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Participants of the 2022 Young Storytellers Camp take a moment to pose onstage at the Colonial Arts Center. / Photo courtesy ART26201

ART26201 to host third annual Young Storytellers Camp June 12-16

BUCKHANNON — ART26201, in partnership with Upshur County Schools, will host the third annual YOUNG STORYTELLERS CAMP, open to high school ages, from June 12-16, 2023, at LASCAUX Micro-Theater in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The weeklong day camp will focus on the traditional Appalachian art of storytelling.

Space is available for up to 24 students, who will have the chance to perform their stories on the Colonial Arts Center Main Stage at the conclusion of camp. All-stars James Froemel, Doug Van Gundy, and Jason Young will lead the camp instruction, with special guest instructor Bil Lepp joining for a workshop on the final day.

The first 5 Upshur County Schools students to sign up will receive free camp tuition sponsored by the Upshur County Board of Education!

Please contact info@ART26201.com to reserve your student’s seat, and include your student’s T-shirt size when signing up for camp! Snacks and drinks will be provided; however, students will be asked to bring lunch daily.

Location: Lascaux Micro-Theater/Colonial Arts Center in Buckhannon, W.Va.
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Age: 14-18
Fee: $150

James Froemel is the winner of the 2015, 2017, and 2019 West Virginia Biggest Liar competition, as well as the 2015 Fibbin’ on the 4th storytelling contest in Ripley, WV. He has been featured in storytelling performances at schools and festivals throughout WV, and his work has been published in Goldenseal, the magazine of West Virginia traditional life. James holds a BFA in acting from WVU.

Doug Van Gundy is a published author and musician from Elkins, WV. He teaches English at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, with a primary focus on creative writing, Appalachian literature, and humanities. His poems and essays have appeared in many journals, including PoetryThe GuardianThe Oxford AmericanThe Louisville Review, and Goldenseal.

Jason Young is a freelance theater director and actor living in north central WV. He is co-founder and former artistic director at The Gateway Repertory Theater, Vintage Theatre Company, VTC to GO program, and premier performer in West Virginia’s professional comedy troupe, The Fearless Fools. He studied theater at Fairmont State University.

Bil Lepp, a West Virginia Wesleyan College alumnus, is an award-winning, hilarious storyteller, author, recording artist, and champion liar. He’s the host of the History Channel’s Man Vs History series, the occasional host of NPR’s internationally syndicated Mountain Stage, and a contributing columnist to the West Virginia Gazette-Mail.  Bil’s humorous, family-friendly tall-tales and stories have earned the appreciation of listeners of all ages and from all walks of life.  Lepp’s entertaining stories often contain morsels of truth which present universal themes in clever and witty ways.  Audiences all across the country, from grade schools to corporations to Comedy Central’s Hudson stage, have been delighted by Bil’s mirthful tales and delightful insights into everyday life.  Bil’s books and audio collections have won awards, including the PEN Steven Kroll Award for Children’s Book Writing, Parents’ Choice Gold awards, and awards from the National Parenting Publications Association and the Public Library Association. He is also the recipient of the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folk honor.

ART26201 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon community.”  For more information about ART26201 projects, and for ways to provide financial or volunteer support, email info@ART26201.com or visit their website at www.ART26201.com.

This program is made possible with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and additional financial assistance provided by FirstEnergy Foundation.

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