Story Crossroads: The Newsletter (Vol. 1, Issue 7)

Published: Thu, 01/07/16

Story Crossroads: The Newsletter
I have a story.  You have a story.  We all have stories.

December 2015
Volume 1, Issue 7
What to Expect
Know the traditions for each newsletter.
Steve Evans picture

Some traditions include:
*  Latest News of Story Crossroads
*  Cap's Off to You! (people profiles who use story)
*  Story Video (created or loved by us)
*  Story
*  Story Game (inspired by different cultures)

About Story Crossroads
What is Story Crossroads?
Steve Evans picture
Story Crossroads is a free grassroots event that features 50 professional story artists as well as over 80 community members telling for the main stage event.  Youth, community, and seniors will be taught through free storytelling residencies at libraries, schools, and other venues by certified story-teachers in preparation for this celebration.  Bilingual and cultural performers combine arts to bring the stories forward for the audience.  Enjoy stories told with ancient technique while simultaneously enjoying newfangled approaches to these traditions.  The 1st Story Crossroads launches April 15-16, 2016 at the Viridian Event Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Then, with an invitation extended across all borders, World Story Crossroads launches 2022.  

Latest News
Celebration of 1st of the House Concert Fundraising Series
Julie Barnson
We kicked off the first of many house concerts through the Story Crossroads fundraising series. We were pleased to have Julie Barnson share "A Haunted Victorian Christmas" on Friday, December 11, 2015.

This first house concert was perfect in every way.  Jim Luter and John Adams were perfect hosts.  Julie Barnson was perfect in sharing the Victorian ghost stories.  The audience was perfect and receptive to the experience.

No one had heard of Story Crossroads except for the hosts, the storyteller, and myself.  Almost of these people had heard of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.  Rachel Hedman explained the idea and influences of Story Crossroads.  Many attendees smiled, nodded, or gave expressions of “oh!” that proved the excitement for the April festival.  Eighteen people came, and having at least fifteen people would have already deemed the event a success.  Considering the holiday season, that size was even more impressive.

Julie dressed in Victorian Christmas garb and helped with the overall mood and ambiance for the performance.  Julie shared three chilling and spine-tingling pieces though the audience gave the longest applause to her telling of "The Ash Tree."  The details were exquisite and images developed were enough to feel like we had transported into the Victorian era.

Next House Concert:  Friday, February 12th at 7:00pm
Details to be announced soon on Story Crossroads website

Interested in being a host?  Like to perform for an hour of speciality and polished story material at a house concert?  Like to know about the next house concert to enjoy?  Email
Free Community Events Finally Approaching
Story Crossroads with Free Concerts & Workshops for All Ages
Salt Lake County Library Services is pleased to announce free storytelling workshops that will provide basic and in-depth storytelling skills to teens, seniors, individuals and families. Once participants have completed the orientation workshop they are invited to attend two residencies and then celebrate what they’ve learned at a festival in April. Free on-site child care will be provided during the residencies.

“Before books and technology, people shared history and dreams through stories. Storytellers are able to unite communities and bridge gaps of experience and perspective by creating spaces apart from strife and filled with adventure and wonder,” said Liesl Seborg, senior librarian for Salt Lake County Library Services. “When I connect to a story masterfully told, I am changed, inspired or entertained. I eagerly await my next opportunity to experience a tale.”

Concerts, workshops and residencies begin in January and will be held at various Salt Lake County Library branches. Times and locations are detailed at and   

Please help spread the word.

The fliers/posters can all be found at this link:  They can be downloaded, shared on social media, etc.
Congrats to Invited Professional Story Artists & Thanks to NSOUL
Baba Jamal Koram

We are pleased that soon our 2016 professional story artists will be featured on the Story Crossroads website.  Congratulation letters have been sent during the Christmas and New Year's time.  So many amazing applications and videos had been submitted that 2016 featured spots and some of the 2017 featured spots have been determined.

Story Crossroads has partnered with the Nubian Storytellers of Utah Leadership (NSOUL) so as to bring Baba Jamal Koram to perform alongside Christopher Agostino and Joseph Sobol as our main story artists.

Cap's Off to You
Celebrating your way of using story

Featuring:  Julie Jensen

Mom, Volunteer & Storyteller from UT​

Julie Jensen

Julie Jensen brings her whole family to the art of storytelling.  Her children see how much she delights in crafting a tale, and this example lights the way for them.   Some of her youth have told stories before audiences or even to help train up-and-coming story coaches.  One time, she and her children told an impromptu story about aluminum cans and the great debate of stomping with feet or using the can crusher.  This normal chore became a laughing fest for those who listened that day.  I can imagine the fun stories shared around the Jensen kitchen table.

