Joe McHugh

"If we don't learn to tell our own stories someone will tell them for us." ~ Maria Gillan, Poet



Since earliest times storytelling has been used to entertain, instruct, and motivate. Participants in this workshop learn practical techniques on how to find, develop, and tell stories from an experienced storyteller and folklorist. A variety of story types are discussed and demonstrated including humorous anecdotes, personal stories, folktales, urban legends, tall tales, ghostlore, ballads, and family memories. Concepts such as the importance of personal imagery, the power of silence, the “gift of selection,” timing and gesture, and storytelling as ritual are explored so that participants gain an understanding and appreciation of this rich and varied art form.

The Art of Storytelling

“I am delighted to tell you that the evaluation sheets were unanimous in the “Excellent” comments given for the presentation, “The Art of Storytelling.” Thank you for a most effective and enjoyable workshop.”

Kay Atchison, Placer County Office of Education, Auburn, California

" Thank you, thank you for gifting our students with your time and your perspective as one who values true storytelling. Your visit was a treat."

Brad Underland, AP English Teacher Olympia High School, Olympia, Washington



Community Leaders

Business Leaders



Park Rangers

Camp Counselors

Whitewater Rafting Guides

Elected Officials


Ideal For:

The Stranger at the Door

Technology is no joke; it's here and here to stay. In this thought-provoking presentation, Joe McHugh examines the negative effects electronic forms of entertainment are having on the psychological health of young children today. Drawing upon discoveries in the field of brain and mind development and his own experience as a parent, storyteller, children's museum founder, and arts camp director, he provides his audience with a rare opportunity to reflect upon the unique nature of childhood and the powerful role imagination plays in those early and vulnerable years. What is more, he offers workable solutions for keeping harmful influences at bay while fostering a spirit of curiosity and adventure in both children and those who care for them.

" Joe's presentation made significant contributions to our studies and we very much appreciated his knowledge, style, and humor with which he shared them. The stories and concepts he shared helped our students see the relevance of other people's experiences to their own. That is good teaching!"

Terry A. Setter, Faculty Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

Ideal For:





After School Instructors

PTA Organizations

"Joe McHugh is able, through a variety of media, to collect and communicate information in a manner that responds to today's culture and has great educational and cultrual impact."

~Jean Soliz-Conklin, Executive Director, First Five Nevada County, Children and Families First Commission