The Center for Cultural Preservation (CCP), WNC’s cultural history and documentary film center, presents its Appalachian Storytelling Extravaganza on Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church near downtown Hendersonville. The annual event is part of CCP’s ongoing series, Keeping the Fires Burning, which celebrates the heroes of mountain culture in the region. This year’s extravaganza features nationally acclaimed storyteller Connie Regan-Blake.
“Having Connie lead up the Center’s storytelling event is doubly important, as she was mentored by Ray Hicks, who is considered one of the most renowned mountain storytellers in Southern Appalachian history,” says CCP executive director David Weintraub. “Connie is one of the leading firekeepers, tapping into Ray’s illustrious legacy while putting her own special take on those stories that continue to enchant audiences throughout WNC and the country.”
Regan-Blake was raised on a steady diet of Appalachian storytelling and music. As an adult, she made it her mission to be the keeper of these stories and traditions, many of which go back hundreds of years in Celtic and European history. “Whether we are from these mountains or more recently drawn to them, the folk tales from around here, both traditional and personal, connect us to this land, to the Appalachians and to all the generations of those that have settled here,” says Regan-Blake. “Through the stories we get to be awed, laugh out loud and enjoy the trickster energy and wisdom that abounds in them.”
Throughout her storytelling career, Regan-Blake helped ignite and shape the American storytelling revival. She served as a founding board member of the National Storytelling Association (formerly NAPPS). She is a frequent host and featured performer at the National Festival in Jonesborough, TN, where she has taken the stage every year since the first festival in 1973.
Trinity Presbyterian Church is located at 900 Blythe Street, Hendersonville. Tickets are $15. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended by registering online at SaveCulture.org or by calling the Center at 828.692.8062.