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When we leave this world behind, we definitely can't take our worldly possessions with us. Though they remain, these material things we accumulate throughout a lifetime aren't our legacy. Instead, the impact we make on the people we know is what lives on beyond our years, in silent and indefinable ways and also through stories. The power of these stories, while never silent, can be somewhat obscure as well — but nonetheless worth preserving. The 30th annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival embraces and promotes this oral tradition by offering four days of storytellers at a variety of venues around town.

These national and regional performers share a bit of themselves as they spin yarns, passing along an ancient institution — and entertaining you in the process. These storytellers don't just sit and relate the details of their day-to-day; they make a narrative come alive through voice, sign language, music and more. Experience the power of the spoken (or the signed) word Wednesday through Saturday (April 29 through May 2) everywhere from the Lemp Mansion (3322 DeMenil Place) to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois), and from the Sunset Hills Borders (10990 Sunset Hills Plaza) to the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue). (At 7 p.m. on Thursday we'll probably be listening to the ghost stories at the Lemp or dropping by one of the participating Borders locations for an evening of adult storytelling.) To see the schedule and find out more about the programming, which targets all ages throughout the fest, call 314-516-5961 or visit www.stlstorytellingfestival.org. Admission to all events is free.
April 29-May 2, 2009

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