by Christine Mounts ~ September 3, 2023
While wandering the Minnesota State Fair conducting our annual folklore tour, Dr. Buzz’s State Fair Odyssey, we made a stop at the 12:30pm Arts A’Fair performance of the Black Storytellers Alliance. Being the last show, at lunchtime, and in the heat of the day, only two performers told stories under the foliage of the East Grandstand Plaza. But it was a real treat to see their performance.
If you missed the Black Storytellers Alliance at The Fair, you can see them perform by attending the 33rd Annual Black Masters Storytellers Festival on September 28-30, 2023.
Afterward, as our Founder Loren Niemi chatted with Master Storyteller Vusumuzi Zulu, I made my way around the gathered audience, circling the plaza with some promo materials and asked what I thought would be an easy question: “Are you interested in storytelling?” For ¾ of the people sitting on the benches in the shade, with corn and beer in hand, the answer was “no.”
OK, so maybe the State Fair is not the best place to find an audience for storytelling. To be fair to The Fair, the East Grandstand Plaza was a better location than the North End Event Center, which was a place of blazing sun and no seating last year. But I continue to be astounded by the lack of interest or understanding of this artform.Continue reading