published Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Ford returns for Ocoee Story Fest - Feb. 7

IF YOU GO

* What: Ocoee Story Fest.

* When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

* Where: Museum Center at Five Points, 200 Inman St., Cleveland, Tenn.

* Admission: $5 per person, $15 family maximum.

* Phone: 423-479-7887.

What do you get when you cross Appalachian folklore with African-American heritage?

"Afrilachian."

That's how nationally known storyteller Lyn Ford of Ohio describes her style of mixing folk-tale adaptations and original stories rooted in her multicultural family. She presents them in a variety of styles: call and response, choral response, rhythm, rhyme and humor.

Ford will be the featured storyteller when the Cleveland Storytelling Guild presents its 19th annual Ocoee Story Fest on Friday night, Feb. 7, in the Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland, Tenn. Ford was the guild's featured artist in 2011, and event chairwoman Judy Baker says they couldn't wait to bring her back for an encore at this family friendly event.

"We loved her so much! We knew when she left that week that we had to have her back. She had such rapport with schoolchildren and her audience. She has such wit, and her humor is gentle. She tells her stories well. She tells a wonderful variety," says Baker.

As she did on her first visit, Ford will give performances in Bradley County schools before her evening concert. This time, she will visit six elementary schools, thanks to funding from the Allied Arts Council of Cleveland-Bradley County Chamber of Commerce.

Baker says the guild averages 20-25 active members with all levels of experience from listener to regional tellers. However, none of them will be performing in this storytelling concert, only Ford.

"If anyone is new to storytelling, or isn't sure what storytelling is -- it's not reading a story from a book -- Lyn Ford's concert will make them a storytelling convert. Storytelling reaches across miles and ages," says Baker.

Ford will sign her books following the performance.

Contact Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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