Menlo Park Library launches month-long storytelling festival


Yarners in the oral tradition, including tellers of Native American, Latin-American and Japanese folktales, will present their stories for audiences at Menlo Park's libraries throughout the month of November.

The Menlo Park Library is hosting a month-long storytelling festival starting Thursday, Nov. 2, featuring seven events. Events will be held at the city's main library at 800 Alma St. in the Menlo Park Civic Center or the Belle Haven Library at 413 Ivy Drive in Menlo Park.

Stories will be aimed at adults and children in elementary school and up.

Menlo Park library event coordinator and storyteller John Weaver will give two performances: on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m. at the Menlo Park main library and on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. at the Belle Haven branch library.

On Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m., at the main library, a woman known as Megumi, a bilingual storyteller, will share Japanese folk tales. She also tells stories about Japanese American internment camps based on interviews she's done with former internees, according to her according to her website. (Her legal name is Grace Fleming.)

On Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the main library, Alicia Retes is scheduled to tell stories about Native American "shape-shifters and mischief-makers." She is part Mayo, Yaqui and Cherokee and is a certified interpretive guide and trainer, according to her bio online.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. at the Belle Haven Branch Library, Olga Loya will tell Latin American folktales. Her website describes her as a "nationally recognized Latina performer (who) uses a dramatic mix of Spanish and English to share one-woman shows for adult and children's programs."

On Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at the main library, Muriel Johnson will perform. She's a Bay-area based storyteller and early childhood educator who has performed at schools, churches, museums, colleges and festivals and as far away as Cape Town, South Africa, according to her website.

On Monday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. at the main library, Linda Kennedy and Joan McCammon, "The Do-Tell Duo." The duo hail from the Foothills Storytelling Guild and Mother Lode Storytelling Guild in Gold Country and the Sierra Nevada Foothills. The two tell stories together and volunteer at the Women's Empowerment Program in Sacramento.

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