April 20, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Storytellers from across the country will spin their tales at the eighth annual Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, a day-long event on Saturday, April 29, in the Keefe Campus Center Frontroom at Amherst College. Performances are scheduled for 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

This year’s nationally known storytellers are Onawumi Jean Moss, Carmen Deedy, Nina Jaffe, Patricia and Frederick McKissack, and Robert Kikuchi–Yngojo and Nancy Wong (Eth–Noh–Tec).

Onawumi Jean Moss, founder and director of the Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, is associate dean of students at Amherst College. Her timeless stories of Africa and other cultures from around the world include tales of wonder, liberation, praise, trickery and spirituality.

Nina Jaffe of New York City is an educator, storyteller and author of stories that are funny, thought–provoking and filled with music.

Carmen Deedy, from Atlanta, Ga., portrays her Latin American and Southern heritage in poignant, humorous and spirited stories, with vivid images of dragons, ghosts, holiday homecomings and outrageous heroines.

Eth–Noh–Tec (Robert Kikuchi–Yngojo and Nancy Wang) of San Francisco, Calif., are masterful tandem tellers of Asian and Asian American stories, whose elegant synchronized voices, dance movements and music blend to celebrate humanity and cultural ties.

Patricia and Frederick McKissack, from Chesterfield, Mo., celebrate the human spirit and the enduring power of written and oral stories. Drawing from familial and historical origins, these Tennessee natives create African–American stories of remarkable men and women and of children who dance with the wind, confront strange creatures and embrace learning against deadly odds.

There will be three ensemble performances at the festival: "Stories for Little Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 10 to 11:30 a.m., "Stories for Young Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 2 to 4 p.m., and "Stories for Older Folk and the People Who Love Them" from 8 to 10 p.m

General admission for adults is $6.25 for the 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. performances and $8.50 for the 8 p.m. performance. Tickets for children under 12 and senior citizens are $4.75 per performance. A special rate of $8.75 for adults and $6.50 for children is available to those who wish to attend both the morning and afternoon performances. Advance tickets are available for each performance at the Keefe Campus Center Office. The performances are free to Amherst College students with I.D. For information call 413/542–8450.

Keepers of the Word is sponsored by the Amherst College Student Finance Committee, Office of the Dean of Students, academic departments and supporters throughout Amherst College.