Storytelling school

Carnegie Hall presents These Haunted Hills with the WV Storytelling Guild on October 28

LEWISBURG (WVDN) — Carnegie Hall is teaming up with the West Virginia Storytelling Guild to celebrate Halloween with These Haunted Hills: Appalachian Ghost Stories and Folklore on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in Carnegie’s Old Stone Hall.

Get your Halloween mood on and enjoy an exciting night of spooky stories and spooky tales presented by JoAnn Dadisman and Jody French-Burr of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild. Arrive early and try a signature Halloween cocktail using custom bitters from the Medicinal and Culinary Bitters Course with Jan Darrah. This is a family event with spooky fun for all ages.

French-Burr’s life is surrounded by heritage, stories and nature. As a storyteller, she shares these stories, hoping to inspire others to find their connections to people and place themselves through stories. From writing her own interpretations of heritage tales and folklore to verse, Jodi often tells stories in places where history has happened and wildflowers grow. She also creates tales based on her own life experiences. Often using storytelling in her work as an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service, French-Burr shares heritage whenever she can.

“Everyone has a story to tell, a story to preserve,” she says. French-Burr is the founder of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild and the 2001 recipient of the guild’s Bob McWhorter Award.

A retired educator and active storyteller, Dadisman has been sharing stories about her beloved mountains for over 50 years. Although she considers herself an Appalachian storyteller, she also enjoys telling folk tales from around the world and frequently presents programs that combine true stories with tales, myths, legends and family stories seasoned with smiles and sometimes tears.

For nearly two decades, she and June Riffle starred as the Mountain Echoes, a tandem storytelling duo that promoted Appalachian culture and heritage, especially in their home state. Today, she is a solo storyteller who offers workshops and performances that weave memories and imagination through oral and written traditions.

Dadisman is dedicated to preserving its mountain heritage and promoting an understanding of who we are as West Virginia. In 2011, she received the coveted Teacher of the Year award from the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. She is also active in the West Virginia Storytelling Guild.