Hudson Valley Storytelling Alliance
Stories all year long, up and down the river

Festivals Mohegan Colony Riverway Rockland County

July 8, 2014

Dear Friends of the Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival,

As the saying goes, "When one door closes ....

Many changes have taken place at the Colony over the years. We saw the time coming when our dues base was dwindling to the point that we could no longer pay for the upkeep of our communal area where we held our Storytelling & Music Festival on the historic covered Pavilion Stage where icons such as Pete Seeger and Paul Robeson performed and in the Stone School House.

Gratefully, Calvary Church has bought the property. They have been good neighbors and we wish them well. We took this opportunity to regroup and consider new options.

Alas, in the Colony's 91st year, and after 13 years of producing the Festival, we have decided not to hold the Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival in 2014.

It has been a bittersweet and difficult decision. Therefore, forgive the lateness of this notice.

We have had the most amazing Tellers and Musicians grace our stages over the years and we want to thank all of you who have ever performed here, took a workshop or presented one, sat in the audience for our Family Stories, Stories for Grown ups and at our evening Ghost Story concert.

We also could not have done such a great job without the generosity of our supporters and donors, The Board of the Mohegan Colony, the many volunteers throughout the years including Art Markey, the Colony's longtime intrepid caretaker, and Kate Dudding who managed and produced our amazing website at . Please still check it out for storytelling events up and down the Hudson River!

We want to acknowledge the many volunteers who have helped out in any capacity: MC'd, putting up decorations, did publicity, sold tickets, gotten ads, put out road signs, sat at the Box Office and the Resource Tent, donated items, brought food and pot luck suppers and other kindnesses I may not have mentioned specifically, but I and you know who you are! And to Sherri Young, our program booklet and poster designer. Of course, many thanks go to our co-chairs, musicians and sound engineers (and brand new grandparents!), Ellen and John Monten. We truly could not have done this without you! And to my dear husband, Joe Shuldiner.

Please know how much you are ALL appreciated.

"Another door opens.... Our story is not done!

I have been in conversation with the Gateway Chamber of Commerce about having a Story Stage as part of a big Exposition Festival to be held next summer, 2015 in the City of Peekskill: Sort of a remote Mohegan Festival in a new venue. It will be the first weekend in August and we will have to raise funds to pay for our tellers, etc.

So, stay tuned...

Volunteers will be needed throughout the year as well as on the day of the Festival. Please get in touch if you are interested in helping with this new adventure!

Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome. I would love to hear from you. If you would like to be on our mailing list and are not, please send me your contact information.

Please help spread the word about the cancellation. As much as we would like to see you, we would not want anyone to arrive and be disappointed not to find the Festival in full swing!

Please keep in touch. Have a wonderful year filled with great stories.

As ever,
Judith Heineman,Storyteller, Producer


Thirteenth Annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival
Westchester County
Saturday, August 10, 2013     Workshop: 10:00 am - Noon; Performances 1:00-10:30 pm
Audience: Families and Adults
Location: 99 Baron de Hirsch Rd, Crompond, NY 10517 - off Lexington Avenue, between Routes 6 and 202
Information: Judith Heineman 312-925-0439 or Ellen Monten 914-528-5830

Click here for the Press Release.

Click here an article about the festival.

Photo collage of featured performers

Rain or Shine! All venues covered

Featured Storytellers:
Christopher Agostino, Robin Bady, Sheila Harris, Julie Herrera,
Judith Heineman, Bob Reiser, The Storycrafters Thelma Ruffin Thomas and
Musicians Ellen and John Monten's musical duo "No Soap"

Everybody loves a good story! And kids and adults of every age will be enchanted and entertained by traditional and original stories related by a host of nationally acclaimed storytellers at the 13th Annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival Saturday, August 10, 2013, 1:00 – 10:30 pm!

Beginning with a full afternoon of professional storytelling, the event extends into the evening with the traditional Ghost Story Concert around flickering candle lights. The festival is located at 99 Baron de Hirsch Road, in Crompond, New York, 10517 – under the shade of a spacious covered pavilion with outdoor picnic areas available on the pastoral grounds.

Ticket price is $20 for all day and night ; $15 for just day - $10 for Twilight Tales (aka Ghost Stories). $20 for morning workshop. Family and Home School rates. Reservations for all segments of the festival are recommended.

This year’s event features: Oracle Award winning Storycrafters, Barry Marshall and Jeri Burns, PhD, will present their acclaimed one-hour Snow Queen with music; Christopher Agostino, fascinating artist, author, storyteller will transform volunteer audience members’ faces into exotic canvases while his unique telling of world and original tales unfold. Bob Reiser will share the secret of the Egg Cream! Thelma Ruffin Thomas, a stunning and riveting teller known for her repertoire of Biblical Tales, will share some. Robin Bady, JJ Reneaux NSN Emerging Artist Award winner will tell a true cautionary tale on bullying called “Every Day is Basil Houpis Day,” Julie Moss Herrera, author of the new anthology Old China Through the Eyes of a Storyteller, comes from Colorado and will be available to sign books. Judith Heineman, Illinois Humanities Council “Road” Scholar who has a story in that book and Sheila Harris from Remsen, NY, will do a medley with Julie of Chinese stories they collected while on the same NSN Storytelling Delegation trip to China in 2008. In addition, Sheila will serve up a Teddy Bear Tea Party – for boys as well as girls. Sheila will also tell "Shadows of the Family Tree: the Life & Times of Dr. Rachel Harris." There are always surprise guests! Music performances feature Mohegan Colony’s John and Ellen Monten’s fun jazzy swingin’ duo "No Soap."

Additionally, Christopher Agostino, artist, author, storyteller, will offer a workshop 10am – noon for storytellers of all levels, educators, librarians and the general public. It is called, ”Before Cave Walls” – the story on our skin. A dynamic interactive presentation of a primal art, the art of transformation — exploring the origins and cultural significance of masks and body art, and how he uses these arts to bring to life stories in a unique performance style. Before we painted a cave wall we painted ourselves. We are a symbolic species -- defined by our use of art and language. Our skin is our edge, where we touch the world, and when we mark our skin with our art we are taking control of our identity to proclaim our humanity and aspirations. Christopher says: “I believe that more important than the design you get painted with is the experience of being painted, the experience of seeing a new identity when you look in the mirror, and how that identity is perceived when others look at you. A face painter, by changing how the world perceives the person they have painted, alters that person's perception of the world and of themselves.” Experience all this in Christopher's compelling workshop. Pre-registration requested: $20 per person.

Reservations, Information, or to Volunteer: contact Judith Heineman 312-925-0439 or Ellen Monten 914-528-5830.

Click here to read a New York Times article about the 2010 festival.

Click here to read about the 2012 festival, the 2011 festival or the the 2009 festival.

Click here to read a newspaper article about the 2008 festival.