Segerstrom Center Teaching Artist Victoria Burnett Performs at National Storytelling Festival, Now thru 10/6

Segerstrom Center Teaching Artist Victoria Burnett Performs at National Storytelling Festival, Now thru 10/6

Victoria Burnett, one of Segerstrom Center for the Arts' teaching artists on its Arts Teach roster, will be a featured performer at the 41st National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. The event will be held today, October 4 - 6 at the International Storytelling Center, the prime destination for storytellers around the world who treasure and practice the age-old art of using storytelling to teach, inspire and preserve cultural and historical lore.

Burnett is a multi-talented master teacher. Through the Center's Arts Teach program, she is available to perform for school and community events. The Center is committed to providing residents throughout Orange County with opportunities to enhance their knowledge of and appreciation for the performing arts. Appropriate programs are available for elementary school through university level students, educators, hospitals, clubs, civic and other non-profit organizations. Each year the Center's artists touch the lives of as many as 350,000 young people throughout Southern California.

Burnett fuses stories and music to delight and soothe the spirit. She captures the imaginations of each audience member and transports them on memorable journeys through folk tales, tall tales, multicultural and African-American tales, personal stories and, as she says, "whoppers." She blends her skills as teacher, librarian, singer and performer to become a "story musicologist." By fusing a delicious mixture of words, movement and song, she draws listeners into her compelling stories. For Segerstrom Center, her stories focus perpetuating authentic oral multi-cultural presentations in Stories that Sing and Wealth of Wisdom tales, on bullying and historic black Civil War soldiers. In Bully, Bully, she relates a series of compelling stories with themes such as respect and honesty to deal with bullying. In Forgotten Heroes, she highlights the wit, power and courage of the African American Civil War soldiers in a dramatic collection of tales that tell how these brave individuals made a significant difference in the outcome of the War Between the States.

Blessed with a captivating and lyrical soprano voice, Burnett has toured throughout the world as a classical performer and contemporary Christian artist. She has been a soloist with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers and the Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles, and in 2008 starred as Bess in Porgy and Bess at Disney Hall. Burnett has also appeared at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., National Storytelling Network Festival, National Black Storytellers Festival, MTV's Storytime Theatre and the California School Libraries Association. She also sang with Pacific Symphony on its European debut tour as Serena in Porgy and Bess.

The National Storytelling Festival, now in its 41st year and acclaimed as one of the Top 100 Events in North America, sparked a renaissance of storytelling across the country. On a warm October weekend in 1973 in historic Jonesborough, the first National Storytelling Festival was held. Hay bales and wagons were the stages, and audience and tellers together didn't number more than 60. It was tiny, but something happened that weekend that forever changed their culture, this traditional art form, and the little Tennessee town. To spearhead that revival, several noted storytellers and story lovers founded the National Storytelling Association. The founding organization became the center of an ever-widening movement that continues to gain momentum to this day. Storytelling organizations, festivals and educational events have popped up all over the world. Teachers, healthcare workers, therapists, corporate executives, librarians, spiritual leaders, parents and others regularly make storytelling a vibrant part of their everyday lives and work.

The story of how it all started is one that many northeast Tennesseans are familiar with. As news of the Festival and of the movement aired on national television and in magazines as diverse as Los Angeles Times Magazine, Reader's Digest, People and Smithsonian, the story of how a happenstance hearing of a folktale on a car radio ignited a national movement.

For more information about the Center's education and community programs, including Arts Teach, visit or call 714/556-2122, ext. 4365.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is unique as both an acclaimed arts institution and as a multi- disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence on all of its stages, offering unsurpassed experiences, and engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring programs.

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