Calendar

Aug
2
Mon
Virtual – ASST (Artists Standing Strong Together) Program @ Zoom viz ASST
Aug 2 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST, www.artistsstandingstrongtogether.net) meets every Monday, 4-5:30 pm (EDT), and is open and free to all. During these meetings many creative topics are presented. Connie Regan-Blake is featured during this session telling about her collection of storytelling memorabilia the Library of Congress.

Aug
6
Fri
In-Person: 94th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival @ Lipinsky Hall Auditorium - UNCA campus
Aug 6 @ 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Connie is storytelling Friday, August 6 at 6:30pm in Lipinsky Auditorium on UNCA’s campus.

Are you ready to be  part of the 94th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival®? On August 5, 6, 7, 2021, a different show will be presented live on stage each evening allowing you to appreciate the talent and dedication of the hundreds of musicians, dancers, and storytellers who are preserving the traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. These traditions involve not only the hand-clapping, toe-tapping rhythms of Bluegrass, the style and stories of century-old ballads, the high energy of clogging, the elegance of Big Circle Mountain Smooth Dance, the fun and entertainment of storytelling, but also include an awareness of the hardships and trials that have brought us to this place and time.

This 94th Mountain Dance and Folk Festival® has been made possible through the generosity of our music community volunteering their time and talent to preserve and promote the Southern Appalachian music, dance and storytelling heritage.

A listing of performers who volunteer their time and talent to make our events possible can be found on Our Performers 

page. Please visit their websites and support their generosity by purchasing music, merchandise, making a contribution to virtual tip jars where available or just to tell them you enjoyed their performance. Our artists especially need our support during these difficult times.

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford as a means for people to share and understand the beauty and dignity of the Southern Appalachian music and dance traditions that have been handed down through generations in western North Carolina. He saw the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival grow to be the oldest gathering of its kind in the nation and it continues in this way, a platform for the talented of the high country lying between the Great Smoky and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Since 1928, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival has served a crucial role in raising awareness and understanding of the vitality and importance of Southern Appalachian culture throughout the region, nation and world. Bascom Lunsford’s mission was to present the finest of the Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams for education and entertainment. The songs and dances shared at this event echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage found in the valleys and coves between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lunsford’s was the first dubbed a folk festival, and he later consulted with many communities across the country interested in organizing similar festivals.

Oct
25
Mon
VIRTUAL – Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage: an Online Workshop (Session #1) @ Zoom
Oct 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
VIRTUAL - Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage: an Online Workshop (Session #1) @ Zoom

The focus of “Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage” an online workshop is on storytelling performance and techniques to stream live online. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “performance-ready.” The workshop begins on the Monday evening with attention paid to each participant’s individual set-up, along with breakout rooms for story work. Then, the workshop will continue Thursday-Sunday for 2-3 hours per day, including a Saturday evening online performance for friends and family October 28-31, 2021.

Thursday and Friday’s sessions continue group and partner exercises with individual feedback designed to smooth rough edges and polish your story and performance.

On Saturday evening the group meets at 6:30pm to double check our tech set-up, with the performance beginning at 7:00pm. Connie emcees the performance and introduces each storyteller. You will have the option of recording your own story on Zoom. (Please note: the performance will only be for workshop participants and not open to the public.)

Sunday afternoon, each participant has group focused time to reflect on her/his performance and then receive individualized feedback, appreciations, coaching, and suggestions from Connie and the other participants.

This workshop provides a supportive, affirming atmosphere to nurture storytellers’ performance skills and confidence.

More information can be found on here.

Oct
28
Thu
VIRTUAL – Continuing Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage: an Online Workshop @ Zoom
Oct 28 @ 12:00 pm – Oct 31 @ 7:00 pm
VIRTUAL - Continuing Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage: an Online Workshop @ Zoom

The focus of “Taking Your Story to the Virtual Stage” an online workshop is on storytelling performance and techniques to stream live online. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “performance-ready.” The workshop begins on the Monday evening October 25th with attention paid to each participant’s individual set-up, along with breakout rooms for story work. Then, the workshop will continue Thursday-Sunday for 2-3 hours per day, including a Saturday evening online performance for friends and family October 28-31, 2021.

Thursday and Friday’s sessions continue group and partner exercises with individual feedback designed to smooth rough edges and polish your story and performance.

On Saturday evening the group meets at 6:30pm to double check our tech set-up, with the performance beginning at 7:00pm. Connie emcees the performance and introduces each storyteller. You will have the option of recording your own story on Zoom. (Please note: the performance will only be for workshop participants and not open to the public.)

Sunday afternoon, each participant has group focused time to reflect on her/his performance and then receive individualized feedback, appreciations, coaching, and suggestions from Connie and the other participants.

This workshop provides a supportive, affirming atmosphere to nurture storytellers’ performance skills and confidence.

More information can be found on here.

Nov
6
Sat
In-Person – National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys @ Omni Nashville Hotel
Nov 6 @ 11:20 am – Nov 9 @ 12:20 pm

Nov 3-6, 2021 National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys Fall Seminar – Walking the Line: Effective Storytelling and Communication Techniques for Making Your Defense Sing

Connie is co-leading a courtroom storytelling workshop at this conference with criminal defense attorney Stephen Lindsay in Nashville on Saturday November 6th.

Connie is available for other bookings in the Nashville area that week as well.