April 3, 2001
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. - Storytellers from across the country will spin their tales at the ninth annual Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, a day-long event on Saturday, April 28, 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, Jackson Gilman, Kala Jo Jo, Katie Latimer, Anne Shimojima and Cipriano Vigil.

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 world cultures include tales of wonder, liberation, praise, trickery and spirituality.

Jackson Gilman of Onset, Mass., tells stories that sparkle with energy, whimsy and wisdom. A mime, songster and teacher, he offers interactive performances seasoned with skillful dialect, movement and sign language.

Kala Jo Jo of Philadelphia, Penn., a storyteller, educator and musician, performs sensitive interactive compositions that always offer the listener something to think about.

Katie Latimer, from Hope Valley, R.I., is known for telling such classics as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Telltale Heart," and enchanting listeners with tales of "creepy spiders" and "floating bubbles." (Website is at http://www.katiel.cjb.net/.)

Anne Shimojima of Morton Grove, Ill., performs at schools, universities, book fairs, professional conferences and prestigious storytelling festivals, where her graceful and spirited telling of stories from Asia and all over the world have delighted audiences.

Cipriano Vigil, from El Rito, N. M., where story and song are inseparable, is an ethnomusicologist, teacher, composer and recording artist.

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 $7 for the 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. performances and $9 for the 8 p.m. performance. Tickets for children under 12 and senior citizens are $5 per performance. A special rate of $9 for adults and $6 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 413/542-2619.

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.