Friday, March 27, 2009

Storytellers Among Us

eve parkerA recent Birmingham News article reminded us how important storytelling is as an art form. After all, until Unknown thought to write down the epic story of Beowulf in AD 1000, stories were passed down by oral tradition.

Eve Parker—pictured above hamming it up with pre-fried-peanut-butter-sandwich Elvis—belongs to a group of eight storytellers who work for the Birmingham Public Library. Local storytellers are instrumental in luring folks out of their homes and into libraries and other venues, creating a stronger sense of community.

Alabama native and master storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham has been promoting the oral tradition of storytelling for decades, spooking generations of children with her southern ghost tales. She sees storytelling as a demonstration of affection—"I love you enough to tell you something that means a great deal to me."

A gala will be held in honor of Windham on March 29, at 3:00 p.m. at The Virginia Samford Theatre. The gala will benefit The Seasoned Performers at the UAB Center for Aging. The library has had the pleasure of hosting the Seasoned Performers at BPL's Brown Bag Programs.

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