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Worldwide ‘Tellebration’ coming to Jonesborough


Storytellers and listeners will come together on Sunday, Nov.18, to celebrate a worldwide event known as Tellabration, a production of the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild. 

The show begins at 2 p.m. at the McKinney Arts Center, at the corner of East Main Street and Franklin Avenue, with doors opening at 1:30 for seating.

The event will be abuzz with “Stories, Songs and Spoons” featuring global sensation Abby The Spoon Lady with her “one man band,” Chris Rodrigues. 

Joining Abby will be nationally acclaimed storyteller, Barbara McBride Smith, and Jonesborough Storytellers Guild members, Betty Ann Polaha and Dr. Bruce Montgomery. 

Tellabration hosts will be Jimmy Neil Smith, founder of the National Storytelling Festival and the International Storytelling Center along with David Joe Miller, professional storyteller and founder of the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.

In 1988, Stamford, Connecticut storyteller, J.G. “Paw Paw” Pinkerton created Tellabration with the vision that storytellers and story listeners across the globe would come together on the same day at the same time to tell and listen to wonderful stories.  Today Tellabration events are held all over the world during the third weekend in November.  Events encompass six continents, nine countries and forty United States. Over 300 audiences, worldwide, gather together to hear stories.  Tellabration operates under the umbrella of the National Storytelling Network based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Barbara McBride Smith is a retired librarian and seminary professor who was able to weave the role of professional storyteller into her career.  She is a veteran of the National Storytelling Festival stages, former board member of the National Storytelling Association, member of the National Storytelling Circle of Excellence and recipient of the John Henry Faulk award for outstanding contributions to storytelling.  Barbara recently made Jonesborough her home when she moved here in October.

Betty Ann Polaha and Dr. Bruce Montgomery are popular performing members of the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.  Betty Ann has been named Outstanding Storytelling Performer at East Tennessee State University and travels the country telling stories at a variety of events.  Dr. Montgomery is a professor of communications at Milligan College where he has created a strong emphasis on the storytelling arts over the past couple of decades.   

The Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, created by David Joe Miller in 1994, is the oldest performing storytelling guild in the nation and continues to offer weekly storytelling shows in downtown Jonesborough at 7 p.m. every Tuesday night at the International Storytelling Center’s Mary Martin Storytelling Theatre.   Proceeds from this year’s Tellabration will go to benefit The Storytelling Resource Place located in the old Slemmons house in Jonesborough’s Mill Spring Park.  Dr. Pamela Miller will be on hand at the event to answer questions and provide information on this new storytelling resource venture.

For more information you should contact David Joe Miller at [email protected]