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August News

August 2017 Newsletter

Helpful Thoughts on Using A “New” Technology

The most recent issue of Storytelling Magazine (a publication of the National Storytelling Network) has a section devoted to different perspectives on the use of Audio- and Video- conferencing in relation to the art of storytelling.  Thru eleven contributions, the section explores different aspects of the use of the technology and notes the limits, as well as the possibilities of such technology in reaching out to others.

I confess: as I opened the issue, I immediately felt that such technology was not only not appropriate for me, but not appropriate for our art form. Yet, as I read the various contributions – especially those about events that successfully used these technologies — my eyes were opened to potentials that I had not imagined before.  In fact, I would describe the section as a chance to reflect on something I had not considered and to feel my eyes were opened.  The section is worth reading just to hear the various points of view, both pro and con.  I strongly suggest each member of PSG take the time to read them and at least be aware of what others are doing – if not artistically, at least in an educational mode.

In addition, the recent issue has many other articles, including two retold stories, and a couple of very insightful ‘how-to’ contributions. Plus lots of other news and information. Well worth getting!

Storytelling Magazine is one of the benefits of membership in the National Storytelling Network. To become a member, visit: 

Members of the Portland Storytellers’ Guild get a 10% discount on the membership fee. (I am sending an updated list of members – as of 7/1/17 to NSN, so all members can ask for the discount.)

— Eric L. Foxman, President PSG

Portland Storytellers’ Guilds Annual Meeting

It’s That Time of Year Again

Sunday, August 6, 2017 1:00 pm.

Multnomah Village Lucky Labrador Brewing Company  (across from the Multnomah Art Center)  7675 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR  97219

Yes, the Portland Storytellers’ Guild will hold its 2017 Members Annual Meeting in just a couple of weeks.  And we need one piece of information for our members: Will you be attending?

The meeting will be on Sunday, August 6 beginning at 1pm upstairs in the Lucky Lab across from Multnomah Arts Center (7675 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219).  The Guild will cater a meal in the Lucky Lab – so we need a head count (that’s why we need to hear if you will be present). After sharing a meal together, we’ll hear a few updates on how the Guild has been doing, and then talk about the exciting move to Clinton Street Theater; there’s our new Board constellation to introduce as well as a few new member benefits.

And of course, we’ll have ice cream cake to share while we celebrate going into our 32nd year of storytelling in Portland!

Mark your calendars and plan to join your fellow storytelling enthusiasts for a wonderful afternoon together.

If you have not already done so (either thru a board member or directly).

Please let Eric know if you will be attending:  email:, or phone: 503-659-2715.

“From One Stage to Another” – 32 Years Later

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Clinton Street Theater    2522 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR  97202

Ken Iverson looked around the room that day in 1985 and had a vision.

“We were eight storytellers,” Iverson remembers,”wanting to band together, maybe form a club to help one another grow and share stories and provide a way for others to become tellers. I thought why not a guild?  Haven’t guilds always provided opportunities for newcomers to learn a craft or ply a trade?”

That’s how the Portland Storytellers Guild came to be. Now, 32 years later, when the Guild moves into its new performance space at the Clinton Street Theater, Saturday evening, September 2, one of the three opening night headliners will be … Ken Iverson.

“From One Stage to Another” brings Iverson, the last of those first eight still active in Portland’s contemporary storytelling renaissance, together with two Guild regulars who have benefitted from his vision — Brianna Barrett, named Portland Storyteller of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 in a newspaper poll, and Julie Strozyk, a medievalist who has been honored by the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Another hallmark of the Portland Storytellers Guild will be on display on opening night at the Clinton Street Theater — versatility. The three storytellers draw audiences in with different approaches, reflecting the Guild’s commitment to support and present all manner of stories from life experiences to folk tales and everything in between.

Strozyk traces her love of the spoken word to her days as a schoolgirl when she made up stories to delight her classmates. After a short stint teaching and working in telecommunications, she picked up her storytelling habit again as a bard in a medieval recreation group. She enjoys traditional, historical, and personal tales that touch the heart and “give it a little squeeze,” along with poetry, music and all things beautiful.

Barrett is a playwright, filmmaker, performer, cancer survivor, and punch-card-carrying regular at every locally owned teashop in Portland. A regular with Affable Gentlemen Storytelling, she has also appeared in The Yarn, and Imagine Live at the Pickathon Music Festival.

And then there is Iverson, an Oregon City resident who maintains a busy schedule appearing at story festivals, schools, libraries and bistros, drawing from his diverse repertoire. “I love performing with friends, having fun, moving people, and still hope my stories may inspire others to find their voice,” he says. “The Guild is doing that better now than at any time in the past. We constantly hear from new people that we provided a safe place for them to tell their first story in a public setting.”

Until now, that has happened in workshops throughout the year as well as at the Guild’s monthly “story swaps” at the Multnomah Arts Center, but in another new twist starting with the September 2 show at the Clinton Street Theater, one volunteer from the audience will be given a chance to tell a five-minute story from the stage.

Community, and Regional Events

Sellwood Storytelling Show

Sunday, August 13, 2017 – 1:00 – 1:45 pm

Sellwood-Moreland Library   7860 SE 13 Ave, Portland, OR  97202

Join us every 2nd Sunday for stories, songs and fun led by The Oregon Tellers, Sellwood’s own Anne Rutherford and Norm Brecke. This month’s theme is “Campfire Tales!”  Come listen, learn, laugh, and leave with a story to tell.  Limited seating: pick up your free ticket starting at 12:30 pm at the library reference desk.

Tales from the Outside In

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 – 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Walters Cultural Art Center   527 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR  97123

Storytellers Northwest (Anne Rutherford & Norm Brecke) kick off the Spoken Word series at the Walters Art Center with a set of stories & songs performed “al fresco.” Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy outside storytelling on a summer evening.

Stories on Tap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – 7:00 – 9:00 pm

13 Virtues Brewing Company  6410 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR  97202

Storytelling open mic, hosted by Anne Rutherford & Norm Brecke (who also tell a tale as part of the fun). Free, open to the public, come listen or share a story you’d like to tell. This month’s theme is: “Vacation Detours” (Monthly show every 3rd Weds)

News of Note

National Storytelling Network

We encourage all of our Guild members to also join the National Storytelling Network. As a member of NSN, you are connected with storytelling on the national scene, networked with storytellers who share your interests across the country, and supported in many ways on your storytelling journey. Your membership strengthens the national movement of advocacy for wider recognition of storytelling as a diverse and independent performing art. As a member of PSG, you are entitled to a 10% discount on your individual membership.  For more information

Meanwhile, don’t forget, if you’re in need of a good storyteller, be sure to check out the Portland Storytellers’ website at

Storytelling Events or Articles

Do you have news or events to publicize in the Portland Storyteller’s Guild Newsletter?  Please email your information to Margaret Eng by the 20th of the month at

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” -Joan Didion

Portland Storytellers Guild

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