Kim Weitkamp – National Storyteller
Kim’s childhood adventure with story was shaped by T.V.’s Sanford & Son, All in the Family and M.A.S.H. …plus the old worn out fairy tale collection she read over and over. Add to that her father’s love of Johnny Cash and old time radio shows being played throughout the house and the dye was cast. Kim carved out her role as the class comedian at a young age; writing plays and skits and sharing stories that exasperated her parents while thrilling her high school theater teacher.
The results of these influences show up in her work time and time again. One review stated, “Kim is a master at seamlessly building bridges from story, to song, to story. Like all good storytellers she evokes both laughter and tears, but her impeccable timing, and dead-on anticipation of her listeners’ needs place her at the pinnacle of her craft. Then, she pulls her guitar out and you think, where did that come from, that milk and honey voice?”
In her work as a humorist, storyteller, singer and songwriter, she has taken home an armload
of awards and recognitions. Kim currently has 8 award winning audio collections, the latest being, Dead Bird Singing.
“It’s all about the people, Kim says, I love people. People are a walking, talking story…I am no different; I just get to share mine from stage. When I am on stage, I am at my most, I feel whole. I make no apology for that, it’s how I was created. When I get a good laugh from the audience I know we are getting somewhere and that somewhere is the meaty part of the story I am telling. I tell stories not only to provide a release valve through humor and comedy, but to deposit a piece of myself, my story into another person and hopefully…it makes a difference. Actually, that is what we are all called to do.”
The Oregonian stated, ‘Kim studs her storytelling performances with bits of musical Americana
that match the sweet and gentle tones of her narrative”.
Her material is played regularly on NPR affiliate stations and on SiriusXM Radio. Kim travels the continent full time performing at theaters and at festivals. She has made numerous television appearances, hosted a successful morning show and has keynoted for some of Forbes most recognized companies and high profile national non-profits.
Bil Lepp – National Storyteller
Bil’s humorous, family friendly tall-tales and stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life. Though a five time champion of the WV Liars’s Contest, Lepp’s stories often contain morsels of truth which present universal themes in clever and witty ways. Audiences all across the country, from grade schools to corporate execs to the Comedy Central’s Hudson stage, have been delighted by Bil’s mirthful tales and delightful insights into everyday life. Bil’s books and audio collections have won awards including the PEN Steven Kroll Award for Children’s Book Writing, Parents’ Choice Gold awards, and awards from the National Parenting Publications Assoc., and the Public Library Assoc.
Sam Payne – National Storyteller
Sam’s fill-the-room stage presence, craftsmanship, and his soaring tenor voice have established him as a favorite with audiences and critics alike. Payne has brought his stories and songs to halls in Canada, Bulgaria, Tokyo, and from coast to coast in the United States, including the Will Rogers Auditorium in Dallas, Texas and the Kennedy Center in the nation’s capitol. A regular performer at the Weber Storytelling Festival, he’s been featured at other festivals large and small, including the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and on the Exchange Place stage at the National Storytelling Festival. He’s shared stages with rock legends Foreigner and Toto, and with pop superstars Air Supply and Marie Osmond. Sam has authored publications for children, with a regular readership of more than a million elementary school students. He co-directed the “Soundcheck Series,” an artist development program for independent songwriters, and currently hosts “The Apple Seed: Tellers and Stories,” a national radio show on the art of storytelling, broadcasting daily on BYU Radio.
Omar & Lori Hansen – National Storytellers
Omar and Lori Hansen, a husband and wife tandem storytelling team, are each artists in their own right. Omar is an award winning playwright, and songwriter. He is an actor, with many theatre, film and television credits. Lori works as the primary director for their company, the Great Bear Folk Theatre, as well as an actor. Her one-woman storytelling show “Becoming An Honorary Crone” has toured throughout Idaho and Utah, with great success. When they join forces, the result is great family theatre. As a storytelling duo, they have performed at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the Forest Storytelling Festival, the Weber State Festival, the Cache Valley Festival, and at the National Storytelling Festival as exchange place tellers in Jonesboro, TN. They are thrilled to be part of the Teton Storytelling and Arts Festival here on their old stomping grounds and hope to reconnect with old friends, and make many new ones.
Clive J. Romney – Regional Storyteller
Clive Romney, recording producer, composer, songwriter, cowboy poet, and storyteller, serves as Executive Director of Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts (www.upharts.org), and on the Utah Arts Council (heritage.utah.gov/arts-and-museums/arts-museums-boards) board representing the folk arts.
Clive plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, accordion, percussion, dan tranh, charango, bodhran, and other ethnic instruments. But his passion for pioneer stories has hijacked his life and sent him (willingly) down Story Road Utah. He now travels the state helping find Utah’s untold stories, creating engaging tellings of them, and helping families, storytellers and communities do likewise.
He began telling fanciful stories to his children more than thirty years ago, involving them by name as the protagonists in the stories. But when his interest in ancestral stories blossomed a few years ago, he began searching for ways to involve his grandchildren (24) in those stories. This workshop (Family Storytelling For Moms & Dads) grew directly out of that experience.
Clive has recently told at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, the Cache Valley Storytelling Festival, the Draper Heritage Festival, the Old Capitol Arts & Living History Festival, the Scandinavian Heritage Festival, and the Panguitch Lake Fall Festival, and was a featured teller at the Weber State University Storytelling Festival in February of 2017.
Clive was honored by the Sons of Utah Pioneers in 2012 as a Modern Pioneer, and by the Days of 47 Committee in 2016 as a Pioneer of Progress for his work with pioneer and ancestral storytelling.