MCC-Maple Woods’ Annual Storytelling Celebration turns 15

MCC-Maple Woods will celebrate a milestone this year, as its annual storytelling tradition turns 15. The Kansas City Storytelling Situation, “Listen to Our Stories, Hear the World,” will be held Nov. 5-8, 2014, in various metro area locations. All of the events are free and open to the public. For a complete list of events and tellers, please visit the Kansas City Storytelling website at

More than 50 events throughout the Metro area will entertain a variety of different audiences, including senior citizens, school children and families. The flagship event, the 2014 Storytelling Spectacular, will be held from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Kansas City Public Library-Plaza Branch and is free and open to the public.

Since its inception in 1999, the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration has grown every year, serving more than 20,000 people metro-wide. New sites and school districts continue to join event. Culturally diverse tellers, both local and national, encourage a positive dialogue about the similarities – not the differences – between all races, religions and economic statuses.

This year’s event features four world-renowned storytellers, all of whom bring their unique cultural experiences:

A native of Brazil, storyteller, mime and actor Antonio Rocha came to the United States in 1988 to embark on an impressive career in the performing arts. Not only did he graduate summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor of arts in Theatre, he challenged and improved his mime skills with Masters Tony Montanaro and Marcel Marceau. After nearly 3 decades, Antonio’s career has taken him from Singapore to Hawaii, across 14 countries on six continents.

A fourth-generation storyteller, Lyn Ford describes herself as Afrilachian – a person of African American heritage and history that hails from the forested mountains of Appalachia in the Eastern United States. A writer, mentor, and recording artist, Lyn is famous for her “home-fried” tales – stories of folklore, spooks, spectres and characters rooted in her Afrilachian traditions.

A wild whirlwind of movement, languages and cultural heritage, Carrie Sue Ayvar is a third-generation storyteller from Pittsburgh, PA. Raised by Eastern European Jewish parents in Pittsburgh, Carrie Sue was well-acquainted with the use of stories as teaching tools. She moved to Mexico as a teen, soaking in the rich folklore and traditions. Carrie Sue speaks Spanish fluently as she blends traditional, international and person tales into an exciting experience for the listener.

Known as the Singing Storyteller, Anthony Clark keeps the audience engaged and laughing. Spinning a variety of classic teaching tales, peppered with his own original songs, Anthony’s comedic style is friendly and perfect for all ages. He has been telling tales in Missouri and beyond for the past 14 years, and his songs have been heard on radio stations in more than 30 states, as well as in Europe. Along with being a quirky singing storyteller, Anthony teaches college-level business, economics and sustainability courses, and is a published author.