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February  – March 2010

The Newsletter of the Story Circle of the Capital District

Editor and Publisher: Claire Nolan 11 Norwood Street Albany, NY 12203

(518) 209-6477 E-mail: cbnolou@yahoo.com

Visit our web site at www.story-circle.org


Happy New Year of the Tiger! 

“One kind word can warm three winter months”
                                                                    Japanese Proverb

Story Circle Business News


Meetings 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. are at the William K. Sanford Public Library (Colonie) and 6:15 to 9:00 p.m. at the Guilderland Library (GPL). At GPL, we will have a topic for panel/roundtable discussion. 

Upcoming Meetings: 

February 17 at GPL. Roundtable Discussion at 6:00 pm: Marni Gillard: "Manifesting - Exploring the Power of Our Imagining and our Belief as We Grow our Storytelling Work”

March 16 at Colonie. Facilitator: TBD

Meeting Notes: December 16, 2009 Story Circle Meeting Facilitator: Louise Koenig

Stories Told:

Louise Koenig – An Original Rumplestiltskin in Rhyme - Original

Kate Dudding - Tabai and the Brahman

Micki Groper – My Rumplestiltskin Story

Adam Hoffman  – Tom Tit Tot

Joe Doolittle – Having Everything Right

Listeners: Sandy Schuman and Bob and Elaine Suss

Meeting Notes: January 20, 2010 Story Circle Meeting: Facilitator Carol Connolly

Stories Told:

Christie Keegan - To Tell or Not - personal
Joe Doolittle - The Real Story of Rudolph - original, historical
Kate Dudding - I am What I Am - original
Joe Doolittle  – untitled – original

Listeners: Sandy Schuman, Don Darmer, Eileen Egan Mack, Eric Randall and Carol Connolly


Dues are Due NOW for 2010 – STILL a bargain at $10.00 per year. 

Please use the form on Page 8.

Winter is here; keep in mind our Cancellation Policy: Use the following guidelines to cancel a meeting or to check on a scheduled meeting:  It is up to the facilitator to decide to cancel a meeting. The facilitator may consult with Carol Connolly or Kate Dudding. If the facilitator decides to cancel a meeting: 1) Send out an e-mail message via the Story Circle listserv (or ask Carol Connolly or Kate Dudding to do it) and 2) Notify the library.
Story Circle members who are planning to attend a meeting may call or e-mail either the facilitator or the library to determine if a meeting is being held.

Update on the Community Storytelling Program Fund

In 1997, Carol Connolly created the Fund (CSPF);  and she has led it since that time.  Over 75 storytelling programs have been granted by CSPF (funded by the profits from our Tellabrations.) Carol has worked faithfully and diligently on this project all these years. She is now stepping down. We all owe her a loud round of applause for all her work on CSPF.  She also continues to organize the monthly Story Circle meetings and she keeps track of membership.  Nancy Payne has graciously and kindly agreed to assume the leadership of the Community Storytelling Program Fund.

Story Circle Financial Report 1-19-2010 Submitted by Kate Dudding

 Story Circle: Membership, Story Sunday and Tellabration

Checking Acct Balance


Breakdown of Checking Acct Balance

2008 Tell. Profits (tickets: $12/person)


2009 Tell. Profits (tickets: $12/person)


SALS storytelling balance


Balance of $500 grant from Merrill Lynch (SS & WP postcards)


Leftover membership money


Anticipated Deposits

2010 membership (50 @ $10 each)


Anticipated Expenses

SS & WP postcards Feb. - Apr.


Newsletter mailings ($37 every 2 months)


Tell. Rent Deposit (due in June)



SS paying for itself

Membership money pays for mailings with $270 left over per year

How should we use SALS storytelling balance?

Tell. didn't raise money in 2009: 40 fewer paid tickets

Story Circle: Proctors, Schenectady public access TV show

Checking Acct Balance


Anticipated Expenses

WP Rent Deposit (6 shows, due in June)


TV show (taping in March & April, $70 per month)


Major Deposits

From Joe and Kate


2008 Wine & Chocolate Benefit Profits (tickets: $30/person, $50/couple)


2009 Wine & Chocolate Benefit Profits (tickets: $30/person, $50/couple)



Benefits pay for TV shows

WP still establishing a following -- running at an overall loss



Southern Adirondack Library System


Story Sunday




Word Plays


Ongoing Events


Story by Story is our weekly TV show; tune in on Sunday nights at 8:30 and Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 on Schenectady Public Access TV, Channel 16.

