2022 Flatwater Tales Preview

Announcing the 5th Annual Flatwater Tales
Storytelling Festival!

The 2022 Flatwater Tales in Oak Ridge, TN, is June 3-4, at the Historic Grove Theater with a workshop on June 2 at the UT Arboretum Auditorium.

Nationally acclaimed storyteller Sheila Arnold will headline Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival Friday night June 3, 2022, when the Festival returns to the live stage at the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge, TN.

Sheila Arnold, known nationally for her stories filled with empathy, will headline Flatwater Tales on Friday night, June 3, 2022 for a unique storytelling experience commissioned by Flatwater Tales.

Ms. Arnold will tell the story of the Scarboro 85, the 85 brave young people from the Scarboro neighborhood in Oak Ridge who were the first to desegregate a school district in the South after the US Supreme Court decision. Few people know of this 1955 milestone event, and Sheila will honor them as she shares some of their stories at Flatwater Tales.

Storytellers Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp will also perform, reintroducing themselves to the Tales audience with stories Friday evening.

On Saturday June 4, Flatwater Tales will present three shows: 10 AM to noon (family show), 2 to 5 PM, and 7 to 10 PM. Sheila, Bil and Kim will each tell different stories at every show. The morning show is recommended for children 5 and older. The afternoon and evening shows are most suitable for children 10 and older.

An Early-Bird discounted ticket is available now for both the Saturday afternoon and evening shows.

For group sales contact flatwatertales@gmail.com.

The three tellers appear regularly nationwide and online at storytelling festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. Their art brings people together as they share the magic of storytelling.

In addition to presenting great storytellers Flatwater Tales will offer a special opportunity to spend two hours at a workshop with Bil Lepp. The “Bringing a Story to Life and Including your Audience in the Experience” workshop will be held at the UT Arboretum Auditorium in Oak Ridge on Thursday June 2, 2 to 4 PM.

You don’t want to miss any of the 2022 Flatwater Tales!

Flatwater Tales, held annually the first weekend in June, is an all-volunteer effort led by the three Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs to entertain, bring people together, and to celebrate and support our community.

We may need to put COVID-related protocols or restrictions in place for Flatwater Tales. We will continue to evaluate local conditions, monitor public health officials’ recommendations, and modify the protocols as necessary. We will update this information on our website and communicate with ticket holders via email. We understand that guidelines continue to change, and we appreciate your patience.

“If you love the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough,
or have always wanted to go to it, you don’t want to miss the
Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in Oak Ridge.”

History Flatwater Tales

2018, the Inaugural Flatwater Tales

On Sunday, June 3 the inaugural Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival, supported by a generous grant from the Oak Ridge Fund for Achieving Community Excellence (ORFace), presented the magic of live storytelling with two performances by three world-class tellers, Bil LeppTim Lowry, and Minton Sparks with guitarist John Jackson. Held at the Oak Ridge Playhouse in Historic Jackson Square, it was an Oak Ridge 75th Birthday event that offered different stories at each show. Performances were from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Our tellers have achieved national and international recognition and appear regularly at festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. Their mesmerizing performances will bring people together to share the magic of this increasingly popular art form.

Kiran Singh Sirah, President of the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN, honored us by making opening remarks to help inaugurate Flatwater Tales, Oak Ridge’s first storytelling festival.

The Storytelling was the final event of the Flatwater Festival weekend, an annual all-volunteer effort led by the three Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs to entertain and to raise funds for local grants and projects. It kicked off on Friday, June 1 with a 3 hour interactive writing workshop, “Create Your Own Story,” with Minton Sparks.

On Saturday, June 2, the Flatwater Festival continueed on the waterfront from noon to 9 PM. It featureed live music, beer, wine, food trucks, activities for kids, a team-building regatta, cardboard boat races, and much more.

Flatwater Tales Storytelling concluded the weekend with shows from 2 to 5 and 6:30 to 9:30 PM.

“If you can’t go to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough be sure to come to the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in Oak Ridge.”

2019, the 2nd Annual Flatwater Tales
Storytelling Festival!

The 2019 Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, washeld from May 31 through June 1.

