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Alumna brings storytelling skills to New Orleans

March 6, 2009

Full-time professional storyteller and 1969 Loyola Arts and Sciences alumna Connie Regan-Blake, along with fellow storyteller Laura Simms, will visit New Orleans the week of March 9 for a workshop and performance. Both will be held at the Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., in New Orleans and are free and open to the public. The visit is being made possible by KIDsmART and Mercy Corps’ program, “Comfort for Kids.”

On Monday, March 9, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., “The Gift of Story” workshop for teachers and librarians will be held. This evening workshop will focus on how to use storytelling in the classroom and provide simple tools and creative ideas to engage children’s imaginative, educational and emotional processes. Practical “how tos” will include: using stories in your curriculum; styles and techniques of stories; reading and creative writing motivation; and more. Participants will also receive resource materials including the “Becoming the World” workbook, developed to respond to the aftereffects of 9/11 in New York City schools. To register for this workshop, please e-mail elise@kidsmart.org. Refreshments will be served.

On Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m., “The Gift of Story” performance will be held. During this energetic evening, families will learn how storytelling can be used to bring literature alive and how to use the gift of story to connect and communicate as a family.

Regan-Blake and Simms are award-winning storytellers who together have performed for more than 40 years, in 47 states and 16 countries. Regan-Blake has twice received a Parent’s Choice Award, while Simms has received the Sesame Street Sunny Days Award.

Regan-Blake has performed at the nation’s top folk music and storytelling festivals in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, as well as the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. Her groundbreaking collaboration with the Kandinsky Trio — an innovative blend of storytelling and chamber music — has been hailed as a “new art form.”

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