“A live performance for storytelling; you get this connection with the audience that you don’t get watching on a tablet or a phone,” Gailey said.

The storytelling festival runs from Monday Feb. 26 through Wednesday, Feb. 28.

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Utah’s 28th Storytelling Festival begins