Children at the Well (CATW): Interfaith Youth Storytelling Group.  See Interfaith Story Circle (below). The March Meeting of the Interfaith Story Circle will be a fundraiser to enable some of the CATW tellers to attend two interfaith conferences in the spring.
http://www.childrenatthewell.org/.  Find them on Facebook!
OPEN MIC in Saratoga – Signups to tell stories at 6:45 p.m. Stories begin at 7:00 pm

February 8 Monday at Caffé  Lena47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs 12866 (518) 583-0022            Tom Weakley will be the featured teller at the Open Mic at Caffé Lena on Monday, February 8 at 7 pm. This is just one of the many 50th Anniversary events at Lena’s scheduled throughout 2010. Let’s show Lena's and Tom our support and celebrate them both.  Tom comes out of retirement to benefit organizations at events he feels will bring significant help to the organization. Be generous with your contributions on this night, and bring others to hear Tom. Tom’s rare storytelling appearances are mostly in his home state of Vermont.  This evening will be an open-mic format. There will be time for two tellers before Tom and a few others after the short break following Tom's telling.  Sign-ups at the Caffé at 6:45; telling from 7 until 9 pm.  Let's show Valentine love, generosity and thanks to Lena's and to Tom!

March 19 Wednesday Sign-ups at 6:45; telling from 7 until 9 pm. Weekly Open Mic at Woodlawn Commons. Free.   Directions to Woodlawn Commons: From Broadway in Saratoga, turn West on Church St. Turn right on Seward St.  (if you get as far as the hospital, you've gone one block too far). Turn right again on Clement st. (at the 2nd stop sign) Look for Hospice and turn in.  Woodlawn is the big yellow building straight ahead. (156 Lawrence St.)
Adirondack Storytelling Guild – Contact Fran Yardley  franstory@gmail.com.

Interfaith Story Circle of the Tri-City Area
February 10 Wednesday
7-9 p.m. At Pine Grove Methodist Church 1580 Central Ave. 

Colonie. Theme: “Stories from our journey” Facilitator: Anne Snyder
Stories that have guided us on our path to spiritual and/or personal growth.  Some of them come for our personal experience, others are stories that we have heard or read that have become very special to us. Come to share a story, or come to listen and be inspired by those who tell.
All are welcome!  Free.
Pine Grove Methodist Church is on Central Ave. (RT. 5) between Rt. 155 and Wolf Road. 1580 Central Avenue Albany, NY 12205 (518) 869-6281.

March 7 Sunday "Sowing Seeds of Hope and Peace"- time and place TBD.  Afternoon event featuring adult tellers, and some Children at the Well Tellers. 

Caffé Lena  Weekly Open Mic7:00 pm. 47 Phila St. Saratoga Springs 12866 (518) 583-0022. 
Held every Thursday and open to all styles of music and spoken word performance, including poetry, comedy, and storytelling. The producers warmly welcome whatever you have to offer.
Performer registration from
7 to 7:25 PM. Performances start at 7:30. No telephone registration permitted. No special preference is given to kids, pros, or to those traveling long distances.
Participants play two songs or speak for 10 minutes. There is no featured performer at Weekly Open Mic

Albany Open Mic - Dates and Location TBD - We are looking for storytellers and listeners and a location for an Open Mic in Albany – call Claire at 209-6477 or e-mail cbnolou@yahoo.com if you are interested.

Storytelling on the Radio – You can listen to Jay O’Callahan tell the story “Forged in the Stars” on Public Radio’s Living on Earth.  First broadcast on December 27, 2009. http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=09-P13-00048&segmentID=6 and


Family Programs

 February 15 – 19  1:30pm – 4:30pm at Proctors Gallery For KIDS ages 9 – 13 StoryTelling/StoryActing Camp. Instructors: Marni Gillard and Mary Murphy. We’ll explore all the ways to tell a story! We’ll bring props and story ideas. You can share a memory or a favorite folktale or fable. Lots of fun! Tuition: $130 for the week / with VIE pass $125. To request a VIE pass or get tuition assistance, go to http://www.proctors.org/events/5499 <http://www.proctors.org/events/5499>


February 17 Wednesday from 1pm – 4:30pm: Snow Day!! at Thacher Nature Center.  Attention Families! Come out and play on our 5th annual day of winter fun! Go on a snowshoe adventure to search for clues about wild animals. Then, make s’mores over a crackling campfire and hear winter tales from storyteller Claire Nolan. Warm up indoors with winter-themed activities and crafts. Materials fee of $10 per family includes use of snowshoes. 87 Nature Center Way, Voorheesville, NY, 12186.  Please call 872-0800 to register.

