“Do Tell”

A Weekend Workshop on Story

March 5-7, 2021

This weekend workshop is designed to bring multiple generations together, encouraging children and adults to participate, either within family units or as community members in partnership together. Ultimately the objective is to have The Henderson become a repository for stories of and about this region. This initial workshop will be dovetailed with future workshops and events that will revolve around storytelling, ballads and the interpretation of Appalachian literature for performance. 

This intergenerational weekend series aims to strengthen the connection between Appalachian families and their communities through story-listening, story building, and story-sharing exercises.  Participants will be sent recordings and worksheets prior to the workshops, allowing them to arrive prepared to dive right into discussion.  These materials will lay a foundation for the kinds of deeper questions the workshops will ask about what stories actually do—both to and for us. 

Stories shape the identities of individuals and communities, create continuity, shape, and even subversively challenge our roles in life.  The weekend workshop will include a multi-textured Appalachian performance by Hannah and Katie at the beginning as an example of the possibilities of story. In their interactive sessions, participants will learn and try out a variety of story-developing and storytelling techniques. Intergenerational participants will learn each other’s stories and re-perform them for each other.  

Dr. Hannah B. Harvey

Storyteller & Performance Ethnographer

Dr. Hannah Harvey is an internationally-commended performer, a nationally-known professional storyteller, and an award-winning distinguished teacher.  Specializing in Appalachian oral history and performance ethnography, she has performed as a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee; received accolades for her performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland; and led intercultural workshops in Casablanca, Morocco.

She has given workshops for Veterans Administration healthcare providers nationwide on storytelling and rural healthcare; for lawyers on storytelling and representation; for psychiatrists at Yale University’s Grand Rounds on storytelling and mental health; and for pastors and rabbis on storytelling in ministry.  She has produced two video courses with The Great Courses on The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals (2013) and The Children’s Guide to Folklore and Wonder Tales (2017), (www.thegreatcourses.com), and recently published a third Audible Original course on The Curious Origins of Holiday Traditions (2019) in conjunction with The Great Courses.  

Dr. Harvey’s research and teaching specialty is performance ethnography, investigating everyday storytelling as an embodied cultural practice that shapes identity.  As a performance ethnographer, Hannah develops oral histories into theatrical and solo storytelling works that highlight the true stories of contemporary Appalachian people.  Her fieldwork with disabled coal miners in southwest Virginia culminated in the oral history play Out of the Dark: The Oral Histories of Appalachian Coal Miners, produced with two separate casts in GA and in NC and earning Harvey a directing award from adjudicators at the American College Theatre Festival in 2007 and three year-end regional awards from professional critics in 2005.  In 2009, Harvey adapted these oral histories into an hour-long solo storytelling performance, which she currently tours, along with her repertoire of international traditional tales and other ethnographic oral histories, at festivals throughout the southeastern U.S.  

Hannah earned her Ph.D. at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has received honors for her university teaching on storytelling and cultural performance.  She is former managing editor of Storytelling, Self, Society journal and a past president of Storytelling in Higher Education, the professional organization for scholars of storytelling within the National Storytelling Network.

“Hannah is a wonderful wordsmith, an energetic and articulate teller, with a remarkable insight into the souls of her characters.”     —Storytelling Festival of Carolina 

“Her stories, like a family tree, draw webbed lines from the present deep into the past…with humor and gravity in the telling, Harvey strives to give voice to a contemporary Appalachian identity richer and more complex than any of the stereotypes about the region she loves.”      —Blue Ridge Magazine 

“Five Stars” –British Theatre Guide (London-Edinburgh-New York)

“I live and work in Shanghai, China.  I am a language curriculum designer and teachers trainer.  I took Dr. Harvey’s course on The Great Courses.  I enjoyed it and practiced Dr. Harvey’s storytelling methods in my class.  It was magic.  The most wonderful thing is I feel happy when I tell stories to students.  My students listened well, so well that we all immersed as a whole.”  —Emma Chen, Shanghai, China

Dr. Katie Hoffman , Executive Director of Create Appalachia, is also the founder and owner of Appalworks.com. Katie grew up in Richmond, VA, but she’s thrilled to have ended up in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, right in the middle of the music, food, literature, and culture that she loves best. Katie’s PhD is in English, but her specialty is really Appalachian Studies.

She is a scholar and performer of traditional Appalachian ballads. She’s also a singer/songwriter. Her 2004 CD, Beautiful Day, was produced by Raymond W. McLain and features the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band. She was the traditional music producer for a 4-part PBS series entitled Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People. Katie also co-chaired the Appalachian section of the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC. A few years ago, Katie and Dr. Jean Haskell co-curated a fine art exhibit entitled Changing Appalachia: From Custom to Cutting Edge. Held at the Portsmouth, Virginia Art and Cultural Center, this exhibit included work from the vanguard of fine artists from all over the southern mountains.

Katie’s work also includes several oral history projects: Windows on the Past: A History of the Vardy Community, Hidden Heroines of Northeast Tennessee: The First Stories, and an oral history project on the McLain Family Band of Eastern Kentucky. Since 2008, Katie has worked on local food initiatives across the region, serving such organizations as the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Collaborative for a 21st Century Appalachia. She is an avid cook as well as a researcher and practitioner of regional foodways. Since March 2019, Katie has served as the Marketing and Promotions Director for a non-profit online farmers market called Fall Line Farms and Local Roots in the Richmond, VA area.

For the past two years, Katie has been collaborating on the initial phase of a project called Bird x Bird with Hannah Harvey, a professional storyteller from Kingsport, TN who shares Katie’s passion for recovering the voices of under-appreciated Appalachian Women writers. With permission from Vanderbilt University Press, they have adapted the work of Tennessee author Mildred Haun, adapted for stage performance, bringing Haun’s stunning fiction and her collection of Cocke County ballads to audiences across the region.

Katie and her husband Brett Tiller perform together as The Tenneginians, featuring traditional Appalachian tunes and originals as well. They have recently begun a new business venture: Vintage Kitchen Cast Iron and Collectibles. Katie and Brett specialize in reclaiming and selling vintage cast iron and placing it in the hands of appreciative cooks and collectors.