Storytelling for Changing Times:  A Storytelling Festival
September 15, 2018

Tellers, Workshop Leaders, and Session Hosts

Burt Berlowe is a member of Loft Peace and Justice Writers, and author of the award-winning Compassionate Rebel series.

Alex Cleberg

Beverly Cottman is an interdisciplinary artist creating at the intersections of literary, visual, and performance art.  As storyteller, Auntie Beverly, she delivers wisdom of the ages by telling stories, folktales, and fables rooted in African and African-American traditions as well as cultural tales from around the world.  Auntie Beverly presents an enthusiastic and interactive storytelling program suitable and adaptable for any age or setting.  Audience members may be asked to sing along, provide vocalizations, or play the part of a character.  Programs may be aligned with whole school topics, grade level focus, or other subjects of interest.  Her storytelling sessions pass on values, celebrate culture, and invite listeners to participate in the telling.  Her workshop sessions support and encourage participants to create compelling narratives and stories that educate, enlighten, and entertain.

Nancy Donoval is a 30+ year veteran storyteller, story coach and artist/activist specializing in finding humor in the hard stuff. In 2010 she won the first ever National Story Slam Championship with a story excerpted from her one-woman show, Me Too: A Survivor's Journey from Rape to Healing. Nancy’s work has been heard on Minnesota and Chicago Public Radio, and she was a featured performer at the 2004 National Storytelling Festival. Other performance venues include Washington Storytellers Theater, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and the WisCon Feminist Science Fiction Convention.  Her one-woman shows Dancing Rats & Vampire Moms and Monster Movies with My Undead Dad played to sold-out houses at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Nancy's storytelling resume ranges from telling ghost stories for a junior high hay ride (with a bullhorn) to working with attorneys to craft opening statements.

Michael Dorer grew up listening to his calming Grandfather’s voice and stories every night before bed. Thanks in part to this gift, he would go on to integrate storytelling in his classrooms and character. In 1969 he began a career as a Montessorian; soon after he began to realize the value of storytelling in his classroom.  Michael holds several Montessori credentials, was trained internationally, and has taught students from age 2 to 14. He has been involved in Montessori education for over 45 years, including two decades of educating adults to be Montessorians.  Michael holds multiple degrees including Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Argosy University. After 25 years as Director of Montessori education at St. Catherine University, he went on in 2012 to found a graduate level Montessori program at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah called “The Institute for Montessori Innovation”. In addition, since his rediscovery of storytelling as an adult, Michael has pursued the craft with appetite and delights in offering his stories and insights to both children and adults.  At home in Minnesota, Michael and his wife Rose enjoy visiting schools, cooking, and playing with their grandchildren and their Labrador retriever. Currently he writes, lectures, offers consulting, artistic residencies, keynotes and workshops, and professional development.

Deanna Fischer

Lisa Harper

Jennifer Isaac

Khary Jackson is a poet, playwright, dancer and musician. He is an alumnus of Cave Canem, the esteemed writing fellowship for black writers. He has written several plays, one of which (Water) was produced in 2009 at Ink and Pulp Theatre in Chicago. He has been a recipient of several grants, including the 2016 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Writing, the Minnesota State Arts Board’s 2012 Cultural Community Partnership Grant and 2010 Artist Initiative Grant for Poetry, as well as the 2009 VERVE Spoken Word Grant from Intermedia Arts. His first poetry book, Any Psalm You Want, was published with Write Bloody Publishing in the spring of 2013.

Larry Johnson directs the OGP.  His book, SIXTY-ONE, walks thru 61 stories ratcheting down war, and amping up veteran care.

Christy Marie Kent was born in Mississippi and raised all over the south. Her parents moved to a new southern state every couple of years, but wherever they went, she found them. Her day job moved her further and further north, so now she finds herself in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.  Christy is a veteran writer and performer of Fringe shows, the winner of the 2016 SlamMN! Grand Slam champion, the playwright of 2017’s Fringe sellout hit “Pope Joan: The First Transgender Pope,” and the author of Moonshine, Madness, and Murder and her newest novel, coming in September, 2018, Transgression.

Katie Knutson is a professional storyteller, teaching artist, and writer. She has delivered arts-integrated residencies, performances, and classes to well over 36,000 students. This "articulate, fun and inviting" workshop leader spends her days integrating Storytelling and Drama with Math, Science, ELA, Spanish, Music Composition and Visual Art to bring required curriculum and standards to life in an active and engaging way, all while embedding Professional Development for classroom teachers. Katie leads Storytelling and Arts Integration workshops for adults, writes and curates the New Voices column in Storytelling Magazine, mentors new Storytellers and Teaching Artists, has contributed to three storytelling books in the last year, and has worked as a Teaching Artist for Stages, Stepping Stone, and Children's Theatre Companies. After living in Chile for over a year, Katie is already bracing herself for the Minnesota winter.  Find out more about Katie and her company, Rippling Stories, at

Chris Lear

Sara Renee Logan has been telling stories to everyone who would listen since she was seven. She organized storytimes for her college roommates, and spent a year at Oxford studying folklore and folktales. Many years as a Waldorf teacher allowed her to tell stories about everything from Baba Yaga's hut on chicken legs to the water cycle to the life of Joan of Arc. Sara shares her life with her partner, Melanie, their son, and an unreasonable family of pets. She continues to share her love of storytelling and stories with audiences of all ages, specializing in bringing the wild beauty of folktales to young and old.

