Celebrate the art of storytelling

Arts and CultureCultureArtFamilyMiami Art Museum

MIAMI -- Once upon a time, there was a storytelling workshop and festival hosted by Miami-Dade County Libraries. All of the adults and children of the land could attend and learn the art of weaving words and the importance of tales in culture.This year, guests will come from far, far away, including a group from Rio de Janeiro says Lucrece Louisdhon-Louinis, assistant director for programming and outreach.

"Our international guests will be telling stories and teaching how to make it jazzy," Louisdhon-Louinis says.

Library employees, teachers and anyone interested in perfecting their verbal creations are invited to attend a three-day workshop, May 17–19, to master the skill of storytelling. Six library branches will train children ages 8 to 10 in storytelling. The children will then be featured at the International Storytelling Festival on May 20.

"When you bring children, they tell whatever they want to tell, and we can't force a child to tell a story," Louisdhon-Louinis says. "Kids and teens have to feel free to chose something they like because if they don't enjoy, the audience won't either."

The Family Festival Day features performances highlighting cultures from around the globe, puppet shows, a children's corner and stories. "It is a big to-do with a huge lineup of people," Louisdhon-Louinis says. "There are tellers from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. At the children's corner, watch for appearances from PBS kids' characters Maya and Miguel and Clifford the Big Red Dog, crafts, and face-painting.

Parents should bring a camera for photos with the characters. The Junkanoos, a West Indian Carnivale Group, also will perform.

The Art of Storytelling Workshop is being offered at several branches. Visit www.mdpls.org for more. The International Storytelling Festival is May 20, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Plaza, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. The event is hosted in conjunction with the Miami Art Museum and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, which will also host events that day.

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