2013 Schedule

17th Annual Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival

McCook, Nebraska

Patterns of the Prairie: A Celebration of Story and Song

Friday, May 31

Saturday, June 1



Buffalo Commons Workshop: Teller of Tales.  Relax and enjoy an afternoon workshop with author, playwright and teller of tales, Kevin Kling, a Midwesterner whose zodiac sign is “Minnesota with Iowa rising.”  Enjoy his stories, learn the “how to” of telling your personal life stories, and prepare to chuckle at his unique sense of humor.  Kevin Kling lives in Minneapolis and is a well-known playwright and storyteller, perhaps best known for his commentaries on NPR’s All Things Considered. He has headlined storytelling festivals around the United States including the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee.  Don’t miss this opportunity.
May 31, 2012, 3:00-4:30 pm, McCook Community College Campus, McMillen Hall Room 213
Cost: $15

Buffalo Commons Bus Trip: Dancing Leaf. The 2013 Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival’s Wild West Bus Tour destination will be Dancing Leaf Cultural Learning Center near Wellfleet, Nebraska. Experience the primitive Native American life along the banks of the Medicine Creek. Explore a reconstructed earthen lodge inhabited 800-1300 years ago by Native Americans known as the Upper Republican Culture and thought to be ancestors of the Pawnee. Hosts Les and Jan Hosick will share archaeological information and artifacts of the scenic Medicine Creek region while you learn the history and life of the Upper Republican Culture. Tour includes bus ride, guided tour of Dancing Leaf Cultural Learning Center, and luncheon of buffalo stew with all the trimmings.
May 31, 2012, 9:30 am-2:30 pm, Bus leaves from McCook Community College Campus, in front of McMillen Hall
Cost: $30

Buffalo Commons Combo: Dancing Leaf/Teller of Tales: The combination package includes the Dancing Leaf Bus Tour and Teller of Tales Workshop. Your day begins as the bus departs McMillen Hall at 9:30 a.m. and returns at 2:30 p.m.  Following the bus tour, enjoy participating in the Teller of Tales Workshop from 3-4:30 pm, all for the discounted price of $35.
May 31, 2012, 9:30-4:30 pm, Bus leaves from McCook Community College Campus, in front of McMillen Hall, workshop in McMillen Hall Room 213
Cost: $35

From Abstract to Reality: Enjoy stories told by our talented guest artist Sarah McKinstry-Brown and learn to shape your own memories and experiences into colorful tales. Winner of the 2011 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry and the Academy of American Poets Prize, McKinstry-Brown studied poetry at the University of New Mexico and the University of Sheffield, England. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska, and her first full-length collection of poetry, Cradling Monsoons, won the 2010 Blue Light Book Award. This exciting event at the McCook Public Library is for students in grades K-6 and for teachers, home-schoolers, parents, grandparents, librarians and others who want to learn the art painting with words and sculpting a story. This event is co-sponsored by McCook Public Library.
Reservations not required, but a call ahead is appreciated for planning purposes. (308-345-1906)
May 31, 2013, 1:30-3:00 pm, McCook Public Library, 802 Norris Ave.
Cost: Free

Feast of Song, Story and Western Barbecue! Please your prairie palate while reveling in the sounds and stories of our 2013 headliners. Musicians Brad Colerick, Steve Hanson and Jim Pipher will treat you to a savory repertoire of jazz standards of the 1930s to 1970s country rock, Motown soul to traditional Gospel and Bluegrass. Internationally renowned Master Storyteller Kevin Kling will delight your every taste with his often hilarious and sometimes tender stories. Sarah McKinstry-Brown will warm your heart and tickle your funny bone with her poignant poetry. “These poems make art from life, and reveal the making and living of life as an art of terrible power and tenderness. These poems are pure muscle, fierce heart.” -Lee Ann Roripaugh
The fantastic entertainment is accompanied by the Western epicurean’s favorite menu. Matt Sehnert and his crew will cook up Barbecued Brisket, all the traditional sides and a bread pudding dessert you’ll never forget.
May 31, 2013, 6:30 pm, Bieroc Café, on the Bricks in Downtown McCook
*Doors open and cash bar available at 6:00 p.m.
Space is Limited and Advance Reservations Required
Cost: $35

Southwest Nebraska Motif: Revel in stories about rural life in this open mic event at the High Plains Museum. Surrounded by the artifacts and memories that have shaped Nebraska’s people, events and values, share your own story or sit back and enjoy the tales others tell.
June 1, 2013, 10:00 a.m., High Plains Museum, Downtown McCook
Cost: Free

