Double Decker Storyfest returns to Van Buren House

Published 10:57 am Friday, April 19, 2024

The Double Decker Storyfest returns April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the grounds of the Van Buren House across the street from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Hosted by St. Peter’s Telling, storytellers will be joined by Mississippi Humanities Council scholars Diane Williams, storyteller, and Jerry Jenkins, drummer. Dr. John Daigle and Mariamne Young will provide music to augment the telling. Bring a lawn chair and all the family.

The event is free and open to everyone.

Email newsletter signup

Featured Mississippi Humanities scholar Diane Williams calls herself a “narratologist.” She is a professional performing artist/storyteller, teaching artist, author, poet and mixed-media fiber artist whose tapestries often tell stories. A storyteller for over 30 years, she has traveled internationally and nationally sharing and teaching storytelling.

She is the former board chair for the National Storytelling Network and former board member and Life Member of the National Association of Black Storytellers. She is a recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award and the Oracle Award for Regional Leadership and Service in Storytelling.

Three of the books she either authored or edited have won Storytelling World Awards. She is retired from a position in state government as director of grants for the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her writings are included in anthologies and literary journals, and her fiber art has been included on the covers of literary journals.

Diane is currently on the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau. She is also a “Fellow” member of the Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild, and her artwork has been exhibited and lives in the collections of museums. She has exhibited in galleries and artistic and community venues around the region.

Jerry Jenkins is also a humanities scholar. He is a musician and educator trained in the music of West Africa. He provides engaging programming structured around West African stories, dramas, and Djembe ensemble music. He also offers classes and workshops teaching the fundamentals and advanced techniques of Djembe drumming.

He offers a lecture series that includes a view of Mande culture through music. His unique approach to interacting with the audience creates a deeper and more meaningful experience. His performance for the O. B. McClinton Foundation outreach program for families in the Gravel Springs community in Tate County brought the art of drummer to life for young people who got to put their hands on his drums to learn a bit of Djembe drumming from him.