A retired elementary library media specialist, Anne Shimojima has performed literary stories, historical pieces, and folk tales from her Asian heritage and around the world for the past 30+ years. A Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center in 2014, she has also told at The Exchange Place of the National Storytelling Festival, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Illinois Storytelling Festival, the 1st Asian American Storytelling Festival, and schools, libraries, museums, gardens, book fairs, and conferences. Anne also gives workshops on the use of storytelling in education and the creation of family history projects.
The Local Teller Showcase features some of Champaign-Urbana’s favorite tellers: Kim Sheahan, Kathe Brinkmann, Elaine Bearden, Linda Dust, and Camille Born. All are members of the C-U Storytelling Guild and enjoy telling to audiences of all ages. Come join the fun!
Kim Sheahan incorporates oral traditions into her multicultural programs at the University of Illinois’ Spurlock Museum. She also does freelance storytelling and has performed at storytelling festivals, school assemblies, city-wide celebrations, personal parties, and gatherings of all kinds ever since. Her enthusiasm is both unmistakable and contagious.
Kathe Brinkmann is a wonderful storyteller with a breadth of tales that range from the moving to the comical. She is always tuned into her listeners and seems to know which story is right for her audience. Whether she is telling a short, funny story that leaves an audience gasping for breath with its humor or a traditional story that is touching and thoughtful or a personal story that points out the human side of life, it is always entertaining and a joy to listen to her.
Storyteller Elaine Bearden is a children’s librarian at The Urbana Free Library. She tells personal stories and folktales, accented with music. Local appearances include the University of Illinois’ Youth Literature Festival, The Very Special Arts Festival, Verde Gallery Teller’s Art series, and most recently, the Indi-Go Gallery. Since 2005, she has also taught storytelling workshops for teachers on integrating storytelling into curriculum.
Linda Dust says that the stories she enjoys the most are the ones that also include music and ballads. She finds that each new story brings new understanding of the traditions of the cultures that have produced these marvelous tales. She has performed in such diverse places as public libraries, schools, service organization banquets, festivals and even at a club in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
Camille Born of Mahomet, IL became a professional storyteller when she realized that her skills of telling personal anecdotes, sharing historical tidbits and giving her younger brother a life-long fear of closets could all be put together in a career. At age 50, she was delighted to find out “what she wanted to be when she grew up.” Besides telling folk tales, she writes original historical stories for performance.
The Local Storyteller Showcase is sponsored by the Champaign-Urbana Storytellling Guild.