Adult Programs

Story Slams. What is a story slam? http://massmouth.ning.com/ “A Story Slam is a contest of wit, words and story by known and undiscovered talent.” massmouth posts a theme on it's blogspot and story slammers sign up on the night to tell a 5-minute short story on the evening's theme . Ten lucky tellers will be picked at random. Participants can opt to listen or join a judging team. There will be 3 teams of 3 judges and the 2 sets of 5 stories will begin with a short-short feature by one of the judges. Listeners will be engaged in story improv games and other entertainment between the 5 minute features. This SLAM's theme is "Errors of Eros". Each of the ten 5 minute stories is judged on how well it is told, how well it is constructed and how well it honors the time limit and relates to the theme. The 3 highest-scoring tellers are awarded prizes and an opportunity to perform at the "the big mouthoff"; venue and date TBA. Prizes will be awarded at each slam.
Monthly winners are entered in a grand prize contest - slam of all slammers on April 20, 2010
to decide on a winner. The big mouthoff will be held in the beautiful Rabb Auditorium, Boston Public Library, Copley Square. The winner, with up to 5 friends or family members, will enjoy the fabulous grand prize of a week in a town house in Tuscany. More info here:
February 14 Sunday 4pm to 7pm – Story Slam Ryles Ryles Jazz Club: http://www.rylesjazz.com/ 212 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA (617) 876-9330 10 stories of love hosted by Laura Packer and co-host TBA. LauraPacker.com Love in haste, recount at leisure Organized by Norah Dooley/Andrea Lovett/Doria Hughes/Stu Mendleson. $10 includes a $5.00 cover and one drink.

February 14 Sunday 1:15 pm “Awash in Tales: Noah’s flood and flood myths as viewed by a geologist and storyteller”. Presented by Frank H. Wind, Ph.D. Frank will discuss the flood myths worldwide, the beliefs and science proposed to validate “Intelligent Design” and the countering arguments from the scientific community. He will discuss possible natural phenomena which could have given rise to flood myths and in particular, the events described in Genesis. Sage Colleges, New Scotland Avenue Albany NY 12208.  Refreshments and discussion at 12:45.

February 15 Monday at 12:30 pm Jeannine Laverty at the Adirondack Community College Writers’ Project Spring 2010. Love: In Its Many Forms”. Jeannine has been telling international folk tales since 1979 when her work teaching English as a second language to immigrants in New York City showed her firsthand how the U.S. is made up of cultures from all the countries of the world. Visual Arts Gallery Dearlove Hall Adirondack Community College 640 Bay Road Queensbury, NY 12804. Phone: 518-743-2210 Fax: 518-745-1433 Email: writersproject@sunyacc.edu. FREE.

February 21 Sunday at 2:00 pm.  Word Plays at Proctors.  “Hunger” with Mary Murphy and Nancy Marie Payne. Anyone who has ever wanted something, really wanted it, knows that hunger doesn't only pertain to food. This afternoon, our tellers will explore the humor, longings and driving desire behind hunger. In the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors Theater 432 State St. Schenectady NY 12305. $16.00 see http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20third%20season%201%20coupon.pdf for Money Saving Coupon!  Tickets at the Proctor’s Box Office: http://www.proctors.org/

March 4 Thursday at 7 pm Jay O’Callahan at the Adirondack Community College Writers’ Project Spring 2010.   Storyteller and performer, Jay has performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Lincoln Center in New York City, the National Theatre Complex in London, at the Olympics, and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has led workshops, taught, and performed at universities across the country, and his stories have been widely published and recorded. In addition to his March 4 performance, Jay will offer a day-long workshop on Friday, March 5 (see Workshops and Classes – below) ACC Theater; Adirondack Community College 640 Bay Road Queensbury, NY 12804. Phone: 518-743-2210 Fax: 518-745-1433 Email: writersproject@sunyacc.edu. FREE.

March 7 Sunday 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Story Sunday at the Glen Sanders Mansion “Celtic Stories with the Storycrafters.  Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns will share Celtic tales and songs.

Menu: Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots (Natch!); Chicken Dijon with fingerling potatoes and seasonal vegetables; Butternut Squash Ravioli with seasonal vegetables. 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia, NY $30 per person (includes entertainment, dinner, tax and tip) Bring someone new and you each save $3 (only one discount/person).

