In early 2013, a few friends sat around a red wooden table chatting about art in the community.
"I wonder if we could get people to come to a storytelling event in Shepherdstown?"
Would anyone show up? Would tellers want to come to West Virginia? Would an anti-festival model work?
Calls were made to story artists, tickets were printed, fliers posted, and the community showed up to listen and to work. Over time, the series grew.
In the course of five seasons, Speak has presented forty-one storytellers in forty concerts for adults, over thirty school and community-outreach shows, crowned two youth tellers as story champions, and worked together with over a dozen local organizations. During the fifth season, we moved from our loving original home in the Shepherdstown Community Club across the street to Reynolds Hall, a larger venue with sloped seating for better visibility. We became a program of Shepherd University under the Appalachian Studies Program, and a volunteer community committee has been steering Speak into its future. Join us as we continue to grow!
Here are the exceptional tellers who visited Speak during the first six seasons.