THE RENAISSANCE OF STORYTELLING

INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING CENTER

JONESBOROUGH, TN

When Jimmy Neil Smith led a group of students and neighbors into Jonesborough’s Courthouse Square in 1973 where they proceeded to sit and tell stories, he had no idea what was to come.

Smith, a journalism teacher who would one day become mayor of Jonesborough, liked to listen to comedian Jerry Clower tell tales on the radio, leading him to do the same – in the middle of town that day. And that was how the now famous National Storytelling Festival was born.

The festival, held every October for three days under colorful tents scattered throughout the city, now attracts more than 14,000 visitors each year. Considered the world’s first public event dedicated solely to storytelling, the Festival laid the groundwork for the International Storytelling Center, which was founded in 1975. In 2002, the Center found a permanent home in downtown Jonesborough.

The goal of the Storytelling Center is to inspire and empower people all over the world to capture and tell their stories, listen as others tell theirs, and use storytelling for positive change. From May through October, the Center stages Storytelling Live!, a teller-in-residence series that features a different, nationally-known storyteller each week. They appear in daily matinee concerts, as well as special evening performances, children’s concerts and workshops.

INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING CENTER

JONESBOROUGH, TN
100 W Main St, Jonesborough, TN 37659
(423) 753-2171

WHAT’S NEARBY

Find great places to eat, shop and play while you are on the Trail.

WHERE TO EAT

main-street-cafe

Main Street Café

Soups, salads, sandwiches, fresh-baked desserts, local beer.

117 W Main St, Jonesborough, TN 37659
(423) 753-2460

Website

WHERE TO SHOP

mauks

Mauk’s of Jonesborough

Seating by Ekornes / Stressless, Luna by IMG, Tempur-pedic® mattresses & pillows, fine furniture & accessories, and fun gifts.

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WHAT TO DO

cemetary-tours

Guided Town and Cemetery Tours

History through storytelling all year round with complete guide service, custom designed tours, one day group tours, multiple day group tours, daily tours for the individual traveler, positive solutions murder mysteries, custom dinners & entertainment, holiday tours, and specialty tours.

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storytelling

Storytelling Live!

 Storytelling Live!—the International Storytelling Center’s renowned teller-in-residence (TIR) series—features a lineup of 26 nationally-known storytellers in Jonesborough, Tennesseef rom May to October.

Website

rep-theatre

Jonesborough Repertory Theatre

Jonesborough Repertory Theatre offers quality theatrical entertainment, great performances, educational programs, and children’s theatre.

125 W Main St, Jonesborough, TN 37659
(423) 753-1010

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