Reservations: (518) 384-1700  or e-mail sc@katedudding.com

March 14 Sunday at 2:00 pm.  Word Plays at Proctors.  "Shenanigans" with Marni Gillard and Janet Carter. Anyone who has ever wanted something, really wanted it, knows that hunger doesn't only pertain to food. This afternoon, our tellers will explore the humor, longings and driving desire behind hunger. In the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors Theater 432 State St. Schenectady NY 12305. $16.00 see http://www.storycircleatproctors.org/wp%20third%20season%201%20coupon.pdf for Money Saving Coupon!  Tickets at the Proctor’s Box Office: http://www.proctors.org/ Phone: (518) 346-6204

Ongoing The Moth StorySlams various locations, NY, NY http://www.themoth.org/storyslams

Check out http://www.storytelling-nyc.org/calendar.html for more New York City Storytelling events!

Workshops and Classes for Storytellers

Tuesdays Feb. 9+23, Mar.9+23, Apr. 6+20  from 7:00 -9:00 pm.  ”Finding Ourselves in Stories” a 6-session Adult Storytelling Class with Marni Gillard Cost $120 for series  -  $5 discount if you bring a friend.  We will find and share tales with each other. We’ll refer to life tales in our conversational work, but this course is about finding stories in scripture, folktales, myths, and poems. I’ll provide story sources but feel free to bring your own.  Plenty of parking on safe, well-lit street. Call 381-9474 or email marnigillard@earthlink.net to register at Marni’s Story Studio, 833 Parkside Ave. Schenectady 12309.

 February 22 2010March 7 2010 A Storytelling Tourism experience in India.

Limited to 18 Participants. Orientation in Chennai, India then by Bus: Visiting the East Coast Sea-Fishing Village of Poompuhar; visiting the Central City of Madurai; visiting Locations in the Western Ghats Mountains. Trip includes the Valparai area, home of the Muthuvan tribal people (who claim that their ancestors accompanied Kannagi to this area).

Along the way --

1) Tamil Language Teaching and Learning (for visitors to Tamil Nadu).

2) Storytelling (with translation when needed), as listeners and tellers,

Especially relating to the Silappathikaram (the Epic of the Anklet, Kannagi’s story);

and to Folktales -- Grandmother stories, Raja-Rani stories, stories in which animals

speak, etc. -- of the five traditional Tamil eco-cultural zones (seashore, agricultural lands,

pasture lands, barren lands, and mountain forests) in which the story takes place.

3) Storytelling Workshops. Participants will keep journals.

4) Interactive Talks with Scholars and Members of Communities.

This tour will be led by Eric Miller (based in Chennai), Director of the WSI; and Laura Simms

(based in New York City), a longtime leader of the International Storytelling Movement. For more information:  http://storytellinginstitute.org/

March 5  9:00 – 3:00 Friday Jay O’Callahan will offer a day-long workshop: “The Art and Uses of Storytelling.” The workshop is limited to 20 participants. For a registration form, please call the ACC Center at 743-2238 or go to http://www.sunyacc.edu/ocallahan_reg_form.pdf Adirondack Community College 640 Bay Road Queensbury, NY 12804. $100.00.

March 19-21 Friday – Sunday SHARING THE FIRE: The Northeast Storytelling Conference 2010. Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Presented by LANES (League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling).  http://www.lanes.org/. For more information contact Lauretta Phillips, STF/NESC 2010 Coordinator, at lphillipstale@comcast.net or (603) 735-5965.

March 24, 31, April 7 and April 14  Wednesdays at Albany’s Pastoral Center “Telling Tales, Making Peace” - A story-sharing workshop.  Description: Deep in the sacred tales we’ve read and in the simple yet complex moments we’ve experienced, we encounter the possibility for Peace. We’ll explore sacred stories, folk and mythic tales, and our own life stories looking for moments when peace becomes possible. 40 N. Main Avenue, between Washington and Western Avenues, Well-lit parking lot on left side of building.  Reservation 489-4431 $40 if paid before 3/17, $45; after that. Mail checks  to Consultation Center, 790 Lancaster St. Albany, NY 12203

Tellabration News

Submitted by Kate Dudding and Joe Doolittle

Tellabration 2009 was “Buoyant”; the stories lifted both audience and tellers to a humorous, poignant place where memories are kept and savored. We’ve heard many friends and “long-term” listeners say this was the “best” Tellabration ever. And we think they may be right! There were over 170 listeners. A special thank you to each of the volunteers for making such a wonderful Tellabration happen this year. To all the rest of you who attended, brought friends and promoted ticket sales, many thanks also.  Here are some statistics, compared to last year:            


