Whitewater Storytelling Festival

celebrate the magic of storytelling

Celebrate the magic of storytelling at this magical festival at Whitewater Arts Alliance’s Cultural Arts Center featuring stories through arts, crafts, tellers, & food!

Embark on a magical journey of words, wonder, and creation at the much-anticipated Whitewater Storytelling Festival. This enchanting event occurs May 3rd and 4th at the Whitewater Arts Alliance’s Cultural Arts Center where stories come alive and imaginations run wild.

The Whitewater Storytelling Festival promises entertainment for attendees of all ages, with talented storytellers and musicians for the young and young-at-heart. From children’s stories and interactive activities that will spark the creativity of the little ones, to all-ages storytelling sessions that will captivate audiences of every generation, this festival truly has something for everyone.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore a diverse art exhibit as well as vendor market showcasing unique products that carry their very own stories, adding a touch of narrative charm to your shopping experience.

Above all, the Whitewater Storytelling Festival is a celebration of the magic of storytelling. This event celebrates storytelling through arts, crafts, tellers, and food and how storytellers take us to worlds beyond our very own.

2024 Festival Sponsors

Countdown to Festival








Event Details at a Glance

Date: May 3-4, 2024
Time: May 3: 6-10p & May 4: 9a-5p
Location: Cultural Arts Center – 402 W Main St. Whitewater, WI

May 3rd:
6-8p: Open Mic
8-10p: Live Music

May 4th:
9-11:15a: Children’s Activities & Stories
10a-2p: Vendor Market
11:30-3:45p: All Ages Storytelling & Activities
4-5p: Live Music
2-4p: Watercolor Demo & Opening Reception of WRAP Exhibit with Whitewater Arts Alliance

2024 Schedule!

Friday, May 3rd: Open Mic & Live Music

6-7:45p – Open Mic sponsored by The Book Teller
8-8:45p – Nazario Chickpeazio
9p-10p – County Craic Irish Fiddling

Saturday, May 4th: Children’s Stories & Activities

9-9:45a – Music, Movement, & Instrument Petting Zoo with Circle of Song Music Therapy
– Andreas Transo
10:45-11:15a – Nazario Chickpeazio

*Enjoy strolling musicians and the Instrument Petting Zoo during breaks. Have fun with the Maypole, take and make craft kits from the Irvin L Young Memorial Library, and free children’s books from The Community Space!

Artisan Market

10-2p – Artisan Market – Storytelling through art and food:

Vendor List:

Buddha Belly Pizza (stone-fired sourdough pizza)
Miller Family Food Truck (burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, hand pies)
Pat Hall (Ukrainian hand-painted eggs)
Eileen Troemel Author
SpoookyNook (chainmaille jewelry)
Authors Melody Calder, and Sandra & Wren Tentler
ReVamp Nutrition (shake samples and other goodies)
Jackie’s Small Batch Bakery (yummy baked goods)
RedTail Massage & Wellness LLC (providing chair massages!)
Blue Sage Massage (providing chair massages!)
Ferradermis (check out their robot!)
Zuri’s Furry Friends (Build-A-Bear!)
Owl Be There (hand-crafted clay jewelry with a portion of the proceeds going toward mental health organizations)
Ice Age Trail (Monty the Mammoth & trail info!)
Mo-bility (body butters)

Saturday, May 4th: All Ages Storytelling & Live Music

11:30P-12:00P – Nestor Gomez
12:15P-12:45P – Erin Johnston
1P-1:30P – Jim Winship
1:45P-2:30P – Jesus Avila
2:45P-3:45P – Sadarri Saskill
4-5P – Marco Wence Trio

2-4p: Watercolor Demonstration & Opening Reception for the WRAP Exhibit

*Enjoy strolling musicians during breaks. Have fun with the Maypole and 15min chair massages to take a time out for yourself!

2024 Featured Storytellers

& Musicians

Noelle Larson with Circle of Song Music Therapy

Noelle, MT-BC delights in using music, movement, storytelling, and art to bring joy, connection, and social/emotional skill-building to children and caregivers. Noelle provides individual music therapy services to children and teens in the Children’s Long-Term Support Waiver Program of Jefferson, Walworth, and Rock Counties. She also loves to facilitate community music and movement programs at local libraries and community organizations. For more information about music therapy services, visit Noelle at www.circleofsongmt.com. Join Noelle at the Whitewater Storytelling Festival for a music, movement, and storytelling program, followed by the beloved “World Instrument Petting Zoo”, where children and caregivers can freely play and explore instruments and props.

