Four renowned storytellers—Chuck Fink, Ronnie Pepper, Barbara McBride-Smith and Christine Westfeldt—will present A Patchwork of Stories on Sunday, March 24, from 2–4 p.m. at the Folk Art Center. The concert-inwords is presented by Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch and sponsored by the Wilma Dykeman Legacy and the Southern Highlands Craft Guild.
Westfeldt’s Swedish ancestors settled in Fletcher in the 1860s. Raised in New Orleans, she moved to WNC in 1999, creating a retreat center in Balsam and working as a licensed counselor for more than 20 years. “I will be telling an original story that is very close to my heart about an endangered wild animal, the majestic red wolf,” says Westfeldt. “With golden eyes and a cinnamon tinge on its fur, these animals live in packs in the wild only in North Carolina. The story unfolds as a grandmother shares with her grandson the beauty of the red wolf and the importance of protecting their habitat and their wildness.”
Fink began telling stories for audiences in 2012 at age 62. He tells stories of his family’s escape from Russia to begin new lives in Appalachia and the American South. They “traded the harsh Russian language and accents for the beauty of the southern drawl,” he says.
A native of Henderson County, Pepper is a creative storyteller, mentor and educator. He works at the Henderson County Public Library and is involved with many community organizations, including the Hendersonville YMCA, Flat Rock Playhouse and the African American Reading Project.
McBride-Smith was a school librarian for 44 years and a seminary professor for more than 20 years. She is a frequent performer at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN and a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for Outstanding Contributions to Storytelling. “I tell true-life stories that spring from my memory banks just the way Athena sprang from the head of Zeus,” she says.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door, and may be purchased at BrownPaperTickets.com. The Folk Art Center is located in east Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information, call Becky Stone at 828.692.1902 or 828.243.9259.