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FAR-West Music Conference and Regional Storytelling Expo
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10/5/2017 to 10/8/2017
When: Thursday, October 5, 2017
Where: Hyatt Regency
Bellevue, Washington 
United States
Contact: Mark Kaufman

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The folk art of storytelling is nearly as old as humankind, a way to carry forward the wisdom, compassion, and humor of our collective and individual experiences.  Sometimes stories are set to music, sometimes they are acted out, and sometimes they are simply told with skill.

For the fourth year in a row, Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West) invites storytellers from the local area to Bellevue, WA to take the stage on October 8 and share stories that entertain, warm hearts and open eyes. For the second year this event is hosted by Mary Anne Moorman, (a.k.a. Auntmama) in conjunction with The Seattle Storytellers Guild. The Show goes from 2 pm to 4 pm, and a limited number of Showcase Passes are available at

The Storytelling Expo is part of the 2017 FAR-West Music Conference, which will be held October 5-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue WA. Parking is available in the hotel garage at regular rates on Thursday night and free on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday. For registration and further information please visit

This year’s featured storytellers include two former Seattle Civic poets, an actor, a doctor, a music organizer/librarian, a writer, a harpist-teller, two storytelling curators and one musician. This highly diverse mix will have at least one story just for you. Here they are:

Drew Hobson turns multi disciplines into diverse art for a diverse planet.  He’s an actor; catch him on TV in “Grimm” and a teacher, throughout the state of WA reimagining traditional stories for 21st century youth. While creating drama with tribal youth at Red Eagle Soaring, he’s also a sought after DJ.

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor has been performing stories based on Filipino folktales and Filipino-American history as a member of the Bellingham Storyteller’s Guild since 2006. She has worked closely with indigenous peoples of the Philippines, British Columbia, Canada, and Coast Salish Nations to advocate the preservation of traditional knowledge through story.

Paul Currington is a writer, storyteller, former comedian, and Alaska state hacky-sack champion (novice division, 1982). When he's not hosting Fresh Ground Stories, Seattle's longest-running open-mic storytelling show, you can find him on his porch feeding stray cats. He is easily manipulated.

Claudia Castro Luna served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, City Arts, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, among others.  Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.

Nick Smith is a teller of historical tales for adult audiences, and traditional tales for all ages. In addition to putting on shows and helping run festivals, he has performed at unusual venues, ranging from Victorian houses to courthouses, even in a mausoleum, along with the more traditional venues of festivals, concerts, museums, libraries and schools.

Tara Hardy is the working class, Queer, Femme, chronically ill, founder of Bent, a writing institute for LGBTQ writers in Seattle. She is a former Seattle Poet Populist, Richard Hugo House Writer in Residence, and an alumna of Hedgebrook. She is the Arts Director at Gay City and believes art is a powerful tool for social change. Her book, My, My, My, My, My, by Write Bloody Press is a 2017 Washington State Book Award Finalist.

David Schumer has performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival, Fresh Ground Stories, and his popular pod cast. His stories have been selected for KNKX's program sound effects. He is the producer and performer at the quarterly storytelling and music variety show Seattle WordsnMusic. He has won the Moth Story Slam multiple times.  He is a solo family practitioner of 35 years experience who continues to accept Obamacare.

Mary Dessein has been telling stories since before she could read, Mary's still at it. Story has been her life. From radio, to festivals, to using story as a teaching and counseling tool, to her new CD, to published work, to her current podcast on KSER 90.7FM,' Wit or Wisdom.

Auntmama, (Mary Anne Moorman), creates thoughtful, humorous and enjoyable entertainment. Named “Seattle’s Best Storyteller” by “The Stranger,” she blends Blue Ridge Mountain laurel with Douglas fir and carries her stories all along the Crooked Road.  The last Thursday of every month, you’ll find her at the Madison Park Starbucks, curating the 10th year of Auntmama’s StoryTable and spinning ‘Sunday Folks’ songs on KBCS.FM.

Reggie Garrett performs mostly original songs mixed with pop covers and more traditional style folk ballads. He is the purveyor of a unique urban strain of (mostly) acoustic music incorporating a number of diverse influences, including: Folk, Latin rhythms, Blues, Gospel, Celtic, Rock, Jazz and more. The result is a musical blend that has excited and touched audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Please direct questions to:

Mark Kaufman – FAR-West President –
Jeanette Lundgren – FAR-West Vice-President and 2017 Conference Co-Chair -
Janet Dukes - FAR-West Secretary and 2017 Conference Co-Chair -
Leslie vanWinkle - Publicist, FAR-West 2017 -

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