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Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival: Featured Storytellers

ONEIDA, Tennessee – Be sure to mark your calendar for the 29th annual “Haunting in the Hills” Storytelling Festival, scheduled for Saturday, September 18, from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (ET) at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center area.  Enjoy a fun-filled day of stories, music, crafts and more.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket and be part of a 29-year tradition and be sure to stay through the evening for the popular Haunting in the Hills ghost stories. 

Featured 2021 storytellers 

Charlotte Blake Alston performs in venues throughout North America and abroad.  She breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African American oral and cultural traditions. Her solo performances are often enhanced with traditional instruments such as djembe, mbira, shekere or the 21-stringed kora.  She brings her stories and songs to national and regional festivals, schools, universities, museums, libraries and performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as local and national radio and television.  Her repertoire is wide, and programs are adapted to any grade level or age group.

Katie Knutson fell in love with Storytelling in high school when she competed in weekly Forensics (speech) competitions.  In Katie Knutson’s 27 years as a Storyteller and 20 years as Teaching Artist, she has delivered Arts-Integrated residencies, performances, and classes to well over 35,000 kids.  This world traveler has taught in both Spanish and English and presented workshops on the Art of Storytelling, Physical Character Choices, Theater Games, Vocal Warm-ups/Character Voices, and Arts Integration in Canada, Chile, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and around the US.  Katie lives in Bloomington, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, son, and two black cats.  Ask her about her pet worms!

Dylan Pritchett is a native of Williamsburg, Virginia. Since 1990, Mr. Pritchett has been a full-time storyteller, taking his African and African American folk tales averaging over a hundred schools annually throughout the country.  Dylan’s storytelling work extends beyond the classroom to museums, arts centers, historical sites, television, and recordings. Dylan is equally proud of authoring his first children’s picture book, The First Music and his second book due out 2018 titled The Yellow-Speckled Blackbird. Mostly, he is proud to have been married to his wife Patricia for 36 years and the father of two respectful children, Dylan Jr., and Shannan!  

Jasmin Cardenas is a Colombian American award-winning bilingual Storyteller, Actress, Educator and Social Activist.  Jasmin enjoys exploring the uncomfortable truths found when you grow up between cultures. Jasmin’s national touring reached new heights when she was an Exchange Place Teller at the 2016 National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.  One of the first two Latina’s awarded the 2012 Race Bridges Storytelling Fellowship, she created two new social justice stories from her life now available on her CD My Brothers’ Keeper: Stories of Social Justice and Civic Responsibility.  Jasmin works with youth and adults alike to find solutions to real life problems, create a space for dialogue around issues of conflict and create art that speaks to the needs of today’s world. The event is free and open to the public. For additional information on this special event as well as other events, call (423) 569-9778, or visit online at:

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