Sierra Storytelling Festival: tales that connect generations

FOR ONE MAGICAL WEEKEND IN JULY, settle back and hear stories unfold beneath the big trees and nighttime stars of the foothills. The 29th annual Sierra Storytelling Festival returns to the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center north of Nevada City on July 18-20.

Known as the “Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a lineup of talented, nationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stage.

This year’s lineup includes renowned storytellers Bill Harley, Elizabeth Ellis, Joel Ben Izzy, Joseph Bruchac, Muriel Johnson, Kirk Waller and Milbre Burch.

Featured events include a workshop with Harley and the hugely popular Sierra Story Slam, where attendees compete in the art of storytelling for a prize. Food and drink is available throughout the weekend.

The North Columbia Schoolhouse on the San Juan Ridge is an historic venue, redolent of the Miners Foundry in Nevada City or the North Star House in Grass Valley. The Schoolhouse was built by the mining community in 1875 and has served as a school and public meeting hall.

It now hosts cultural events with artists, musicians and writers from all over the world. It also hosts film screenings, classes and festivals—all in the backyard of Ridge resident and Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Gary Snyder.

For more information visit

(Photo: Tom Thurston)

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