On Saturday, June 1, the 2nd Annual Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival presented three performances by three world-class tellers: Carmen Agra DeedyBil Lepp, and Bobby Norfolk. The event moved to the Historic Grove Theatre in Grove Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The tellers shared different stories at each show. The performances were held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Family Show), from 2 to 5 p.m., and from 7 to 10 p.m.

Our tellers have achieved international recognition and appear regularly at festivals, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Their mesmerizing performances bring people together to share the magic of this time-honored, increasingly popular art form.

The storytelling weekend kicked off on Friday, May 31, with a writing workshop. Minton Sparks returned to conduct a 3-hour interactive writing workshop, “My Crazy Kin—Transform Your Family Stories into a Compelling Personal Narrative.”

2020, the 3rd Annual Flatwater Tales
Storytelling Festival Posponed!

The 3rd Annual Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival planned live storytelling with 3 performances by 3 world-class tellers! The Covid19 pandemic forced the show to be rescheduled in 2021.

Set for Saturday, June 6, 2020, the 3rd Annual Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival had scheduled  Andy Offutt Irwin, Bil Lepp, and Kim Weitkamp to conduct three performances at the Historic Grove Theater in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with different stories at each show. The performances were to be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Family Show), from 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 10 p.m.

Andy, Bil, and Kim agreed to join us all back in Oak Ridge in June 2021! And meanwhile we are continuing with a significant project to help our venue, the Historic Grove Theater become even better as a significant cultural landmark in our area.

2021, the 4th Annual Flatwater Tales
Storytelling Festival was Virtual!

Our featured storytellers were three acclaimed performers: Andy Offutt Irwin, Bil Lepp, and Kim Weitkamp, known to audiences nationwide for their wit, wisdom and abilities to make audiences laugh, cry and reminisce.

The three tellers recorded a live show before a small audience exclusively for Flatwater Tales. This performance included an unrehearsed improv segment, hosted by emcee Paula Gordon Lepp, a new feature in the storytelling world. Their stories are already unpredictable, and the improv portion built on their creativity and spontaneous story-making. A “blooper” roll and a live after-party will concluded the event. Earlier in the day, each of the tellers led a virtual workshop on aspects of their craft.

Technical aspects of our virtual event was professionally produced by veteran virtual technical artists Six Feet Apart Productions.

Flatwater Tales Created For Oak Ridge Residents and Visitors

This is an annual event offered by the three Rotary Clubs in Oak Ridge. The festival’s goals are to help bring our community together, introduce others to Oak Ridge, support local economic activity, and raise funds for the clubs’ community projects.

We expect to grow Flatwater Tales to include local and regional lore, music, and history, and to help share the Oak Ridge story – past, present, and future – with a wider audience. We want to expand our storytelling training to include helping children, seniors, and veterans find their voices using this age-old art form.

The Oak Ridge Fund for Achieving Community Excellence (ORFace) deemed this project an important addition to the culture of Oak Ridge, long known for outstanding achievement in science, education and the arts. ORFace’s first grant was significant in its support of the first presentation of Flatwater Tales.

ORFace is an affiliate fund of the East Tennessee Foundation, which has supported the 25 counties of East Tennessee through more that $336 million in grants made to worthy projects since 1986.

 

 

Donate and Sponsorships

Welcome to our online Donate/Sponsor page. Flatwater Tales is a Rotary project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Our financial partner is the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. When you make your online tax deductible donation or sponsorship, the funds will go into their Flatwater Tales account.

To make a donation click the Donate button below and enter your amount and complete your transaction. The donated funds will sustain and grow Flatwater Tales.

To become a Sponsor of the 2020 Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival with recognition in our publicity materials and during the events, choose your Sponsorship Level from the list below. Then click the Donate button at the bottom of the page. Complete your transaction by entering your donation amount.

Questions, comments? Email us at flatwatertales@gmail.com

Sponsorship Levels
Anecdote                         $100 – $199
Vignette                           $200 – $499
Yarn                                     $500 – $999
Tall Tale                             $1000 to $2,499
Legend                              $2,500 to $4,999 – get 2 comp tickets
Presenting Sponsor $5,000 & above – get 4 comp tickets