                                                                           2009                       2008


Ads                                                                   $375.00                   400.00

Freewill Refreshment Donations                         $50.00                       0.00  

Tix Sales                                                        $1,287.50                 1,725.70

TOTAL INCOME                                            $1,712.50              $ 2,125.70


Postcards                                                          $406.17                  $392.95

Flyers                                                                $109.43                    184.04

Programs                                                           $123.26                     101.65

Room Rental                                                      $525.00                    525.00

Sound                                                                $175.00                    175.00

House Manager                                                  $140.00                    140.00

Credit Card processing                                        $35.30                     38.30

$2 rebates                                                         $126.00                    114.00

Misc. postage                                                         $3.80                       0.00

Refreshments apple juice and water                    $25.00                       0.00

TOTAL EXPENSES                                          $1,668.96              $1,670.94

PROFITS                                                              $43.54                $454.76

Attendance                                                                172                         171

Tickets sold at door                                        about 2/3s                         96

New entries in mailing list database                           35                          36

New email addresses                                                  17                           16

# of $2 rebates                                                        63                           57

The main difference is that there were 40 fewer paid tickets – not unexpected with this economy. We still attracted new people (see $2 rebates and new entries in mailing list database), which is very good.

For Next Year

Tellabration has always had two goals: to bring storytelling to the people in the Capital District; and to raise money for storytelling grants to fund programs in area libraries and museums (as well as creating paid gigs for SC tellers). Kate and Joe have come up with some new ideas to meet these goals.

1. Bring Tellabration to listeners. Every library system receives outreach money to serve populations who do not or cannot come to the libraries. Ask the outreach managers in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Adirondack Library Systems if they could fund some storytelling programs for seniors or preschoolers or any other age group during the weeks before or after Tellabration. Two good things: Lois Gordon of MVLS is a storytelling supporter. And SALS funded story telling programs to celebrate their 50th anniversary several years ago. In addition to giving SC tellers paid gigs, this would make Tellabration a larger activity which might encourage newspapers to write articles about it. Kate will contact the outreach managers by the end of January.

2. Bring listeners to Tellabration. Ask CDPHP to underwrite bringing seniors to Tellabration. Joe will contact CDPHP soon.

3. Other Ideas: Pending input from Story Circle Members – thoughts and feedback welcome.


Among Ourselves


Frank-Lee Speaking Storytelling Team – Frank and Dee Wind will be offering two storytelling workshops for the residents at Beechwood Retirement Community in Troy in February.  

March 17 Wednesday -- Mary Murphy and Carol Connolly -- “A Bit o’ Blarney” at Hawthorne Ridge in East Greenbush


Looking Ahead

April 19 – 25 2010 Riverway Storytelling Festival.  Various venues and times.  Watch http://www.riverwaystorytellingfestival.org/ for more information! Join the Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=228939478386&ref=ts

May 1 Saturday at  8p.m.  "Grace O’Malley – A Notorious Woman" Marni Gillard performs six tales from the life of Grace O’Malley, Irish clan chieftain’s daughter, political activist and pirate (1530-1603). The stories are backed by traditional Irish musicians debuting Tom O’Hare’s suite of tunes, A Notorious Woman.  Save the date! Reservation information to follow. Reformed Church, Schenectady  
July 23-24 Friday- Sunday Save the date for PYRAMID STORYTELLING CAMP – Annual Adirondack FUN! Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. $130 (a steal!) Free canoes and kayaks, great hiking. Join me and two great story friends from
Boston: Kevin Books and Laura Packer. Workshops, casual story swaps, bonfire, singing, loon-listening and more!


                                  See You Next Time












All meetings are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday or Wednesday of the month alternating between Tuesdays in odd numbered months at the William K. Sanford Library and Wednesdays in even numbered months at the Guilderland Public Library.

DIRECTIONS: The Guilderland Public Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland, 1/2 mile west of Rte. 155 on the south side of Western Avenue. (February 17)

The William K. Sanford Library is located at 629 Albany Shaker Road, just off Northway Exit 4, and 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Wolf Road and Albany Shaker Road on the left side.  (March 16)








(  ) I want to be a member of Story Circle, enclosed is a check for $10.00 for the newsletter and a roster of members. Renewal is in January of each year.

(  ) List my name among performing storytellers for referral.

(  ) Send my newsletters via US mail.   (  ) Send my newsletters via E-mail.

Membership renewals are due each January and are good for one year.  Please make checks payable to “Story Circle” and send to Carol Connolly, 1100 Niskayuna Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309

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