Beginning in ninth grade as a blooming storyteller, Mellema traveled across the State of Michigan competing in high school forensic competitions. He went on to obtain his formal education at The Goodman Theatre School of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College.
As a professional storyteller, Mellema brings to life characters within his tales, drawing on his collection of published stories, oral histories, ethnic folktales, familiar children’s narratives and his own experiences. Mellema has broadened his horizons, bringing the joy of storytelling to many cultures as he has traveled around the world.
His expressive language and engaging energy makes him a much anticipated performer for Jackson County communities.
ROBIN NOTT combines storytelling and folk singing to awaken audiences of all ages to their authentic personal imaginative worlds. On the wings of story and song, Nott enables listeners to experience new worlds through the eyes of a child. Nott will tell you his true story, while listening for and honoring yours. Robin Nott has been storytelling and folksinging with audiences of all ages since 1983. He has told stories in schools, libraries, scout programs, state and national parks, churches, conferences, and festivals of all kinds.
JUDY SIMA is known across the country for her practical, interactive workshops with educators, librarians, students and families. She is a frequent presenter at the National Storytelling Conference, American Association of School Librarians, Michigan Reading Association and Michigan Association for Media in Education. Sima is a leading authority on youth storytelling. With more than 20 years experience coaching students and adults, Sima has helped many others to become storytellers. Her enthusiasm is contagious!
CORINNE STAVISH was born in The Bronx, spent her childhood years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, divided her adolescence between Chicago and NYC, went to college in Illinois, reared her children in Evanston, Illinois, and moved to
Michigan in midlife. Living in four states has given her an unusual perspective of this country and introduced her to a variety of people (characters) who populate her stories. Universally recognizable regional accents and situations fill her tales.
Dynamic and thought provoking…engaging and educational…heart-warming and humorous, JENIFER STRAUSS offers a unique brand of energy-injected and interactive performances, trainings, keynotes and consultation services using story as the common denominator to capture interest, motivate learning, inspire action, and transform lives. In 1993, following ten years as an environmental educator and classroom teacher, Strauss united her passion for teaching and storytelling to create Story Be Told, a narrative consulting business.
Jackson District Library is very grateful to all the community support we receive to present Jackson Storyfest. We would like to recognize the Jackson Intermediate School District for their
collaboration in scheduling the school performances and to all the community volunteers who donate their time and talent to this event. A special thank you to all the following individuals, businesses and organizations for their generous donations.
Jackson Storyfest is partially funded through a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.