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Lehigh to host womens storytelling conference

Laura Simms

In honor of Women’s History Month, Lehigh will host “We Are The Stories We Tell,” a one-day conference celebrating women and the arts, on Saturday.

The day-long event is being co-sponsored by Lehigh’s Creative Writing Program and the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild.

Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be followed by the 7th Annual “Girls’ Night Out” performance at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. Headlining the evening’s performance is internationally renowned storyteller, author and recording artist Laura Simms.

An activist who has participated in a number of educational projects for children in Afghanistan, Simms will talk about the mythology of love in her evening performance.

The workshops are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Donations will also be accepted with those funds going toward a literacy program for an orphanage in Belize that was started by a member of the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild.

“We are thrilled to be able to host this conference to testify to the power of story in our everyday lives,” says Stephanie Powell Watts, assistant professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program.

Watts notes that in addition to the instructional workshops and performance, there will be a space for attendants to create, to share and to participate in the art of storytelling through writing, spoken word, music and dance.

“Providing a space for our participants to create art with us is an important part of the mission for this conference,” Watts says.

The workshops include
• “Freeing Your Spirit Through Improvisation,” which will be led by Robin Reichert from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Humanities Center.
• “The Poet Within,” which will be led by Nancy Scott from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at the ArtsHouse.
• “Women’s Dances Around the World,” and “Break Through the Other Side: A Drumming Workshop,” which will be led by Lisa Facciaponti from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 508 of Packard Lab.
• “Awakening the Queen Within Me: Myth, Image and True Life Story,” which will be led by Laura Simms from 2 to 5 p.m. in Room 508 of Packard Lab.

The evening’s events will begin with a “Wild Women Party” with Kristin Pedemonti at 7 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium, and will be followed by Simms’ performance at 7:30 p.m. Also included will be performances by other local artists and writers and an open microphone for audience members to share their own short story or song.

For more information, please call (610) 867-8528 or go online.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006

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