Anne Shimojima

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The community is invited to join the Evanston Public Library for a weekend of distinctive storytelling and joyful connection for people of every age in Downtown Evanston including the Evanston Public Library, Bookends and Beginnings, The Celtic Knot Public House, The Merion and the Woman’s Club
of Evanston.

Storytellers and Listeners can welcome award-winning storytellers to Evanston and celebrate the best of common humanity. The schedule for the festival is available at

Kucha Brownlee and Baba Tony Brown are traveling artists who have performed for more than 20 years throughout the United States. This storytelling duo combines their talents and experience to bring magical moments to their performances for all ages. Their storytelling is accompanied by singing and energetic instrumentation, audience participation, drumming, singing, learning and lots of fun.

Bill Harley is a storyteller. His work as an author, storyteller, songwriter, playwright, speaker and workshop leader is genuine, irreverent, universal and original. The vibrant, hilarious picture he paints of American life is always about story, community and connection. He has influenced a generation of children, parents, performing artists and educators.

Jeremy Schaefer tours original storytelling assemblies to Chicagoland schools through Urban Gateways. He hosts and co-produces “The Sidesplitter,” an evening of funny people telling funny stories at Laugh Out Loud Theater in Schaumburg. As a playwright, he has created dozens of performances for young audiences. He recently wrapped up performances of the original solo show, “Tully’s Monster,” at The Field Museum.

2018 Special Guest Storytellers
Nestor “The Boss” Gomez was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. undocumented with his siblings in the mid ’80s. He told his first story at a Moth Slam as a way to get over stuttering. He won the Slam and has not stopped telling stories since. He hosts, curates and produces “80 Minutes Around the World Immigration Stories,” highlighting stories of immigrants and allies.

Anne Shimojima has delighted audiences across the country for more than 30 years with folk tales, literary stories and her Japanese American family’s World War II incarceration camp story. She first started telling stories as an elementary school library media specialist, enriching the curriculum and teaching her students to be storytellers, too. In 2017, she created her first CD, “Sakura Tales: Stories from Japan.”

Also offered at the festival:

• Student storytellers from Northwestern University and other local schools;• Poetry readings from Joanne Hirshfield Memorial Poetry Award Winners;• Opportunities to learn: Workshop and  Panel Discussion;• Opportunities to tell stories at Do Not Submit Open Mic session;• LGBTQ stories from Chicago’s OUTspoken!