Patchwork encourages people to tell and listen
to stories through the
Sponsoring workshops and retreats for novices and professional tellers
Producing storytelling performances in the Greater Philadelphia area
Working with schools and community-based organizations to encourage people to tell and listen to stories in their communities
Sponsoring a website which provides information about storytelling ideas and resources; and which offers a Calendar of Events to promote storytelling activities
Promoting storytelling through contact with the media
Members are involved in the following activities:
Passing on oral history from one generation to another
Gathering and sharing stories that reflect cultural identities
Developing storytelling as a contemporary art form
Using storytelling as a tool for personal growth and spiritual exploration
Learning to use storytelling to promote reading, literacy, and creative expression
Receiving coaching feedback from peers on artistic development
Attending informal story swaps with other members of the community
Staying informed about regional and national storytelling programs and events
Dennis Strain.... a storyteller for more than fifteeen years. His storytelling journey began in Harrisburg and has moved with him to Philadelphia, the place where he recently retired. He focuses on Irish myths and traditional tales and teaches Storytelling For Beginners.
Barbara Baumgartner... A founding member of Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild, Barbara holds a Ph.D in Storytelling and Education from Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has taught graduate courses in Children's Literature and in Storytelling; and she occasionally leads teacher workshops on storytelling. Barbara tells folktales from world cultures to children (pre-K through Grade 4), using sonorous chants and repeated motions to develop children's listening and narrative skills.
Charles Kiernan.... Performs at theatres, listening clubs, schools, libraries, and arts festivals. He is also coordinator for the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild, Pennsylvania State Representative for the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, Pennsylvania State Liaison for the National Storytelling Network, and recipient of the 2008 Individual Artist Award from the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission. He has, of late, been fobbing himself off as Mark Twain with some success. Twain is wont to ramble on about his boyhood memories, the newspaper publishing business, life on the Missippi and frogs. Mostly, though, he likes to talk about the river.
Charles also performs Americana stories, collectively labeled the "Lost Dollar" stories. This is a collection of Appalachian tales whose wisdom and humor is woven into the life of a village stuck way back in the hills. Departing from this continent, he also specializes in Brothers Grimm and other fairy tales.
Michele Belluomini .... Michele has been telling stories to children and adults for the last 15 years. She has performed in schools, libraries, and museums as well as at universities in the Philadelphia area. She presented a solo performance on the "Fringe" stage at the 2006 National Storytelling Conference in Pittsburgh and has performed in a number of Patchwork Tellebration festivals. She can lead workshops for children and adults, and is available for storytelling performances.
Raymond Gray.... Ray has worked professionally as a storyteller for more than forty years. For the first thirty-five years he traveled the mid-Atlantic states telling stories to more than a million school children. For the past five years he has focused his energies on stories for the last third of life. His one-person performance, Imagining The World of Carl Jung, has been performed from London England to Boulder, Colorado. Presently he is collecting stories of numinosity and sharing them on his blog at www.raygray.com .
Steve Noble.... Have you ever been down the greatest sledding hill ever? Have you ever tried to launch a model rocket? Have you ever waited forever for a cereal company to send you your prize? Come hear Steve Noble and let his stories inspire your imagination. For the past twenty years, Steve has been writing and telling family-friendly stories for those who are young at heart.
Susannah Brody.... A retired learning support teacher, Susannah Brody is a storyteller and author. She earned a Masters of Arts in Oral Traditions from The Graduate Institute of Connecticut. She has researched, written and shared stories about local history in southeastern Pennsylvania and has developed living history portrayals of some important nineteenth century women. She shares folk tales, tall tales, local history and contemporary stories with audiences of all ages. For more information, visit her website: www.susannahbrody.com.