Menlo Park Library kicks off month of free live storytelling events

From left, storytellers Alicia Retes, Seung Ah Kim and Michael Katz are part of the Menlo Park Library's lineup at its fourth annual Storytelling Festival, which is set to run throughout September and into early October. (Photos courtesy city of Menlo Park.)

For those looking for family-friendly entertainment close to home, prepare for an extensive selection of free live storytelling events coming to the Menlo Park libraries over the coming month.

Menlo Park's fourth annual Storytelling Festival kicked off Saturday, Sept. 7, with a two-hour storytelling event featuring local professional and youth storytellers at the Menlo Park Library at 800 Alma St.

Over the following weeks, mainly on Wednesday evenings with additional events scheduled, more storytellers from a wide range of cultural backgrounds are scheduled to weave tales before attendees, most of which last no longer than an hour. All events are free and supported by the Friends of the Menlo Park Library.

These include:

● Sunday, Sept. 8: Alicia Retes will tell a Yosemite Miwok story, "Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La," geared toward families with kids ages 5 to 10. 2 p.m. at the Belle Haven Library, 413 Ivy Drive.

● Wednesday, Sept. 11: Tom and Sandy Farley share stories from Kosovo and beyond about times of fear and anger. Best for ages 8 and up. 7 p.m. at the main library.

● Wednesday, Sept. 18: Seung Ah Kim tells the mythical Korean story of Bari, the abandoned princess. Best for adults and teens. 7 p.m. at the main library.

● Thursday, Sept. 19: John Weaver shares stories on the theme of "Legends and Laughter." Best for ages 5 and up. 4 p.m. at the main library.

● Wednesday, Sept. 25: Bobby Norfolk, an Emmy award winner on tour from St. Louis, Missouri, shares tales of mystery and suspense. Best for adults and teens. 7 p.m. at the main library.

● Sunday, Sept. 29: Olga Loya shares real and fantastical stories of Latin American culture. Best for ages 5 and up. 2 p.m. at the Belle Haven branch library.

● Monday, Sept. 30: Film screening of "Belonging in the USA: The Story of Michael D. McCarty." The award-winning film shares the story of Los Angeles storyteller Michael McCary, who has been an aspiring scientist, Black Panther member, FBI target, soldier, drug addict and ashram devotee. After the film, he will teleconference in to speak with attendees. Best for adults and teens. 7 p.m. at the main library.

● Wednesday, Oct. 2: Michael Katz, on tour from Santa Barbara, shares comical and profound stories on the theme of "Far Away and Close to Home." Katz has been called a "versatile and wonderful storyteller" by the Los Angeles Times and has appeared at the Getty Center and Disney Concert Hall. Best for ages 8 and up. 7 p.m. at the main library.

Access more details at menlopark.org/storytelling.


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