This storytelling festival is BIG

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The inaugural Beaufort Intergalactic Storytelling Festival and Liars Competition blasts off March 8-11. It’s an esteemed gathering of those who shoot the breeze with the greatest of ease, of the lying liars and the audiences who laugh with them, all in 14 performances and 6 workshops over four days and three nights, including children’s events, special theater events, concerts, and audience participation activities. Set your phasers to fun. The launchpad is Beaufort Town Center,  and the event is presented by ARTworks and Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry.

Dolores Hydock has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., and more story concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the U.S.
Her eight CDs of original stories have all received Resource Awards from Storytelling World Magazine. She won her first blue ribbon in storytelling in a local contest at the age of 5. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lives in Alabama.
Her performances in Beaufort are:
• Made from Scratch: a performance on Friday, March 9 at Noon in the Tent at Beaufort Town Center.
• Most of What I Needed to Know about Storytelling I Learned in Dance Class: a workshop on Friday, March 9 at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn.
• What is Storytelling: a discussion with John McCutcheon and Natalie Daise, Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn conference room.
• In Her Own Fashion: a performance on Saturday, March 10 at 6 p.m. in the Black Box Theater and ARTworks.

Ronstadt Generations hails from Arizona, and represents the multi-cultural roots America was founded upon. Dating back five generations in North America, Michael J. Ronstadt, younger brother of Linda Ronstadt, continues the family tradition with his two sons, Michael G. and Petie.
“The music of the Ronstadt Generations family band exemplifies splendidly the inextricable relationships of diverse ethnic folk forms that comprise the beautiful tapestry of American folk music,” said Stephanie P. Ledgin, “Discovering Folk Music.”
Their performances in Beaufort are:
• Ronstadt Generations in Concert: Friday, March 9 at 8 p.m. in the Tent
 at Beaufort Town Center.
• Ronstadt Generation Family Recipes: cooking and storytelling performance on Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at ARTworks.

Hawk Hurst is a Native American-style flute maker, performer and educator based in Charleston. “I like to impart a sense of wonder and mystery into a sometimes all too ordinary world. The stories and songs I share are interwoven with many lessons about community and our place within it. Through pure joy and entertainment, art can teach environmental respect, personal responsibility, and tolerance for cultural differences and for each other,” Hurst says.
Hawk’s performances in Beaufort are:
• An appearance at the Opening Reception with Celebrity Liars: 6 p.m. in Tent at Beaufort Town Center on Thursday, March 8.
• Wisdom Tales and Sacred Songs: performance on Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at ARTworks.
• Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: performance on Friday, March 9 at 10 a.m. in the Tent at Beaufort Town Center.
• A Guide to Musical Storytelling: a workshop on Friday, March 9 at 2 p.m. at ARTworks.

The phenomenal John McCutcheon is known around the world as a powerful folksinger, songwriter, storyteller, and master of the hammer dulcimer, guitar, banjo, fiddle, and autoharp. He has headlined over a dozen different festivals in North America (including repeated performances at the National Storytelling Festival), toured Chile in support of a women’s health initiative, appeared in a Woody Guthrie tribute concert in New York City and performed the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, has given symphony pops concerts across America, and served as president of the fastest-growing Local in the Musicians Union. He is based in Decatur, Georgia.
His performances in Beaufort are:
• John McCutcheon in Concert: Saturday, March 10 at 8 p.m. in the Tent at Beaufort Town Center.
• What is Storytelling: discussion with Natalie Daise and Dolores Hydock, Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn conference room.

Natalie Daise is well-known for modeling effective and joyful parenting, and for bringing Gullah culture to national and international television audiences through Nick Jr’s “Gullah Gullah Island.” An actor, singer, storyteller, and visual artist, her handicrafts have been featured on HGTV’s “Country Style” and in the magazine Coastal Living.
Her performances with husband Ron have validated and celebrated the Gullah people for a decade, and they have been awarded South Carolina’s prestigious Palmetto and Folk Heritage Awards. She is a resident artist at ARTworks and lives in Beaufort.
Natalie’s performances are:
• Mouth to Hand: performance on Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m. in the black box theater at ARTworks.
• Oral Tradition in Gullah Culture: workshop on Saturday, March 10, 10 a.m. at ARTworks.
• Comeyah Tales: performance on Saturday March 10 at Noon, in the Tent at Beaufort Town Center.
• What is Storytelling: discussion with John McCutcheon and Dolores Hydock, Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn conference room.

IF YOU GO

• Don’t miss the Liars Competition: Open to the public, $5 donation at the door. Friday, March 9 wildcard round and Saturday, March 10 Finale at 4 p.m. in the tent at Beaufort Town Center.
• Tickets range between $5 and $17and can be purchased by calling 843-379-2787 or online at beaufortcountyarts.com/bigstoryfest.htm.
• Sponsored by: Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, Quality Inn Beaufort Town Center, Beaufort Inn, 303 Associates, Hilton Garden Inn, Beaufort Weddings and Events, Strings ‘n Things Music, Amata Thai Fusion, Outback Steakhouse,Hecklers Unique Sports Grille, Rosie O’Grady Irish Pub, Pizza Inn, Moes Southwest Grille, Jimmy Johns, 104.9 The Surf.