2016 Corn Island Storytelling Festival. Illustration by Ross Bradley

The University of Louisville, Blackacre State Nature Preserve & Historic Homestead, and the International Order of E.A.R.S. will present the Corn Island Storytelling Festival Oct. 21-22.

Named after Louisville’s first settlement, the Corn Island Storytelling Festival was a nationally-known autumn fixture that drew thousands of fans for three decades before ending its run in 2007. This will be the sixth year that UofL and the Corn Island organizers have partnered on the event. Blackacre joined the event last year.

Additional sponsors include Louisville Metro Government and Kentucky Homefront.

Storytellers and musicians for the weekend include:

  • The Juggerloos, a local jug band that uses a mix of early jazz and ragtime tunes mixed with a few modern covers.
  • Leigh Ann Yost, storyteller and songwriter in Louisville.
  • Graham Shelby, writer and professional storyteller. He’s performed in hundreds of venues including Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Texas Storytelling Festival and the Moth Mainstage in New York City.
  • Roberta Simpson Brown, “The Queen of Cold-Blooded Tales,” a paranormal investigator and author of more than a dozen books and tapes of ghost stories.

Details for each day of the festival are below:

Friday, Oct. 21

Storytelling begins at 7:30 p.m. with a mix of family-friendly stories and spooky tales in the George J. Howe Red Barn, Belknap Campus. Col. Bob Thompson, storyteller and writer for the Kentucky Homefront radio program, will be the master of ceremonies.

Organizers will also host a series of storytelling and music workshops during the afternoon on Oct. 21. Workshops will be held in the Swain Student Activities Center, rooms 312 and 314. Paid parking is available in the Floyd Street Parking Garage. 

1-2 p.m.: (Choose 1)

Leigh Ann Yost: “Stories are songs, songs are stories.” An hour into the heart of the stories behind the songs of one of Louisvilles best performers.

Juggerloos Jug Band: A short history of Jug Band music,” in Louisville and the nation, from its origins on the riverboats of the 19th century to its modern day practitioners.

2:15-3:15 p.m. (Choose 1)

John Gage: “Hope and health through stories and music.” A lifetime of wisdom, spirit and song from one of Louisville’s most beloved performers and teachers of all time.

Roberta Brown: “The Queen of Cold Blooded Tales,” a prolific, nationally-known author and storyteller shares the method behind her obvious madness.

All Friday events are free but registration is required and can be done online, as space is limited.

Saturday, Oct. 22

Storytelling will be held at Blackacre State Nature Preserve & Historic Homestead, 3200 Tucker Station Rd. Kids activities including face painting will begin at 6 p.m. and storytelling begins at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s events are $7 for adults and $3 for children and tickets may be purchased onsite.

For more information on this event, contact Bob Thompson, 502-553-2406.