Greater Easley and Powdersville News


Date ArticleType
9/27/2017 Press Release
Friends of the Anderson Library Announce Storytellers!


Bethany Hacker
Marketing and Communications Manager
864-260-4500 x107

Friends of the Anderson Library Announce Storytellers!
13th Annual Storytellers Festival is October 15-19

(ANDERSON, SC, September 19, 2017)  The Friends of the Anderson County Library, in cooperation with Anderson University, is again working on bringing the art of the story to the community!  The 13th Annual Starburst Storytellers Festival will be held October 13 through the 19th with performances each day at the main Library and at schools across the county.

Each year the Starburst Storytellers’ Festival features award-winning tellers from around the country. During the day tellers perform at schools throughout Anderson County, with a teller-in-residence at Anderson University performing for students bused from Anderson School District Five to on-campus venues, assisted by members of the university’s Teaching Fellows Program. At night, the tellers perform at the Anderson County Library, located at 300 N. McDuffie St. in downtown Anderson.

For its 13th season, the Festival will feature a living history performer along with the more traditional storytellers.  The Festival will open at 3pm on Oct. 15 with Bessie Cole: A Living Portrait.  Gwendolyn Napier’s first person presentation of Bessie Coleman brings the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license in the U.S. to life.  Belton Honea Path High School ROTC aviation history students and others will see the show performed Monday morning in their auditorium.  Gwendolyn’s mother would tell her stories for hours about her childhood, family and life. Inspired by her, Gwen would constantly ask, “How do you tell stories?” Mother Jackson would reply, “Storytelling comes from the Heart, just be yourself.” The wisdom from her mother, life experiences, and professional training made her realize that everyone has a story to share and there are always others who love to listen.

Chetter Galloway first experienced the power of storytelling at Colonial Williamsburg. He honed his craft at East Tennessee State University in their Masters of Storytelling Program.  Today, Chetter finds story fodder in his life - the times where he goofed up, made a huge mistake, or simply acted out of character.  Lessons learned, overcoming adversity, and finding courage are his stock in trade.  Breaking Bread with a Sharp Slice of Chetter will be performed Monday evening, October 16th at 7pm.  Chetter also has the honor of being the Storyteller-in-Residence at Anderson University for the week of the Festival. 

Kerry Grombacher, a Festival favorite of the past, will be returning this year on October 17th at 7pm with his Songs and Stories of the West.  Kerry plays guitar and mandolin and writes and performs contemporary folk and western songs. In the spirit of the troubadours of old, he paints vivid portraits and tells fascinating stories that are set in the landscape where he’s worked and toured, from his home on New Orleans’ Bayou St. John to the desert Southwest, and up to Montana and the Northwest forests.  During the day, Kerry will be at schools giving away his secrets – how he creates a song and how he makes stories from his experiences come to life.

On Wednesday, October 18 at 7pm, Josie Baily will host The Great Anderson County Poetry Contest, an interactive poetry recitation contest between staff and neighbors, with the audience as judge (and jury!).  Josie is an old hand at entertaining school children, after all, she talks to animals. And they talk back! Her affinity for the young inspires her storytelling and will show through as she visits schools in the County during the week.  With her presentations and narratives, Josie takes her audiences on imaginative journeys to reach new insights and understanding. 

The local Clemson Area Storyteller’s Guild will close out the Festival on October 19th at 7pm.  Moderated by Judy Seeley, four of the Guild’s members will tell a tale. All of the library performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact at 864-260-4500.

The Storytellers Festival is a program of the Friends of the Anderson County Library, in partnership with the Anderson County Library System, and Anderson University.  The Friends of the Anderson County Library is grateful to AnMed Health Carolina Cardiology, AnMed Health Family Medicine Residency, The Peoples Bank, Wells Fargo, Kay McKee, Marian Moorhead, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Stone, and Caroline Tolbert for their support of the 13th Starburst Storytellers. The Friends also appreciate the help of the Anderson University Teaching Fellows Program, the support from Anderson School Districts 2 and 4 for this outreach, and the assistance of Friends board members and supporters in making the tellers’ visit to Anderson an enjoyable one.

The Anderson County Library System serves more than 190,000 county residents of all ages and includes the main library in the city of Anderson, eight branches located throughout the county, and a bookmobile. The System’s staff and board are committed to freedom of access for all, offering a forum for ideas. For more information, visit