Artistry of Kevin Kling: Live it up with Master Storyteller Kevin Kling as he shares his favorite stories and interacts with the audience in the intimate setting of the High Plains Museum. Well-known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Kling will discuss some of his favorite topics and share stories bound to touch your heart. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are.
June 1, 2013, 10:00 a.m., High Plains Museum, Downtown McCook
Cost: Free

Music by Design with Brad Colerick, Steve Hanson and Jim Pipher: Delight in the sounds of three talented Nebraska musical artists as they entertain and share their life stories at the High Plains Museum. Colerick moved from his native Nebraska to Los Angeles in 1986 and built a successful career making music for commercials.  His CDs have landed in the Top 5 of both the Folk DJ and Euro-Americana charts. His finely wrought, plainspoken lyrics find the poetry in everyday language to celebrate the often forgotten moments that make life worth living. Hanson was inducted into the Nebraska Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and awarded the City of Lincoln’s prestigious Mayor’s Arts Award for performance. In his Lincoln studio, he shares with students some of what he’s learned on his rich musical journey. A versatile bass and guitar player, Pipher has been performing in Nebraska and throughout the Midwest for more than 40 years. The storytelling, character development and emotional resonance in Pipher’s songs captivate listeners of all musical tastes.
June 1, 2013, 11:00 a.m., High Plains Museum, Downtown McCook
Cost: Free

Hallow Thy Spirit: Rejoice in the glow of the beautiful stained glass windows of McCook’s Memorial United Methodist Church as Sarah McKinstry-Brown shares stories and poetry of love and inspiration. In a review of McKinstry-Brown’s book Cradling Monsoons, Lisa Gill writes, “Heaven, the black keys on a grand piano! This collection pits tension between reality and desire, cultivating a world rich with lived imagination. In Sarah McKinstry-Brown’s grasp, language tackles the world of marriage, pregnancies and family with a complex love capable of cradling frustrations and grief with a patience that can ride through any monsoons and still trust there will be air to breathe soon enough.”
This Buffalo Commons Storytelling event is co-sponsored by the Red Willow Co. Ministerial Association.
June 1, 2013, Time TBA, Memorial United Methodist Church, Downtown McCook
Cost: Free

Faces of McCook: Gather at the Bieroc for an open mic opportunity to share stories, poetry or songs about the people you have known. Honor the heroes or the ordinary folks who have touched your life or shaped your community. Hosted by author, businessman and community volunteer Walt Sehnert, this popular event is bound to evoke some nostalgia, laughter and tears. Grab the mic yourself or applaud those who do. Lunch will be available for purchase.
June 1, 2013, 12:30 p.m., Bieroc Cafe, Downtown McCook
Cost: Free

Honor Our Heritage: Visit the George Norris State Historical Site
Reconnect to the past with a visit to the George W. Norris home. Take a guided tour, see a film, join in conversation or just savor the ambience of this beautifully preserved historic treasure.
June 1, 2013, 1:30-3:30, Norris Home
Cost: Free

Kids Fest: Round up the “little doggies” and come to the Kids Fest, Saturday afternoon at Norris Park. Children from age three to fifth grade are invited to learn the value of entertainment in its simplest form as taught by our ancestors through stories and crafts. The event encourages participants to listen to stories told by others and develop stories of their own. This Buffalo Commons Storytelling event is co-sponsored by the Southwest Nebraska Reading Council and Alpha Iota Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa honorary organization for women educators.
June 1, 2013, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Norris Park
Cost: Free

Poetry in the Park: The young and the young at heart are invited to join in a lively presentation of poetry and stories led by Sarah McKinstry-Brown. This talented performer will captivate you with her incredible poems and encourage you to take a fresh look at the world around you. A responsive audience might even be able to entice her creative husband to do a little Poetry Slamming of his own. A favorite among Nebraska young people, Matt Mason has been a popular Artist in Residence at McCook High School. Don’t miss this opportunity for a great time at Norris Park.
June 1, 2013, 2:30-3:00 p.m., Norris Park
Cost: Free

How the West Has Fun! Join the Festival’s Grand Finale at McCook’s beautiful Historic Fox Theatre. Starring in this extraordinary celebration of story and song will be Internationally renowned Master Storyteller Kevin Kling and Nebraska’s famed musicians Brad Collerick, Steve Hanson and Jim Pipher.
This special performance is dedicated to Paul Gerald “Jerry” Johnston, Jr. of Lincoln, who died February 1, 2013. Jerry was Senior Producer at NET Radio and was a faithful supporter of the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival since its inception in 1997.
June 1, 2013, 7:30 p.m., Historic Fox Theatre, Downtown McCook
Cost: Adults $15; Students $5. Tickets may be purchased in advance from McCook Chamber of Commerce, Sehnert’s Bakery, Hershberger Music, McCook National Bank, on line at buffalocommonsstorytelling.com or at the door if available.