Over the years, stories – filled with tall tales, moral lessons, riddles, and history – served to entertain, educate, pass down family stories and build the community for early Appalachian settlers. The mission and vision for the Storytelling sessions at Bear on the Square continue this tradition with a focus on sharing stories related to Southern Appalachia.

Plan to stop by Zak McConnell Stage in Hancock Park and spend some time listening to professional storytellers who are keeping the oral tradition of the mountains alive.

Saturday, April 23

Main Stage
10:30 am – Storytelling Sampler with Debbie From and Denise Mount

Zak McConnell Stage in Hancock Park

11 am – Tall Tales from the Hills – with Amanda Lawrence, Kanute Rarey and Debbie From

12 pm – Ghosts and Myths and Legends … Oh My! – with Amanda Lawrence, Kanute Rarey and Debbie From

1 pm – Open Mic – Hosted by Denise and Mike Mount

2 pm – Workshop: Reminiscing and Capturing Family History with Kanute Rarey
Memories from the front porch to the dinner table, Kanute will share some tricks and tips to collecting family stories, reviving memories, remembering stories and music, and getting them written down to share with loved ones.

Storytelling program is sponsored by Southern Order of Storytellers

Storytelling at Bear

The Appalachian art of storytelling has always had a significant presence at Bear on the Square Mountain Festival. However, since 2013, Bear on the Square has featured traditional storytelling sessions and workshops. Many of the storytellers we’ve had on the Zak McConnell stage are members of Southern Order of Storytellers (SOS) and Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, which are local storytelling organizations. Both SOS and Kuumba are affiliates of the National Storytelling Network (NSN). 

In 2015, the National Storytelling Network (NSN) designated Bear on the Square as that year’s Southeast Regional Spotlight Event for Storytelling. NSN provided a grant of $1,000 to use to stage the SE Regional Spotlight Event at Bear, which included appearances by National Storyteller Adam Booth.

For more information:
Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia 
The Southern Order of Storytellers 
National Storytelling Network