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Storytelling workshop next week

By Amalia Kortright
news@lagrangenews.com

Members of the community will have three opportunities to see participants in the Azalea Storytelling Workshop tell stories throughout the next week. Joyce Young, who is coordinating the events alongside Linda Hart, said this is the second year Azalea Storytelling has sponsored a workshop.

The performances are set to take place on July 12 at LaGrange College Chapel at 11 a.m., July 13 at Bellevue at 1:15 p.m. and on July 14 at the Lafayette Society for Performing Arts Black Box Theater at 7:30 p.m.

“This is a free event, and the people who come will hear great stories,” Young said.

Young said this year’s workshop takes place at Hills and Dales Estates, where 18 participants from six different states will hone their storytelling skills.

“Last year, they told stories of their childhoods and their travels,” Young said. “I know Dr. Ruth Walkup, who grew up in the Congo. I also know Cheryl Mason, who was an attorney for the Los Angeles for 30 years. Both of them had a wealth of stories to tell.”

The workshop is led by professional minister, author and storyteller Donald Davis, who is based out of Okracoke, North Carolina. Young said Davis has maintained strong ties with Azalea Storytelling for over two decades and has been a “consistent sponsor and helper” during each Azalea Storytelling Festival, which is held in March.

“He started working with us in 1995, and he helped us get our festival started in 1997,” Young said.

According to Young, Davis is a great storyteller and a great instructor.

“I love hearing Donald, but his most important work is teaching other people,” Young said. “Sometimes they find that they have skills they didn’t know they had before.”

Young said the storytelling events were made possible by the partnership between Azalea Storytelling, LSPA, Hills and Dales Estates and LaGrange College, where 16 of the participants are staying.

While registration is closed for this year’s workshop, Young said many people have expressed their interest for next year.

“We already have people signed up to participate next summer,” Young said.