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Art of the Story: Annual Storytelling Festival

2017 WCCLS Art of the Story Festival - April 1-8, 2017 - Save the Date!

Everyone will be hearing voices of inspiration, history and humor at the Washington County libraries’ 13th annual Art of the Story festival. All shows will be designed for adults - with a few also open to children ages 6+. Admission is FREE to the week-long festival and venues will be countywide.
Festival updates will be posted to this page as they become available.

Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) is pleased to host the 12th Annual Storytelling Festival — Art of the Story, April 2-9.

The week-long storytelling extravaganza features twelve unique storytelling performances throughout Washington County. See the schedule of events.

Featured performers in the 2016 festival include - Val Mallinson Amy Theberge, Tom Swearingen, Patrick Ball, and Kevin Kling. Local Story Slam contestants Steve Taylor, Warren McPherson, Frances Hunter, and Chuck McConnell will compete on Saturday, April 2, at the Beaverton City Library.

Admission is always free and all festival performances are designed for the enjoyment of adults. In addition, the performance schedule will indicate specific programs that also welcome children ages 6 and up.

On the evening of Saturday, April 9, the Garden Home Community Library will host the Festival Finale, featuring performances by storytellers Theberge, Swearingen, Ball, and King, as well as the winner of the festival Story Slam contest. A reception preceding the Finale will offer complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres.

Please call 503-846-3222 no less than 3 business days prior to an event to schedule assistive listening devices or sign language interpreters.


Pamplin Media GroupFriends of the LibraryRegional Arts & Culture Council WCCLSCourtyard Marriott Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course Walters Cultural Arts Center Richard B Schneider, LLC Recology Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District Portland Storytellers' GuildStash

Festival Schedule

Unless otherwise noted, programs are 1 hour long.

Directions to Festival Venues (PDF)

Jump to events on:
Saturday, April 2 · Monday, April 4 · Tuesday, April 5 · Wednesday, April 6 · Thursday, April 7 · Friday, April 8 · Saturday, April 9

Saturday, April 2

Beaverton City Library: 7-8:30 pm

12375 SW Fifth St, Beaverton, OR 97005

Story Slam Contest: Festival Kick-off (Adult program)

This Story Slam Contest is a competition within a set time limit, placing emphasis on a storytellers content and performance. This contest features Steve Taylor, Warren McPherson, Frances Hunter, and Chuck McConnell. Each story must be an original work. First person, real life adventures are expected. Fiction, folktale/myths are not allowed. The four tellers each have 10 minutes to tell their story from memory. This Slam is judged by the audience! The winner receives a cash prize and the opportunity to tell a story at the Festival Finale April 9 at the Garden Home Community Library.

Monday, April 4

West Slope Community Library: 6:30 pm

at Raleigh Park Elementary School, 3670 SW 78th Ave, Portland 97225

Tom Swearingen: It Happened Out West (Adults & Children ages 6+)

A cowboy poet’s reflections and observations (and maybe a fabrication or two) spurred by people, places, and ponies encountered in the American West.

Tuesday, April 5

Hillsboro Public Library: 7 pm

at Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 East Main St, Hillsboro 97123

Tom Swearingen: Horsin' Around (Adult program)

Things seen, heard, and experienced while in the saddle provides plenty of material for these stories told in the rhythm and rhyme of cowboy poetry.

Wednesday, April 6

Forest Grove City Library: 7 pm

2114 Pacific Ave, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Patrick Ball: The Fine Beauty of the Island (Adult program)

A musical journey to the legendary Blasket Islands in County Kerry, Ireland in search of the origin and meaning of a mystical Irish melody.

Sherwood Public Library: 7 pm

at the Sherwood Center for the Arts, 22689 SW Pine St, Sherwood, OR 97140

Kevin Kling: Chicken Soup for the Chicken (Adult program)

People have always used stories to cope with an unpredictable world. We give our lives meaning through our challenges and these experiences often make the most powerful stories. When dealing with loss I also find that humor can be the best way to connect with each other.

Thursday, April 7

Banks Public Library: 7 pm

at the Banks City Hall, 13690 NW Main St, Banks, OR 97106

Kevin Kling: Holiday Inn (Adults & Children ages 6+)

Humorous and heartfelt stories from holidays, including Halloween, Christmas, Mother's Day and Fourth of July. Stir in a few Uncles and aunts, a pesky brother, nuns and a squirrel monkey and you've got the perfect recipe for disaster and redemption.

Tualatin Public Library: 7 pm

18878 SW Martinazzi Ave, Tualatin, OR 97062

Val Mallinson: My 15 minutes of Fame (Adult program)

True tales of wonder and woe from my glamorous, fast-paced life as an advertising copywriter.

Amy Theberge: Amy Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Adult program)

Curious tales about how I survived childhood, summer camp, college and everything in between with a large cheerleading section of lunatics.

Friday, April 8

Cedar Mill Community Library: 6:30 pm

12505 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97229

Patrick Ball: The Wit and Wonder of Irish Storytelling (Adults & children ages 6+)

With his legendary, brass strung Celtic harp Patrick tells the tales that made the Irish oral tradition celebrated throughout the ages.

North Plains Public Library: 7 pm

at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, 12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Rd, North Plains, OR 97133

Kevin Kling: Walkin' Shoes (Adult program)

Buses, cars, boxcars, planes, boats, and feet are a few of the ways we traverse this amazing planet. Hit the road for adventure, daring escapes and a love affair with landscape. 'There's the trip you plan and then there's the trip you take'. These stories from the road are why "I’ve learned to kindly rely on the strangeness of others."

Saturday, April 9

Aloha Community Library: 11 am

17455 SW Farmington Rd. Suite 26-A, Aloha, OR, 97007

Val Mallinson: Daring Dachshund Adventure Tales! (Adult program)

Mallinson tells totally true stories about living and traveling with her silly little ‘hot dog’ dogs. Happy Tails and Happy Trails!

Amy Theberge: Amy Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Adult program)

Curious tales about how I survived childhood, summer camp, college and everything in between with a large cheerleading section of lunatics.

Festival Finale

Garden Home Community Library: 7–9 pm

at THPRD Garden Home Recreation Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd, Portland, OR 97223

6:30 - 7 pm: Reception - Complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres

7 - 9 pm: Finale Concert (Adult program)


  • Story Slam: Winner of the Festival Story Slam tells.
  • Amy Theberge: Oops I Did it Again. A cautionary tale about how it's hard to keep friends if you cut off their fingers, or your own.
  • Tom Swearingen: Rhyme 'Em Cowboy! Tales from a Poet Lariat.
  • Patrick Ball: The Auld Tales of Ireland. "When little birds made their nests in old men's beards."
  • Kevin Kling: Lost and Found. Born with a congenital disability with his left arm and losing the use of his right arm in a motorcycle accident, Kevin has found humor and healing through stories. Using humor, myth and personal tales he explores how we find ourselves through our losses. Oh yeah, and it’s really funny.