March is known for beginning the month like a lion and ending its days like a lamb. In our library system, however, March is even better known for animals famous for their place in fantastic stories, such as The Lion and the Mouse, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Ant and the Grasshopper. What do all these fables have in common during this first month of spring? These stories are prominently featured in our annual Cumberland County Storytelling Festival.
This year’s theme, A World of Fables, features interactive programming at all eight library branches during March 18 — March 23. At my community branch, we will offer a puppet making workshop for children in kindergarten — fifth grade and present the preschool program, “Aesop’s Fables: Puppet Show and Puppet-Making Workshop.” To enhance these classic stories, we recently updated our prop collection, adding a new ostrich, elephant, hare, tortoise, raven, firefly, and even an enchanted tree to our puppet trove.
These system-wide events lead up to our featured festivities that Friday and Saturday at our Headquarters Library. Three renowned presenters will share the joys of storytelling at our central location. Lloyd Arneach: Cherokee Storyteller will highlight tales and legends from various Native
American tribes. Doug Berky Theatre: The World’s Wisdom Stories will engage the audience through masks, puppets, mime and music.
Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets will utilize handmade puppets to perform folktales from numerous cultures. As part of the grand festivities, participants can also take ordinary objects to create their own wacky and wonderful characters in the “Make Your Own Puppet” workshop.
This free county-wide event is supported through a generous grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and presented in partnership with the Fascinate-U Children’s Museum, Friends of the Library and SYSTEL. What fantastic fables are most near and dear to your hearts? How do you recommend bringing these traditional tales to life?