Storytelling school

Hearing stories helps people, says Kearney Storytelling Festival board member Marlene Hansen | Local News

Adam Booth shares stories during the 2020 festival at Kearney Public Library.

Rick Brown, Yard Light Media

KEARNEY – The annual Kearney Storytelling Festival began in 1988. Over the years, the festival has featured some of the best storytellers in the country.

“We normally have it in January, but this year we had to move it to February,” board member Marlene Hansen said. “We also decided to shorten it by one day because we didn’t know how many schools would take part in the festival. So far we have a pretty good lineup and most days are full.

The festival includes events open to the public. Storytellers will also appear in schools to share stories with students.

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National Cashier Megan Hicks opens the festival Wednesday with a workshop at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, “Stories (un)Folding with Origami Swami.” Tim Lowry will present a workshop, “Using the Imagination to Pursue Education,” on the same day.

Hansen acknowledges that the pandemic has created challenges for the festival. The Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2021 event.

“I like to tell stories all the time,” she said. “It’s just wonderful. I think hearing stories will help people. Coming together, we will try to be careful and careful. Our cashiers are both fully vaccinated. I just think storytelling is such a wonderful art for people in Nebraska.