So enjoy the past, present, and future influences of storytelling in Julie’s life...

Story Video of the Month
We are launching the free community storytelling concerts and residencies.  This 45-second film explores why we are excited for these events as well as the culminating April Festival.  Kick-off events are January 11th, 13th, and 14th with the residencies starting January 16th and on through February 20th.

This video was created by Etched in Stone Productions headed by Sterling Elliott and assisted by Alex Aguila and Westin Cross.
If you or someone you know has a story video that you want us to see, then let us know about it and email us a link to it.  Who knows?  Perhaps we will be inspired to invite you to one of our Story Crossroads event?   Remember that our launch is April 15-16, 2016 at the Viridian Event Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

N'oun Doare'
N'oun Doare', from Celts
A chieftain named Bras traveled home after buying a plough-horse when he heard a cry from a bush. He found a 5-year-old boy shaking from the cold and whimpering in his sleep. The chieftain questioned the boy regarding his father, mother, where he came from, and his name. Each time the boy answered, “I don’t know”. Bras declared that the boy would be known as “I don’t know” or “N’oun Doaré” until he earned a different name. As the chieftain and his wife, Anvab, had no children, they adopted the boy after first asking throughout the surrounding five kingdoms if anyone was missing a child.

When the boy turned 17, Bras swore before his people that N’oun Doaré as his heir. Bras took the boy to the best blacksmith to have a sword fashioned for him.  The young man passed by all the well-crafted swords, and chose a rusty iron sword from among a pile of scrap metal. Bras offered to provide the young man with a horse. Once again, N’oun Doaré walked past the purebred horses and chose a ragged and skinny mare. He discovered that the sword cut through anything and that the horse teleports. When riding the horse, he came upon the same place he was found as a child. At the foot of a stone lay a crown. N’oun Doaré picked up the crown and heard a voice say he must go to Vannes. The crown belonged to a princess and the young man accepted a quest to rescue this princess so that so a king could marry her. While on the journey, the horse told N’oun Doaré to save a fish, a kestrel, and a snake-man-with-horns. N’oun Doaré obeyed. The young man tricked the princess on the back of the horse and transported the princess to the king. However, the princess demanded that she wear a certain ring before the wedding. N’oun Doaré remembered that the princess had tossed the ring of the castle into the sea during the teleportation. The kestrel summoned all the birds and one bird small enough fit in the keyhole and brought the ring. The princess then requested to have her castle. The snake-man transported the castle. The princess asked for the key to the castle. The fish swam and recovered the key. At this point, N’oun Doaré’s mare rushed into the castle, ate the hay inside, and transformed into a girl. The mare-turned-girl offered to tell N’oun Doaré everything about his past including his birth parents. The young man passed on this chance and instead remained with Bras and Anvab.
Artwork by Joanna Huffaker
Customs and Traditions of Note with Celtic Culture:
*  Celts were nomadic tribes with their own kings and rulers as opposed to having one empire or country (covering areas of Western Asia, Middle East, and much of Europe) and the Celts had such a reputation that even the Romans paid 1,000 pounds of gold to the Celts to leave Rome alone
*  Known as the first Ancients to domesticate the horse and use them for all sorts of labor and entertainment 20,000 years ago
*  Each tribe had its own "Barb"/storyteller and the oral tradition preserved all information due to evidence pointing to this being a non-literate society
*  "Amongst the Celts the human head was venerated above all else, since the head was to the Celt the soul, centre of the emotions as well as of life itself, a symbol of divinity and of the powers of the other-world." -Paul Jacobsthal, author of Early Celtic Art 
*  Hair was the source of strength and was grown long as a result.  Loose hairs would be burned.  Yet a bald man could walk the earth after death.

Story Game of the Month

"I Don't Know" Game
Inspired by N’oun Doaré story
Geared for Ages 5+
“N’oun Doaré” means “I don’t know” and that is what the boy responded with when asked for his name. This idea can be applied to telling a story. Sometimes the answer is not in front of us when creating a story on the spot. This game involves a storyteller and one or more people as questioners. As someone tells a story, any one of the questioners can interrupt the story and ask more about a moment in the story. For example, if the storyteller said, “The boy rode on the horse through some woods.” Someone might ask, “What was the name of the woods?” The storyteller has two choices. Either the storyteller might answer the question or turn the question by saying, “I don’t know. What do you think?” Continue the story.
Most pictures are taken by Steve Evans, our official photographer.  He is a photojournalist that travels the world.  He generously granted Story Crossroads permission to use his pictures.  You can find all of his images here:
Utah Storytelling Guild
Until we tell again,

Story Crossroads

(801) 870-5799

PO Box 274
West Jordan, UT  84084