Some great history! 

The Kansas Storytelling Festival started in 1994 as the vision of local citizens in conjunction with the Downs Arts Council. The Downs Arts Council mission is "to enhance the quality of life in our rural area" and the Kansas Storytelling Festival was a great step in meeting this mission.

Since the early days, the festival has continued to grow every year and the Kansas Storytelling Festival committee has been able to sign more well known names each year. The Kansas Storytelling Festival is made possible each year by a dedicated group of volunteers who coordinate the event, the entertainment, and the business of the Kansas Storytelling Festival. The committee functions underneath the guidance of the Downs Arts Council Board.

Former Kansas Governor Bill Graves officially recognized Downs in 1998 as "The Storytelling Capital of Kansas," and has proclaimed the last week of April as "The Kansas Storytelling Festival." Please join us!

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Guest Storytellers through the Years

Festival One- 1994

  • Kay Negash

  • Priscilla Howe

  • Bev Nelson

Festival Two- 1995

  • Pam Faro

  • Priscilla Howe

  • Danny & Becky McMillan

  • Greg Martin

  • Norman Peire

Festival Three- 1996

  • Nancy Duncan

  • Bill Rexroad

  • Marilyn Black

  • Don Coldsmith

Festival Four- 1997

  • Royal Eckert

  • Janet Goodenow

  • Sharon Arndt

Festival Five- 1998

  • Dan Keding

  • Margaret Deaver

  • Richard Kimbrough

  • Jeff O’Donnel

Festival Six- 1999

  • Maureen Korte

  • Bettie Jane Bibler

  • Richard Kimbrough

  • Angela Bates-Tompkins

  • David Alexander

Festival Seven- 2000

  • John Stansfield

  • Judy Nichols

  • Carol Rehme

  • Phillip Thomas

Festival Eight- 2001

  • Lynn Moroney

  • Rosemary Cutrer

  • Priscilla Howe

  • Omofolobo Ajayi

  • Dick Wellman

Festival Nine- 2002

  • Pat Mendoza

  • Dennis Gaines

  • Lu Adams

  • Regina Leininger

Festival Ten- 2003

  • Bil Lepp

  • Jo Ho

  • Judy Coder

  • Joe Boley

  • Pippa White

Festival Eleven- 2004

  • Ed Stivender

  • Marla Matkins

  • Elda Martens

  • Judy Nichols

  • Sharon Treaster

  • Ann Zimmerman

Festival Twelve- 2005

  • Jim ‘Two Crows’ Wallen

  • Rachel Thompson

  • J.F. Stover

  • Fred ‘Bo’ Switzer

  • Priscilla Howe

Festival Thirteen- 2006

  • Dan Keding

  • Jo Ho

  • Amah Lou Schreiber

  • Kathryn Thurman

  • Deborah Raney

  • Kim Sawyer

  • Judy Miller

Festival Fourteen- 2007

  • Willy Claflin

  • Mike Gracy

  • Bonnie Smith

  • Rosie Cutrer

  • Nolan Sump

Festival Fifteen- 2008

  • Bil Lepp

  • Mike ‘Blue Hawk’ Adams

  • Deborah Greenblat

  • Kevin Dolan (Dino O’Dell)

  • Deanne Gist

Festival Sixteen- 2009

  • Pippa White

  • Ann Zimmerman

  • Teresa Bachman

  • Robert Stelmach (Max Tell)

Festival Seventeen- 2010

  • Michael Reno Harrell

  • Dianne de Las Casas

  • Vicky Town

  • Angela Bates

Festival Eighteen- 2011

  • Andy Offutt Irwin

  • Kim Weitkamp

  • Dino O’Dell

  • Nancy Jo Leachman

  • Solomon Valley Players

Festival Nineteen- 2012

  • Donald Davis

  • Chris Sutton

  • Joyce Slater

  • Aaron Fowler

Festival Twenty 2013

  • Bill Harley

  • Beth Horner

  • Vicky Town

  • Marla Matkin

Festival Twenty-One- 2014

  • Kevin Kling

  • Dianne de Las Casas

  • Jim Two Crows Wallen

  • Tom McDermott

Festival Twenty-Two- 2015

  • Kim Weitkamp

  • Sherry Norfolk

  • Adam Booth

  • Linda Batlin

Festival Twenty-Three- 2016

  • Michael Reno Harrell

  • Geraldine Buckley

  • Phil S. Dixon

  • Jo Ho

Festival Twenty-Four- 2017

  • Tim Lowry

  • Linda Gorham

  • Adam Miller

  • Brian "Fox" Ellis

Festival Twenty-Five- 2018

  • Andy Offutt Irwin

  • Bil Lepp

  • Kim Weitkamp

  • Pippa White

  • Dino O'Dell

Festival Twenty-Six- 2019

  • Bill Harley

  • Geraldine Buckley

  • Ed Stivender

  • Megan Hicks

  • Joe Herrington

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