A short history of the Riverwind Whirlwind Weekend.
When Riverwind Storytellers, Co. started meeting in 1982, it wasn't long before they decided to sponsor a weekend with a master storyteller. One Sunday, Donna Meyer, Jean Eilering, Marilyn Kinsella, and Jeanne Rhodes visited Pere Marquette near Grafton, IL, and decided to hold the event at this glorious state park near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. After going to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, they decided to see if Elizabeth Ellis from Dallas, TX, would be willing to come to the area to do a workshop. The group told her that they had $4.32 in the bank. She graciously said that she would come and that the group could pay her for whatever we made and felt comfortable giving after expenses. The group did with the stipulation that Riverwind would try to get her some storytelling jobs in nearby schools. As it turned out, that first weekend was one of the most profitable, and RW secured many jobs for the next week. She left with well over $1000.00 for her trust in a newbie group of tellers.
It was a weekend that has gone done into the Lore of Riverwind. A magical time when a bunch of newbie tellers called themselves...storytellers. It was the weekend that introduced the group to a dulcimer guy named "Mike Anderson." He happened to be at Pere Marquette do some birding and decided to find out what storytelling was all about. Mike is now an accomplished storyteller as well as folk musician. He even came back to be a workshop leader at a later time.
Sidebar: It snowed after the workshop. One of those heavy March snows - 11 inches...that closed the schools for 3 days. Somehow with a lot of re-scheduling Elizabeth made it to all the schools before she left for home.
Since that time, Riverwind has a hosted a multitude of wonderful tellers. Each one bringing something unique to the RW workshop. Here is a list of tellers. Please note that Elizabeth, who has since been designated as the "Riverwind Fairy Godmother" (and later "Goddess of Riverwind"), has been the workshop leader three times. She has also been the guest of Riverwind for various evenings and afternoons, when she was traveling through the St. Louis are
List of Tellers at the Riverwind Workshops since 1984:
Pere Marquette State Park
1. 1984 - Elizabeth Ellis Facing our Fears
2. 1985 - Carol Birch http://www.carolbirchstoryteller.com/home.html and Jim May - Telling Literary Tales http://www.jimmaystoryteller.com
3. 1986 - Milbre Burch - Using One's Body in Story with Mike Anderson
Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL
4. 1987 - Lee Pennington - Writing Personal Stories with Mike Anderson
5. 1988 - Don Davis http://www.ddavisstoryteller.com/ and the Armstrong Sisters
6. 1989 - Lynn Moroney - Sky Lore
7. 1990 - Barbara McBride Smith http://www.barbaramcbridesmith.com/ and Ron Adams - Mythology
8. 1991 - Michael Parent -http://www.michaelparentstorytelling.com Getting Rid of Performance Anxiety
9. 1992 - David Novak - Creative Storytelling Techniques
10. 1993- Elizabeth Ellis and Mike Anderson
11. 1994 - Heather Forest - Fine Tuning Performance with Dan Keding - ballads
12. 1995 - Bill Harley - Music and telling
13. 1996 - Joe Bruchac - Native American Storytelling and Janet (January) Kiefer
14. 1997 - Mary Hamilton and Cynthia Changaris - Ways to unlock one's creativity
15. 1998 - Len Cabral and Janice Harrington
16. 1999 - Sheila Kay Adams -http://www.sheilakayadams.com Ballads from Appalachia
17. 2000 - Chuck Larkin - Using humor in Storytelling
18. 2001 - Susan Klein - Telling deeply
Todd Hall Retreat Center, near Columbia, IL
19. 2002 - Doug Elliot - Storytelling and Nature with Ron Adams and Stories 'n Stones with the Kinsellas.
Back to Pere Marquette
20. 2003 - Bobby Norfolk - Making Historical Characters Come Alive
21. 2004 - Elizabeth Ellis - (20th anniversary) with Mike Anderson http://www.dulcimerguy.com
22. 2005 - Steve Otto http://www.i-tell.net - Telling Ghost Stories with Lucy Grondahl
Lewis and Clark Museum, Wood River, IL
23. 2006 - Dianne De Las Casas - Marketing
24. 2007 - Naomi Baltuck - Story Stretchers
Mississippi Valley District Library, Collinsville, IL
25. 2008 - Barbara Freeman http://www.barbarafreemanstoryteller.com and Connie Regan-Blake (formerly "The Folktellers) For an article on their performance - Click HERE
26. 2009 - Carol Birch http://www.carolbirchstoryteller.com/home.html - Telling with Virtuosity
Back to Our Lady of the Snows Shrine
27. 2010 - Bil Lepp www.leppstorytelling.com - Telling the Tall Tale
28. 2011 - Regina Carpenter www.soaringstories.com - using the classic story structure and stories to provide a deep impact on teller and listener through beautiful and memorable imagery, language choice and l HUMOR!
29. 2012 Squeaver StoryFest in Hannibal, Missouri
30. 2013 Milbre Burch
31. 2014 No Workshop
32. 2015 Phyllis Hostmeyer - Telling sacred stories including Bible Stories
Trout Lodge, Missouri
33. 2016 Dr. Kevin Cordi - Playing with Stories
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