Winter, 2010

Still Wishing and Hoping Yet Getting Things Done

Last year at this time, I made three wishes: 1) a wish for all educators, parents and students to appreciate the value of storytelling as it relates to enhanced literacy skills and better understanding of curricula content; 2) to create a storytelling guild in my own backyard, Ventura County, California, filling a void between Los Angeles and the Central Coast, and 3) to learn how I can add more value to schools and the community with my own storytelling programming.

Well, sometimes life is full of turns and twists and our wishes can be fulfilled in unanticipated ways. The only of the three above that was fulfilled just as it was wished from the Storytelling Genie was the second. The Ventura County Storytelling Guild has been up and running for almost a year, meeting on the first Thursday of the month from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. This year, we produced our first Tellabration and hope to continue this tradition in future years (if you would like to see the CAPS filming of that show, see slotted times below for the week of January 4th). If you would like to participate by either sharing a story and/or listening, please join us. To kick off our January meeting on January 7th, I will be giving a “sampling” of my Adult Education Course entitled “Cinematic Storytelling.” Please go to if you are interested in taking the course in its entirety.

The visibility of storytelling in the Ventura community is getting a huge jumpstart this year. Starting January 10th, and resuming thereafter the second Sunday of the month from 4-6 p.m., on a quarterly basis, will be the Ventura Village Voices Adult Storytelling Series. I’m truly excited about this offering which will highlight some of Southern California’s top storytellers. For the January show, we will be honoring Martin Luther King’s Birthday with performances by LA Storytellers Michael D. McCarty and Ina Buckner-Barnette. You don’t want to miss this! The performances will be held at the Improv Theatre located at The Livery at 34 N. Palm Street, Ventura. Cost is $10 at the door.

In April, Ventura will be host to the 27th Annual Southern California Storytelling Swap. Storytellers from Ventura to San Diego will come together on April 17th to swap stories, participate in workshops and perform. An add-on bonus will be a select performance for the Artwalk. The Swap will be held at the Dudley House ( with registration beginning at 9 a.m. The program will go from 10-4:30 with lunch. Cost is $20 prior to April 1st and $25 after. The event is open to the public. Please write me at if you would like to register. The add-on Artwalk performance will be held at the City Hall Atrium at the end of California Street from 7:30p.m.-9 p.m.

And if that weren’t enough, you don’t want to miss the National Storytelling Conference, this year being held in Los Angeles! For more information, visit:

Although it has been a challenging economic year for performers everywhere, I continue to consider myself blessed beyond what financial returns offer, as I meet new members of my “tribe” and continue to participate in the creative process. Below, is a summary of some of my upcoming personal professional blessings:

January 15th - Performance at Woodburn School for the Fine and Communicative Arts (Falls Church, VA), a part of the Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program;

• February 14th - Ventura Vaudeville Valentine’s Day Show, Improv Theatre, The Livery, 34 N. Palm, Ventura. 4-6 p.m.

• March 15th - Workshop on Leadership and Storytelling for Ventura County Office of Education Leadership Team;

• March 23rd - Taylor School performance, Santa Maria, CA

• April 11th - Ventura Village Voices Adult Storytelling Series performance (with Steve Henegar), Improv Theatre, The Livery, 34 N. Palm Street, Ventura. 4-6 p.m.

• April 30th - Ojai Storytelling Festival, Local Showcase, 4 p.m., Art Center, Ojai

And stay tuned to my website for future public events/performances:

Wednesday, January 6th at 3:00pm
Saturday, January 9th at 8:00am

Elaine Muray

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