Story Crossroads: The Newsletter (Vol. 2, Issue 3)

Published: Wed, 01/04/17

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

Volume 2, Issue 3
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 grassroots event that features 50 professional story artists as well as 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 inaugural Story Crossroads Festival launched April 15-16, 2016 while the second one is on April 20-21, 2017 at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT).  Then, with an invitation extended across all borders, World Story Crossroads launches 2022.  

Latest News
House Concerts - Past and Future
House Concerts images
We are going on our 11th House Concert that is part of the Story Crossroads Fundraising Series. Laurie Allen brought the Mayflower to life, inspired people to join in on their own to sing "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley," and shared the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman.  Lynn Wing shared about an awkward date that taught her life-long lessons to a story of a bug-loving charismatic man that faced memory loss.  Both Laurie and Lynn brought all emotions for the audience to experience.  We appreciate the following hosts from these past House Concerts: Mary and Devon Hokanson, and Janine Nishiguchi.

Want to come?  You are always welcome.  Want to host?  Let us connect the perfect teller for you.  Email us with questions or requests at

Next House Concert:  Friday, January 6, 2017 from 7:00pm-8:30pm
Featured Tellers:  Stephen & Teresa Gashler

Theme:  The Knight of the Cart

Join award-winning storytellers, comedians, and musicians Stephen and Teresa Gashler in their hilarious rendition of the original story of Sir Lancelot by twelfth-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes. Flaming lances, sneaky dwarves, insanely hazardous bridges, castles inhabited by beautiful maidens … this story’s got it all! Be prepared to laugh till it hurts as you’re plunged into the wonderfully paradoxical world of chivalry and courtly love.

Where:  Hedman Home, 4835 Sunset Park Lane, West Jordan, UT

RSVP:  Call/text Rachel Hedman at (801) 870-5799 or email

Suggested Donation:  $10.00+/person, though any teen or adult welcome, Books & CD's available for purchase

Details:  Refreshments served

Purpose:  This fundraiser event is held so the Story Crossroads Festival remains strong (see, can also donate online whether or not you can attend)

Too soon (or too late) to plan on January 6?  We will have another House Concert in February 2017.  Go to the Story Crossroads website for the latest details.

Free Storytelling Residencies for Adults...starting January 11th
Free Storytelling Residencies for Adults

Every year Story Crossroads offers free 8-hour residencies for the public.  The Murray Storytelling Festival, one of our feed-in festivals, also offers storytelling residencies for all ages and more can be seen at the Murray City website (  These 8-hour residencies are more in-depth training in the art of storytelling.  The Riverton and Taylorsville Senior Centers will host residences for adults aged 18-201 and gives these people a chance to be considered as one of the 80 community members who perform on the stage of the Story Crossroads Festival on April 20-21, 2017.  The first four hours focuses on story-crafting while the last four hours focuses on being performance-ready.  Participants receive a certificate and life skills that can work beyond the stage and in the home.  ​​​​​​​Spread the word...and come yourself!

Event: Free 8-hour Adult-Focused Storytelling Residency

Sponsors: Riverton Senior Center, Taylorsville Senior Center, Story Crossroads

Purpose:  After learning storytelling for four 2-hour sessions once a week, the adults will be performance-ready.  Top tellers will be chosen to tell for Story Crossroads Festival on April 20-21, 2017


Riverton Senior Center, 12914 S. Redwood Rd., Riverton, UT–Wednesdays, January 11, 18, 25 & February 1, 2017 from 1:00pm-3:00pm

Taylorsville Senior Center, 4743 S. Plymouth View Dr., Taylorsville, UT–Wednesdays/Mondays, February 22, 27 & March 1, 6, 2017 from 5:30pm-7:30pm

Featured Presenters: Robyn Bishop,Judy Stanger

Cost: Free, open to adults aged 18-201

Contact: Rachel Hedman at or call (801) 870-5799

Sensitivity Training Revelations for The Story Rhythm Project
The Story Rhythm Project (refugees)
Gerald Brown is the Assistant Director of the Utah Refugee Education and Training Center as well as the Refugee State Coordinator.  On December 3, 2016, he met with a roomful of storytellers wondering on how to build relations with the refugees.  Brown's passion and care for the people he serves was obvious even before he said he has been involved with refugees since 1981.  The following people from the Utah Storytelling Guild attended to receive sensitivity training and to brainstorm how The Story Rhythm Project could evolve:  Lynn Wing – primary contact from Story Crossroads for this project; Rachel Hedman; Jim Luter, Suzanne Hudson; Angie Lund; Steffani Raff; Paige Funk.  Thanks to Angie Lund, we have notes are here is some parts of it--

Basic goals of Utah Refugee Education and Training Center
1-Provide access to their own people
2-Create bridges to the mainstream community

Story Crossroads can create bridges with the older generations with the younger generations to connect traditions with the mainstream. 

More interesting information
-The modern refugee program began with the fall of Vietnam in 1975.
-Around 100,000 refugees come to the U.S. a year.
-70,000 – 85,000 came each of the last two years.
-110,000 are anticipated in 2017. However, the U.S. president has sole decision -making power over this, so it may change.
-Utah took 11,000 – 12,000 refugees per year, rating 23rd  among the states. Once a refugee arrives in Utah he/she is free to travel to any other place in the U.S. but 99% stay here. Usually they don’t know they can leave; but also, they loose benefits if they don’t stay where sent.
-Currently, an hourly wage of $16.00 per hour is needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Utah. Refugees do not make that much money. Refugees live in a variety of places scattered wherever low cost housing is found for them. 

