Willa Brigham


Jonesborough International Storytelling Festival a 20 Year Journey

Posted by on Nov 24, 2018

To say I was delighted to be invited to the 2018 Jonesborough International Storytelling Festival to perform on the Exchange Place Stage would be a woeful understatement.

I remember my first adventure to Jonesborough in 1998. I had the good fortune to attend the festival with Cissy Griffin, a long time festival attendee from Florida who I met at the airport. She was a veteran of many Jonesborough Festivals and a wonderful tour guide for such a nubee as me. I met Ed Stivender, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Dr Rex Ellis and Doug Elliott. They were as friendly and welcoming as your next door neighbor. Perhaps my favorite teller that day, was Diane Ferlatte. I was blown away by her charismatic personality and her magical storytelling.

I knew that weekend that I wanted to tell on the stage in Jonesborough one day.

Twenty years later with many of those years as a volunteer at the Festival, my invitation arrived. My first thought was, “what took you so long” but my mouth said, “boom boom buggie wuggie, boom boom hot dog!!

Standing on stage in front of almost 2,000 festival attendees listening to me tell MY HAT STORY was AWESOME, FABULOUS, PHENOMENAL and just plain wonderful!

Thank you Jonesborough International Storytelling Festival, because of you I can put one more check on my bucket list. I felt like a 20 year overnight success!