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Annual Tale Tellin’ Festival returns to ArtsRevive Thursday

By Lew Gilliland

The Selma Times-Journal

Storyteller Andy Irwin and Birmingham’s Rolling in the Hay will be part of ArtsRevive’s 43rd annual Tale Tellin’ Festival on Thursday, Oct. 14.

Begun in 1978 by the late Kathryn Tucker Windham, the festival has grown in prominence and attendance each year, organizers say.

Every year, ArtsRevive invites talented storytellers and musicians from around the region to participate in the festival in downtown Selma. Leading up to the event, tellers visit local schools, sharing their stories and encouraging students to embrace their own creativity.

Irwin is this year’s featured artist.

He has consistently been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival and has appeared 14 times as teller in residence at the International Storytelling Center.

Irwin has served as a guest artist at the La Guardia High School of Art, Music, and Performing Arts in New York (The “FAME!” School) and a keynote speaker/performer at the Library of Congress-Virburnum Foundation Conference on Family Literacy.

Also a talented musician, he has been a guest writer/performer with the Georgia Tech Glee Club and a guest composer with the Amherst College Men’s Double Quartet.

Rolling In The Hay can be categorized as a “high octane groove grass/Americana, funny songs about life in general and killer pickin’ and grinning,” organizers say. They have also been named as one of the original proponents of bluegrass rock by the Los Angeles Times.

Becky Youngblood, executive director of ArtsRevive, is excited about the event. 

“Enriching our community through stories and music is right at the heart of ArtsRevive’s mission,” she said. “This festival brings people together and shines a light on our shared humanity. We are meant to laugh and to love, and that is what this event is all about.”

The event will be at ArtsRevive at 3 Church Street in Selma. Catering will be provided by Sandbar (cash and credit are accepted). Tickets are $25. To order online, find ArtsRevive on eventbrite.com. Just type in “Arts Revive Tale Tellin” in the search bar.

Tickets will also be available at the door or at Gallery 905. All ArtsRevive events follow CDC guidelines, so bring your mask and spread out, there will be plenty of space.

ArtsRevive thanked the State Council on the Arts and SouthArts for their generous support to help make this event possible.