The 37th annual Sierra Storytelling Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 28 & 29 at the North Columbia Schoolhouse in rural Nevada County- a 30 minute drive from Nevada City.

Outdoor sails
Photo by Fox Firemaker

In a world of highspeed data and media overload, we create a slow weekend full of stories told in the old fashioned tradition. We invite you to leave behind the clambor of everyday life, turn off your phones, relax under the trees and listen to the masters unfurl their tales. We curate a diverse group of tellers from far and wide to perform stories that will broaden your horizons, increase your empathy and tickle your fancy. Using a variety of techniques including music, dance, humor and candor, these masters of the art of storytelling bring messages from other worlds, experiences and ways of life. They evoke powerful emotions and insights that build bridges for the audience to satisfy a hunger to connect with others, both familiar and unknown.

The Festival begins on Friday, June 28 with the workshop “History is no Mystery” led by Eth-Noh-Tec. The Children's Story Hour will be performed by Diane Ferlatte and her accompanist, Eric Pearson from 4-5pm. Shirley DicKard will have the Local Teller Showcase from 5:15-5:45, followed by a dinner break. The opening gala with all featured Tellers plus guest teller, Tom Wade, will begin at 7 pm. Saturday morning starts early with Open Telling at 9am and followed by each featured teller presenting an hour long storytelling session. The story Slam, with the theme COURSE CORRECTION, will be held from 5:30-6:30, overlapping with the dinner break. The evening gala will close the Festival with stories from each of the featured tellers and our guest teller Tom Wade, starting at 7 pm.

For tickets and more information, please visit our web site at:

Storytelling crowd
Photo by Fox Firemaker

We have new food options this year with Thai Chic, Handmade with Love and Gold Country Cuisine. There will be ice cream from Coco's Creamery. Beer, wine, soft drinks and sweet treats will be available with all proceeds benefiting the Schoolhouse. As always, guests may pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn.

This years raffle prizes include a hand carved salad set by Holly Tornheim and a Year of the Dragon quilt made by Mary Moore. Raffle will be held on Saturday during the dinner break, tickets on sale throughout the festival.

The Sierra Storytelling line up has changed not once, but twice, in the 2024 planning phase. We are sorry to report that Gene Tagaban and Ivan E. Coyote will not be joining this year's Festival due to unforeseen circumstance.

However, We are happy to welcome two tellers that we've never had on the Sierra Stage before; Gayle Ross, a Cherokee teller from Oklahoma and Archy Jamjun, a Moth winner from Chicago. We are also overjoyed to have Eth-Noh-Tec, Diane Ferlatte and Bil Lepp return to our neck of the woods.

Eth-Noh-Tec is an Asian American kinetic storytelling non-profit founded by Nancy Wang and Robert KIkuchi-Yngojo . Using movement, music and stylized gesture, they perform stories that provide values and messages that are Asian specific and universal at the same time, building cultural bridges that celebrate diversity and create compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. This year they will be performing with their intern, Yuriko Takata.

Growing up in a family where the truth was fluid, Bil Lepp became adept at spinning tales and exaggerating circumstances at an early age. A nationally renowned storyteller and five time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, Bil’s outrageous, humorous tall-tales and witty stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life.

Diane Ferlatte has been researching, collecting and telling stories for over thirty-five years. Diane has frequently been a featured storyteller at many festivals in the U.S. and throughout the world. Among her most memorable events is her performance for President Clinton at his Inauguration! Erik Pearson has been accompanying Diane for over 25 years, and will be joining us at this years' Festival.

Archy Jamjun started storytelling at a Moth Story Slam in 2014 and debuted his solo show: A BOY & A DIVA in 2019 at the Fillet of Solo Storytelling Festival in Chicago. He has won two Moth Grand Slams in Chicago as well as being featured on their podcast and mainstage shows. Last year he was featured in The Future of Comedy Festival in Chicago.

Gayle Ross is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and a direct descendant of John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee during the infamous “Trail of Tears”. Her grandmother told stories and it is from this rich Native American heritage that Gayle’s storytelling springs.

During the past twenty-five years, Gayle has become one of the best-loved and most respected storytellers to emerge from the current surge of interest in this timeless art form.

WHO: Bil Lepp, Diane Ferlatte, Eth-Noh-Tec, Archy Jamjun, Gayle Ross, Tom Wade and Shirley DicKard

WHAT: 37th annual Sierra Storytelling Festival

WHERE: The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, 17894 Tyler Ft rd, Nevada City, Ca. A beautiful 30 minute drive from downtown Nevada City

WHEN: Friday, June 28th and Saturday, June 29th