Historic Jonesborough is the Storytelling Capital of World. Not only does this Tennessee town stage the highly acclaimed National Storytelling Festival every October, Jonesborough also serves as the home of the International Storytelling Center. It is here that story listeners and tellers from across America gather to share stories.
The annual Festival, founded in 1973, inspired an international renaissance of storytelling that has spread across America and the world. And in 2002, the International Storytelling Center campus—the first facility devoted exclusively to the ancient storytelling tradition—was opened to lead and serve this growing storytelling revival. The Center stands as a tribute to storytelling in the Tennessee town that gave birth to the revival of this longstanding tradition.
Jonesborough’s popular National Storytelling Festival showcases the world’s stories, storytellers, and storytelling traditions during a single weekend in October packed with non-stop storytelling. But in addition, ISC also spotlights storytelling every day, Tuesday through Saturday from May to October, through the Storytelling Live! Teller-in-Residence Series. Staged in the theater in the Center’s Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall, ISC showcases some of the world’s greatest storytellers—from Donald Davis and Carmen Deedy to Kathryn Windham—who, through their tales, can have you belly laughing one minute and crying the next.
But you don’t have to listen to storytelling performances to enjoy a good story. When you visit Jonesborough, you can sit on the porch of one of our charming hotels or bed-and-breakfast inns and spin a tale or two with your family and friends. With excellent shopping, dining, and great storytelling entertainment all within the sound of your voice, visitors can enjoy a delightful journey into the past.
Festival Photos by Fresh Air Photo