Storytellers at Festival of Nations 2017

May 4-7

Storytelling on Cultural Exhibits Area Stage

May 4

10:00-10:30 AM
Beverly Cottman
as Auntie Beverly delivers wisdom of the ages by telling stories, folktales, and fables rooted in African and African-American traditions. Her storytelling sessions pass on values, celebrate culture, and invite the listener to join in the telling.

11:00-11:30 AM
The Wonderweavers: Tina Rohde & Colleen Shaskin
 present stories from their French, Norwegian, Swedish and Scottish heritage. 

Their distant relatives told these stories.

1:30-2:00 PM
Phouc Thi Minh Tran, librarian, storyteller and award winning author brings alive her favorite stories and legends from Vietnam. In 2015 her Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Folktales won the Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year Award and the Moonbeam Children’s Gold Medal Book Award. 

May 5

10:00-10:30 AM
Nothando Zulu
shares stories of wit and wisdom that bring to life colorful folktale characters from the African Diaspora. Nothando has been sharing stories professionally since 1976.

11:00-11:30 AM
Larry Johnson tells tales from Scandinavia, Germany, and the North Sea that separates them. Because the Nobel Peace Prize comes from Scandinavia, and since his people all come from the imaginative "make do on nothing" land of Smaland, Sweden, Larry also plays “Music for Weapons and Wasted Reduction” on items rescued from the landfills of the world.

1:30-2:00 PM
Nancy Donoval
 tells some of her favorite stories for older students and adults. Tales may come from the British Isles, Germany or Slovakia/Bohemia.

8:00-9:00 PM
Adult Storytelling Concert

Carol McCormick shares Irish, German and Czech tales to tickle your funny bone and warm your heart.

Nancy Donoval weaves a Celtic folk tale with a late night rerun of the Oprah show, and discovers new relevance in an ancient story.

David Zander will tell Swedish and Irish tales of the white horse including “Finn McCool in Search of His Youth.”

May 6

10:30-11:00 AM
Young Children & Family Concert

Carol McCormick shares Irish tales of enchantment and sings in the “Key of Free.”

Brother Timothy (Tim Frantzich) plays music and shares a story from Norse Mythology. These are wild tales full of red beards, arrows, golden apples, evil, mischief, protection and wooden ships.

Kevin Strauss an Award-Winning Author and Storyteller, tells “Saving the Moon and Other Silly Stories of Germany and Russia.” 

11:00 to Noon
Storytelling Workshop “A Crash Course in Storytelling” is a hands-on workshop for Adults and Children Grade 4 and older led by author and storyteller Kevin Strauss. It will help you discover easy ways to find, craft, and tell short folktales.

1:00-1:30 PM
Pam Schweitzer
shares traditional tales from her German heritage. Pam is a teacher who loves getting a daily dose of energy from her students. 

3:00 to 3:30 PM

Kevin Strauss an award-winning Author and Storyteller shares stories that make you smile, make you think. You can watch him tell stories at and visit his website at

Sue Searing shares a classic tale or two form Germany or England, almost certainly including “The Bremen Town Musicians.”

8:30-9:30 PM 
Ghost Story Concert

Danielle Daniel Whether you believe in ghosts or not you will love these haunting, spooky tales. Some are true creepy stories inspired by real life events. Others are pure fiction designed to send a shiver down your spine.   

Sue Searing tells the spooky-funny British story “The Ghost of Gruesome Gables” and a scary tale form the Brothers Grimm.

Richard Rousseau shares a ghost story told through the voice of the captain of the Titanic.

May 7

Noon-12:30 PM
Mrs. Banlang Phommasouvang
, a Lao instructor in the Minneapolis public schools for 29 years, shares Lao tales. Since she was a teenager in Laos she has told stories which she learned from her parents and other Lao elders.


1:00-1:30 PM
Danielle Daniel
tells some of her favorite African stories and folktales while moving to the beat of the African drum. You will laugh, sing along and leave inspired. 

5:00-5:30 PM
Margaret Meyers tells stories drawn from Norwegian folk tales and Norse mythology, honoring her Grandpa Gus, who was a Norwegian immigrant.