April 10, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-Storytellers from across the country will spin their tales at the 11th annual Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, a day-long event on Saturday, April 26, 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, Dan Keding, Charlotte Blake Alston, Antonio Rocha and Brenda Wong Aoki.
Onawumi Jean Moss, founder and director of the Keepers of the Word Storytelling Festival, is associate dean of students at Amherst College. With original stories, fairy tales, cautionary tales, folk tales and personal narratives she encourages appreciation of cultural differences, pride of heritage, recognition of kinship, reflection and inquiry. Her soulful narration, a capella singing, dramatic facial expressions and animated movements bring to life the worlds of adventurous girls and women, charming creatures, scheming tricksters and wicked demons.

Dan Keding of Urbana, Ill. is an educator, writer, recording artist and award-winning storyteller. Charlotte Blake Alston of Philadelphia is a storyteller, educator, singer, writer and recording artist. Antonio Rocha of Niteroi, Brazil, is a mime and storyteller. Brenda Wong Aoki of San Francisco is a storyteller, educator, writer, dancer 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 $12 for the 8 p.m. performance. Tickets for children under 12 and senior citizens are $5 for morning or evening, and $7 for evening. A special rate of $11 for adults and $8 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 Association of Amherst Students, Office of the Dean of Students, academic departments and supporters throughout Amherst College.