You'll giggle, cheer and maybe even cry when six area storytellers compete for the coveted title, Island Tales Story Champion.
The stakes are high. Audience members at the Friends of the Library (FOL) fundraiser will vote with cash for their favorite stories. Proceeds will help purchase furniture and equipment for the bigger, better Fernandina Beach Library that will open next year.
Competing for Championship bragging rights are: Arlene Filkoff, educator, actress and former Fernandina Beach Mayor; author and multi-talented theater pro, Ron Kurtz; Amelia River Cruises captain and yarn-spinner-in-chief, Kevin McCarthy; Abel Rae, a farm and animal lover with storytelling deep ‘in her genes’; and Yvette Thomas, founder of the North Side Storytellers League who peppers her tales with onomatopoeia sound effects.
Caren S. Neile, Ph.D., MFA, who teaches storytelling studies at Florida Atlantic University, is helping organize the event and will serve as Master of Ceremonies thanks to a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division on Cultural Affairs. Dr. Neile has performed, lectured and written about storytelling throughout the U.S. and abroad, including as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Jerusalem and Vienna.
“We’re delighted to have such great participation and impressive talent in this first-ever event,” says Dee Torre, FOL campaign chair. “Stories and libraries are such a natural fit.” The Slam was suggested as a fundraiser for the library by FOL supporter, Jennifer Harrison, who’s seen them in other parts of the world. “The idea quickly took off and we’re now thinking it could grow into an annual event,” Torre said.
The program will follow a ticketed reception at 5:30 p.m. with Island themed delights from Lulu’s, a generous wine pour by Wines by Steve, and a cash bar. The storytellers take to the stage at 7:00 pm to entertain you and earn your cash votes. Tickets for votes will be on sale the night of the event.
Advance tickets for the reception and Slam at $50 pp are for sale at the Fernandina Beach Library, 25 N. 4th St.; Amelia Island Museum of History, 233 S. 3rd St.; and on-line at fernandinaFOL.org (click on ‘what’s new,’ ‘events’, then ‘Donate Now’).
Co-sponsors are the Amelia Island Museum of History and the Florida Humanities Council. A limited number of free tickets for the program only (doors open at 6:45p.m.) are available at the library.