County Craic

County Craic performs traditional, acoustic Irish tunes and story songs. They perform at Irish pubs, wineries, and farmers markets throughout Jefferson County.

Erin Johnston

Erin Johnston comes to storytelling after a detour in theater, genealogy, and environmental education. Erin’s repertoire spans re-imagined traditional tales, personal stories, and living history. She has won competitions at La Crosse Storytelling Festival and the National Storytelling Network. During the pandemic, Erin traveled the globe via ZOOM telling tales and attending Storytelling Festivals. Locally, she co-founded and performs with two storytelling groups.

Andreas Transø

Andreas is a traveling educator, music maker, spoons playing-evangelist, and storyteller living now in Whitewater but hailing from the river bottoms and hills and hollers of the Boscobel, Wisconsin area. With a Danish immigrant father and an American “melting pot” mother, Andreas grew up experiencing and celebrating many different cultural traditions, leading to a love for traditional music and storytelling. From Hans Christian Andersen to stories of Ancient Ireland and Eastern Europe to Wisconsin history and his family’s legacy tales from his home in the Driftless Region, Andreas has told his gathered tales throughout Europe and North America at schools, festivals, libraries, and summer camps. He is a member of The Great Midwestern Educational Theater Company and is on staff at The Frogwarts School of Wizardry imagination theater summer camp, where he teaches spoons playing, social dance calling, instrument building, and magical word play. You can see Andreas regularly at various libraries and bookstores, folk festivals, and many an Irish pub throughout the Upper Midwest (including The Irish Cottage dinner-theater style performance venue in Galena, IL, where he is an in-house Seanchaí).

Jim Winship

Jim Winship has told stories in schools, bookstores and libraries, at storytelling festivals in the Upper Midwest and to professional conferences throughout the country. His stories range from the fantastic to the personal.

Nazario Chickpeazio

Nazario Chickpeazio has a steadily growing reputation for his wide variety of original music, sometimes bright and cheerful, sometimes melodic and entrancing. His musical approach is to incorporate a multitude of styles into his sound, so no genre is off-limits. He plays many different instruments, mainly Oud, Lavta and Flute- but he is also skilled with the Sitar, Baroque Guitar and Afghan Rabab. His musical inspirations range all the way from Classic Rock and Bluegrass to Spanish guitar and Tibetan Ceremonial music. Nazario has been delighting audiences all across the United States for the past 30 years and has plans of touring Worldwide in the near future. His music has been featured in two of Tamarind Tribals Bellydance DVD’s and he has performed live at World Music Festivals, Renaissance Fairs, City Markets, Theatres, College Campuses, Restaurants and Weddings. He has shared the stage with many well- known talents; including Evan Christian (Flamenco Guitarist), Carlos Adames (Percussionist) and Daryal Kafkasso (Guitarist)

Jesus Avila

Jesus Avila’s storytelling is mainly about history of large cities of the United States and other historical events in our history. He tells these stories through murals he’s created with oil on canvas. They are 9 by 7 feet. He has 23 different murals that all represent our country.

Some other paintings Jesus has created are the story and history of African Americans called “Our Journey and The Dream”. Other paintings are dedicated to the 574 Native American Nations of the US “We the People All the Nations” and the 18 major cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, LA, Seattle, NY, and many more. He’s currently finishing two other paintings, one dedicated to the 12 major wars the USA has been involved in featuring the heroes of the wars and the other representing an intensive detailed history of Mexico.

Nestor “The Boss” Gomez

Nestor “the boss” Gomez was born in Guatemala and moved to Chicago undocumented in the mid-80’s . He is an 83 times Moth Slam winner and 2022 National Storytelling Association Grand Slam winner. He is also the creator, producer, curator and host of ​ 80 Minutes Around the World a storytelling show that features the stories of immigrants, their descendants and allies.

Sadarri Saskill

Sadarri Saskill is an award-winning multilingual Storyteller, author, and teaching artist who brings a rich blend of language, music, movement, and humor to her high-demand, multicultural, interactive programs. Although residing in Kenosha, Wisconsin, she has performed in the United States, France, Greece, Mexico, Haiti, Israel and beyond. When not “flying solo”, Sadarri enjoys being a part of her vivacious family storytelling troupe that she created over 25 years ago. Audiences of all ages agree that this is story-play at its very best!

Marco Wence Trio

Stay the Night!

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