Thursday, February 20, 2014

Timpanogos Storytelling Conference

The following is from Timpanogos Storytelling Institute. 

Free Workshops, Strong Business Focus at this Year’s Conference

PROVO – February 18, 2014 – The Timpanogos Storytelling Conference is offering a free workshop for people to learn how to tell their family stories from Syd Lieberman, a storyteller who is currently crafting stories for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and then teaching the 180 docents and volunteers how to tell those stories.

The commission from the visitor’s center isn’t Lieberman’s first appointment to historical storytelling with a prominent establishment. He’s been sought after by NASA, the Smithsonian, Disney, and the Kennedy Center, among others, to tell their stories. And now, he’s going to share at the Conference how to create the same type of memorable stories in individual family trees.

“We hope that Syd’s considerable expertise and experience will draw a new crowd into storytelling,” said Wendy Gourley, artistic director for the Conference. “We believe that storytelling is such a powerful tool for families that we want to get the word out to every-day people who may not ever want to get on stage and tell a story, but who want to use stories to strengthen their family.”

Lieberman’s free workshop—“Family Stories from Soup to Nuts” on Friday, March 14, at 10 a.m.—is one of four free events at this year’s Conference: Keynote speaker Noa Baum, a Jerusalem native with a unique perspective on conflict resolution, will share stories at the Orem Public Library on Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m. Educators can gather insights about successfully implementing their curriculum from award-winning storyteller and teaching artist Sherry Norfolk on Saturday, March 15, at 10 a.m. Youth and adults alike will enjoy listening to our nation’s best youth storytellers at the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, hosted by Andy Offutt Irwin, on Saturday, March 15, at 12:15 p.m.

The Conference offers attendees the chance to explore the power of storytelling in seven areas: home and family, education, healing, writing, business, youth, and performance. This broad approach to storytelling makes the Conference unique because it doesn’t focus on only the performance aspect of storytelling. In fact, this year’s business storytelling line-up is stronger than ever with a full day of workshops, rather than the two workshops in previous years. Some of this year’s business storytelling experts come from out of state, and others are respected local business leaders, such as Shawn Moon and Bill Bennett.

“We know that using story in business is a hot topic, but there is not a dedicated business conference built around storytelling and using stories in business,” Gourley said. “This year we’ve created a business conference within the larger Conference by providing a full offering of business workshops. The business storytelling classes are often the favorite classes for many people because they have a broad application. We are all part of organizations: church organizations, community organizations, family organizations.”

The free workshops and the focused business line-up are significant, and they are only a sample of the rich variety of information available throughout the Conference. Pricing for the Conference is flexible, even down to purchasing only one workshop or event if desired, such as the big Friday evening concert with Kevin Kling and Syd Lieberman at the Timpanogos High School auditorium.

The 8th annual Timpanogos Storytelling Conference runs Thursday, March 13, through Saturday, March 15, 2014. The theme for this year's Conference is “Celebrate Your Story.” More than 1,400 people from across the United States will gather at the Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and at other venues in the area to learn how to incorporate storytelling in various aspects of their lives, and more than 10,000 Utah children will benefit through the outreach programs provided by the Conference and its storytellers. Throughout the Conference, nationally known and local storytellers guide audiences to effectively apply storytelling in the following areas: home and family, education, healing, writing, business, youth, and performance.

The Conference hosts the National Youth Storytelling Showcase, which is the culmination of many hours in storytelling and competitions for youth tellers from across the United States. Each year, thousands of youth participate in storytelling competitions. In the fall, each state submits their top five youth storytellers. Eight to ten youth storytellers are selected to be the National Torchbearers and are invited to travel to Utah for the Conference to learn, perform, and celebrate their accomplishments. Afterward, these talented youth will represent youth storytelling for the next year.

For more information on the free events and the Conference, visit The business workshops are all day Friday, March 14. For more information, visit

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