The complete minutes composed by Angie Lund can be found on the Story Crossroads website under "Special Projects."  See the link below to the direct page of The Story Rhythm Project.

Early Reservations & Tickets Available for 2017 April Festival
Viridian Event Center

Want to come and be guaranteed your spot as an individual or as a group for the 2017 Story Crossroads Festival?  Of course you do!  

The next Festival is Thursday-Friday, April 20-21, 2017 at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, UT.  Tickets are only $1.00/student or senior and $3.00/adult and covers for the whole event. Children aged four and under are free though please be aware of their listening sophistication.  A group of 10 or more people also qualify as $1.00/person.  On this same page to get tickets, there is link to a simple online form with the information needed to review your request to bring a group of 10 or more people.  See the Frequently Asked Questions on bringing a group as well as other details on the Tickets page.

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

Featuring:  Billie Jones

Wife, Librarian Storyteller-in-Residence, DTM-Distinguished Toastmaster from UT

Billie Jones

Billie makes a promise to do something and always goes beyond the expected.  She was one of the first storytelling faces that welcomed me with smiles when I first moved to Utah and attended my first Utah Storytelling Guild chapter meeting. Many years later and she initiated and strengthened the relationship between Story Crossroads and Toastmasters International.  She attended every chapter of Toastmasters in the Salt Lake County area and surrounding counties to share the purpose and needs of Story Crossroads over a couple months.  I do not even know where to begin in thanks to her for that part alone.  Then she scheduled and instructed the Toastmasters on emceeing and acting as hosts so that all felt welcomed to the event.  This is no surprise as Billie has always had everyone feel welcomed on a personal and a professional level.

So enjoy the past, present, and future influences of storytelling in the life of Billie Jones.

Story Video of the Month
Story Crossroads always strives to provide quality resources for sharing the art of storytelling with others.  We are pleased to share the Teaching Story Video Series that is also part of our website under "Teaching Story" as well as under the video collection.  This one is presented by Lynn Wing on "Our Bodies, Our Expressions, Our Voice."  Another one will be added to our YouTube channel as well as the website by Karl Behling on "The Role and Responsibility of the Storyteller."  Look forward to other 3-minute videos on improving the crafting and telling of stories.
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 2nd Annual Festival is April 20-21, 2017 at the Viridian Event Center (8030 S. 1825 W., West Jordan, UT). 
Story of the Month

The Magic Fish Hook
Littlebit, from Chile
A poor old couple talked aloud one night of wanting a child, even if the child was a little bit of a thing. A voice above boomed, “You shall have the child you wish!” The couple glanced at each other and decided they must be going crazy. While scrubbing clothes the next day, the old woman felt some wriggling in her sleeve. Thinking it was a lizard, she shook her sleeve until something plopped into the water. A tiny boy called, “Mama, save me from drowning!” The woman reached for the boy and named him Littlebit. The couple, afraid someone would take the boy away from them, kept Littlebit a secret for 7 years.

Then the family faced harsh times when the couple became feeble and unable to earn much money. One day they only had 30 cents left.  The woman asked Littlebit to take 10 cents to the butcher for meat. The butcher doubted that Littlebit could carry 10 cents worth of meat. Littlebit declared not only could he carry 10 cents of meat, but that he could carry a whole steer. The butcher took the challenge, and Littlebit hefted the steer away. The meat fed the family for some time, but eventually the food ran out. The woman sent Littlebit to the bakery with five cents. The baker dared Littlebit to carry the largest basket of bread for the five cents. Littlebit accepted and the basket disappeared down the road. The woman asked Littlebit to bring back 10-cents worth of sugar and herbs. He returned with a case of sugar and a barrel of herbs on one shoulder. With the last five cents, the woman requested that Littlebit buy some onions. On the way to the farmer’s place, Littelbit found and kept a penknife. He hailed the farmer, who stood next to a grazing cow. The farmer failed to hear Littlebit. The cow swallowed Littlebit and he escaped by using the penknife to free himself from the cow.  The farmer complained that now he had to be rid of the dead cow. Littlebit offered to take the steer and the onions. The farmer laughed and made the deal for five cents. By that time, the king heard of Littlebit’s strength and invited Littlebit to sit next to the throne for always. Littlebit refused until the king promised that the old couple could come as well.
Artwork by Joanna Huffaker
Customs and Traditions of Note of Chile:
*  Avoid pointing with a hand or finger
*  Acknowledge everyone individually and by title yet never say only the first name until told you can
*  Keep your hands above the table or out of your pockets or you will look sneaky
*  One loved Chilean comedic character is roto chileno who is from the lower class and lacking schooling though full of brains and strength
*  The Andes Mountain Range, covering about 80% of the land, is a symbol of solitude that unifies and is a source of pride for the people
Story Game of the Month

Littlebit, Littlebit, what can you do?
​​​​​​​Inspired by story "Littlebit"
Geared for Ages 5+

Someone represents Littlebit by holding a pinky finger up without pointing at anyone. That person hops Littlebit (pinky) into the room/store and asks for something outrageous. A person says, “You can’t lift _____.” An example could be, “You can’t lift an elephant.” Littlebit responds, “Yes, I can. I will show you.” Then Littlebit acts out with facial expressions and body language something like the following, “I call for some monkeys, who carry rope, tie around the elephant, give me the rope, and I lift the elephant on my back.” People switch roles.

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