Carol McCormick used her B.S. in Elementary Education to teach 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grades.  As a Professional Storyteller for over 30 years she has presented programs to many preschool children in Day Care and K-G 2 in schools. She has presented this workshop as a staff training for Lexington Care for Kids in St. Paul; as well as at the MN Social Services Association Conference, and the MN Valley Association of Early Childhood Educators Annual Meeting.

Chelley McLear

 Margaret Meyers

Paula Reed Nancarrow  is a writer and performer of personal and historical narrative, reflecting the blessing and betrayal of family and community life.

Loren Niemi has spent 40 years as a professional storyteller, creating, performing and teaching stories of all kinds to audiences of all ages. He teaches Storytelling and message framing for the University of St. Thomas’ Executive Leadership Institutes and Storytelling as well as providing consulting and presentation training services for business, nonprofits and government agencies. He has an MA in Liberal Arts/American Culture from Hamline University.

Laura Packer is a storyteller / organizational consulting professional who has assisted organizations ranging from NASA to four-person nonprofits in discovering their stories, and coaches people who want their stories to be authentic and compelling. Laura tells intriguing and imaginative stories for all ages ranging from traditional to personal and everything in between.

Greg Pickett is a Spoken Word artist/storyteller originally from Chicago, IL. but currently calls Minneapolis home. He was a member of two teams that represented Chicago at the National Poetry Slam in 2009 and 2013 and was the SlamMN! Storytelling Grand Slam Champion for 2017. His hobbies include video games, and.... well just the video games I suppose. That and performing his heart out on stage. You can find him on Facebook at

Richard Rousseau is an actor, director, and playwright, merging as storyteller.  He is Minnesota's liaison to the National Storytelling Network.

Amy Salloway--actor, writer, storyteller and educator--is the creator of four touring autobiographical solo plays, including “Does This Monologue Make Me Look Fat?” and “So Kiss Me Already, Herschel Gertz!” Amy teaches classes in memoir and creative writing through Minneapolis Community Ed, and both personal storytelling and storytelling for business through The Story Studio. She’s contributed stories to MPR, CBC radio’s “Definitely Not The Opera,” and the national podcast “RISK!,” and is the producer and host of Story Club Minneapolis, which happens one Thursday a month at the Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Cia Sautter, Ph.D. has taught numerous classes and workshops on dance, yoga, and storytelling. Her work includes teaching on the relationship between movement and story for  The Graduate Theological Union, UC Berkeley, and United Seminary. But she has also worked with K-12 students for creative movement and storytelling classes. Her training ranges from workshops with Cynthia Winton Henry and Phil Porter, Dance Therapy classes, and sessions at the Globe Theatre in London. Cia is the founder and main performer for Cialuna’s Storydance Theatre.

Mindy Schroeder

Pam Schweitzer

Sue Searing delights in sharing stories from many cultures and parts of the world, as well as personal stories, with listeners of all ages.  Sue grew up near the Erie Canal in upstate New York and had a fulfilling career as a librarian in Michigan, Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Illinois. She now lives in the vibrant and diverse Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis and serves on the board of Story Arts of Minnesota.

Peuo Tuy is a Cambodian American spoken word poet, poetry workshop instructor, and community organizer. She is the published author ofKhmer Girl (2014), 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee, finalist for the Jerome Foundation, and holds an honorable mention from the McKnight Foundation. She is a founding member and executive director of the new Cambodian American Literary Arts Association; visit Peuo online

Rothana Walbolt was born in Cambodia during the years of trauma. She escaped to Thailand and came to the US as a refugee. She has coordinated events to showcase Cambodian singing dancing and music. She teaches young Khmer children traditional dances, customs and foods and is working to help Cambodian elders live safely.  Rothana is is new to storytelling  and  sharing her own personal stories.

Leif Wallin

Katherine J. Werner advocates for the homeless and the hungry.  She lives in a pink steel house in St. Paul, with no website.

Lindsey White began her public speaking career competing for her high school speech team, where she earned a state championship and two national titles. In college, she competed for Western Kentucky University forensics, where she earned two national titles and an international title. As a graduate assistant coach for WKU she helped many students earn competitive success, while earning a MA in Organizational Comm. She is currently acting as assistant speech coach at Chanhassen High School and is excited to participate in more broad-range storytelling activities.

Elaine Wynne is a storyteller/therapist.  She is currently a leader in the fight to make EMDR trauma therapy available to veterans. 

David Zander was born in London during WW II. After training as a teacher, he taught in England, France, Kenya and the Caribbean. He became a cultural anthropologist with an interest in folklore. He worked twenty years for the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans writing bills and helping immigrants and refugees have a voice at the state capitol. Retired, he continues to use his anthropological training to assist refugees record their oral histories preserve & tell stories, both personal and folktales.

Nothando Zulu has been sharing stories with audiences in local, national and international venues since 1976. The antics and foibles of her colorful and funny characters leave audiences with life lessons to apply to their own lives from stories that entertain, educate, motivate and inspire. As Director of Black Storytellers Alliance, Nothando, along with her husband and a Board of Directors produce an annual three-day storytelling festival celebrating the art of Black storytelling.  Called “Signifyin’ & Testifyin’” it is now in its 27th year.  Nothando is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grand mother, and a community and political activist who believes in the phenomenal power of stories.  When working with or performing for seniors, she loves to share stories that relate their memories to the lives of listeners young and old.  Nothando invites all to “come listen, remember, and join in the joy!”