2019 Art of the Story: 15th Annual Storytelling Festival

Washington County, Oregon: The Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) hosts the15th Annual Art of the Story Festival April 27 – May 4, showcasing 14 free public events throughout the countywww.wccls.org/festival.

This year the Festival offers a variety of storytelling formats for audience enjoyment:

  • Four professional tellers will each present several unique 1-hour performances: Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr., (Detroit, Michigan), Jasmin Cardenas (Chicago, Illinois), Lawrence Howard (Portland, OR), and Kelly Hoffman (Portland, OR).
  • The 5th Annual Adult Story Slam features five contestants from the Portland metro area: Janet Liu, Patrick Gannon, Sankar Raman, Norina Beck and Mike Devenney.
  • New to the line-up this year is the Older & Wiser Showcase (a partnership between WCCLS, Washington County Disability, Aging & Veterans Services and the Elsie Stuhr Senior Center) featuring five local tellers: Cynthia Butts,John Wylder, Janis Collins, Chuck McConnell, and Frances Hunter.

All festival performances are designed for the enjoyment of adults. Several shows, where noted, also welcome children ages 6 or 12 and up. Festival venues include WCCLS member libraries, schools, cultural, senior and recreational sites.

Saturday, April 27 the festival kicks-off with the 5th annual Adult Story Slam Contest hosted by the Beaverton City Library. Audience members will be invited to cast their vote to determine which slam contestant will be invited back to share the stage at the May 4 Festival Finale showcase of storytellers.

The festival also features the 2nd annual Student Story Slam Contest in partnership with the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA) in Beaverton. Three student contestants will present their stories in front of an ACMA school-wide assembly (not open to the public). The winner of the Student Slam receives a cash prize and the opportunity to tell a story at the Festival Finale on May 4.

The Finale Showcase, the evening of Saturday, May 4, will be held at the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA) auditorium and is hosted by WCCLS. The showcase features performances by all four professional tellers, plus the student and adult Story Slam winners. We invite you to enjoy complimentary beverages and desserts at this show in partnership with Reedville Catering in the ACMA lobby.

The Festival is supported in part by grants from WCCLS, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Friends Groups of WCCLS member libraries, Recology, and Portland Storytellers’ Guild. Generous in-kind services are provided by Pamplin Media Group, Courtyard by Marriott, Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, Sherwood Center for the Arts, Reedville Catering, Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services, Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, and the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy.

Directions to the performance venues and additional festival details are available on the festival webpage (www.wccls.org/festival ) or pick up a festival newsletter at a local WCCLS member library.


2019 Storytelling Festival Events

All 14 unique performance descriptions are available on the festival web page –www.wccls.org/festival 

Saturday, April 27, 7 – 8 pm

Beaverton City Library Main (Adult program)

Adult Story Slam Contest

Janet Liu, Patrick Gannon, Sankar Raman, Norina Beck and Mike Devenney


Sunday, April 28, 2 – 3 pm

Tualatin Public Library (Adult program)

 Kelly Hoffman Matinee l Amazon Barbie Ships Out!


Tuesday, April 30, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Elsie Stuhr Center – Beaverton (Adult program)

 5 Local Tellers l Older & Wiser Story Showcase

Janis Collins, John Wylder, Chuck McConnell, Frances Hunter and Cynthia Butts  


Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Forest Grove City Library (Adult program)

 Kelly Hoffman l Turning Points


Tuesday, April 30, 7 – 8 pm

Walter’s Cultural Art Center – Hillsboro (Adult program)

Lawrence Howard l The Adventures of Huckleberry Howard.


Wednesday, May 1, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Aloha Community Library (Adult program)

 Kelly Hoffman l Parenting isn’t permanent


Wednesday, May 1, 7 – 8 pm

Sherwood Center for the Arts (Bilingual English/Spanish Adult program)

Jasmin Cardenas l Growing Up Between Worlds & Grappling with Justice


Thursday, May 2 , 7 – 8 pm

Banks Public Library (Adult program)

Jasmin Cardenas l Niña Buena? Good Girl?


Thursday, May 2,  7 – 8 pm

Tigard Public Library (Adult & Ages 6+ program)

 Rev. Jones, Sr. l I Come From Detroit


Friday, May 3, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

United Methodist Church, Cedar Mill (Adult program)

 (12755 NW Dogwood St. Portland 97229 / Hosted by Cedar Mill Library)

  Rev. Jones, Sr. l Alabama Stories, Tales from the Motherland


Friday, May 3, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Garden Home Library ANNEX (Adult program)

(7306 SW Oleson Road, Portland 97223 / Co-hosted by West Slope Library)

Kelly Hoffman l The Comeback Kid!


Friday, May 3, 7 – 8 pm

Cornelius Library (Bilingual English/Spanish Adult & Ages 6+ program)

Jasmin Cardenas l Cuentos from the Americas


Saturday, May 4, 1 – 2 pm

Jessie Mays Community Center, North Plains (Adult & Ages 6+ program)

Hosted by North Plains Library.

Rev. Jones, Sr. l The History of Our Music


Saturday, May 4        

Festival Finale Showcase Concert: 6:15 – 9 p.m. (Adult program & ages 12+)

At the Arts & Communication Magnet Academy Auditorium (Hosted by WCCLS)

(11375 SW Center Street, Beaverton, Oregon 97005)

Reception: 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. with complimentary beverages and desserts in partnership with Reedville Catering.


Showcase Concert: 7 – 9:30 p.m.

o   Student slam winner – to be announced

o   Adult slam winner – to be announced

o   Kelly Marie Hoffman (Portland) – Bring me to my knees raise me up, give me hope!

o   Lawrence Howard (Portland) – Night On The Island

o   Jasmin Cardenas (Chicago, IL) – Teenagers making an impact in a world full of injustice.

o   Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr. (Detroit, MI) – I Can’t Play Like BB King

Call 503-846-3222 no less than 3 business days prior to a festival event to schedule assistive listening devices or sign language interpreters.

The Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) includes the Aloha Community Library, Banks Public Library, Beaverton City Library (and Murray Scholls branch), Cedar Mill Community Library (and Bethany branch), Cornelius Public Library, Forest Grove City Library, Garden Home Community Library, Hillsboro Public Libraries (Brookwood and Shute Park), North Plains Public Library, Sherwood Public Library, Tigard Public Library, Tualatin Public Library, West Slope Community Library, and the WCCLS Outreach to Homebound.

Kelly Kauffman
Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr.
Lawrence Howard
Jasmin Cardenas
Janet Liu
Norina Beck
Patrick Gannon
Mike Devenney
Cynthia Butts
John Wylder
Janis Collins
Chuck McConnell
Frances Hunter