Berkwood Hedge School Storytelling Festival

Saturday, October 13th 2018, 1:00-5:00 PM


$10 for Adults and $5 for Children. 

Admission is Free for children 5 and under -- Gates open at noon.

Purchasing Tickets

Purchase Tickets Here

Tickets may also be purchased the day of the event





Joel ben Izzy

While the stories he tells come from all over the world, his own life and his travels, Joel is especially drawn to those tales where the lines between “story” and “reality” blur. "It happens when a character from an ancient Chinese folktale comes to life in a doctor’s office, or when the great Sufi trickster Mulla Nasrudin suddenly shows up in line at the grocery store, or when decisions made by the fools from Chelm turn out to be far wiser than those of our nation’s leaders…I believe the stories we tell have the power to change the world."


Kimberly ShiningStar

There was a time when stories told the history of the land, the plants, and the animals. Kimberly ShiningStar will bring that culture to life, sharing her Traditional Native Stories, some of which have been handed down for thousands of years. Kimberly ShiningStar is Tume’lay Nissenan Miwok, a California Indian. She has been sharing the Indigenous Culture of her people since 1999 with thousands of people every year and is very excited to share her stories at the “Telling Tales” event.


Chelle! & Friends Quartet w/Special Guest

Chelle! and Friends commemorates the music of Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and celebrates it's Creole people and their remarkable music.  Michelle Jacques along with some "very special friends" take the influences of jazz, funk, soul, Creole, Cajun, gospel, Caribbean, African, Zydeco, rock or the chants and stirring rhythms of Mardi Gras Indians.  Add to that their featured storyteller and we have a Storyteller headliner like none that we have ever seen.  Talents will feature Michelle Jacques, Rhonda Crane, Bryan Dyer, and Eric Swinderman. 

Dana Sherry was once a respectable historian of Russia until she turned to a life of storytelling. Today, she is the resident storyteller at the Silk Road House in Berkeley and produces “The Caravan of Stories,” a monthly storytelling series featuring the traditional tales of Central Asia.
Toni “Tone” Mikulka and Giant Puppets Save the World Crew
Artist, Toni “Tone” Mikulka, makes giant flying, rod-supported puppets of silk, bamboo, reed, and papier mache, using nontoxic processes. Presented in heavy duty umbrella stands or operated by one, two or three people, the puppets are lightweight and can be puppeteered by children as young as four years old with some guidance.  Multi-puppeteer puppets encourage teamwork, collaboration, and communication. A symbolic virtue of how “​ Giant Puppets Save the World​,” is to encourage us to work together to create something greater than ourselves.


For Walker Brents III, it all comes down to unlocking the great storehouse of myth, and making its riches available to the world.  He has served this purpose in bookstores, museums, coffeehouses, and art galleries ever since arriving in the Bay Area in the early 1980s.
As Berkwood Hedge's resident storyteller, he offers, as an organic outgrowth of the natural environment, a feast of vernacular poetic literatures.
Of the storyteller-as-educator, he says:  "Human speech is the place where myths unfold, today and tomorrow.  It has always been this way. The language of storytelling contains within itself how we, both as a species and as unique individuals, understand events as they occur. This is a process continually in transition.  The more we are aware of its nuances as it makes itself known, the more is our vigilance honed, our intuitive faculties strengthened, and our trust in life assured."



Daniel Barash holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from New York University. Certified in New York State, he led arts-in-education workshops for more than a decade on the East Coast before relocating to California in 2009.

Daniel has pioneered the use of shadow puppetry, an ancient Asian art form, in diverse secular and Jewish settings. Learn more about The Shadow Puppet Workshop by visiting



Food and Drinks

Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase at the festival from a Food Truck


Books and CD's from many of the tellers will be available for purchase at the festival's Marketplace.


Berkwood Hedge School is located at 1809 Bancroft Way between McKinley Avenue and Grant Street, four blocks from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.


Berkwood Hedge School is wheelchair accessible through the Grant Street gate. Disabled parking available. 


Berkwood Hedge is a Certified Green School and we encourage everyone to recycle at the Storytelling Festival.

Storytelling FAQ

What will it be like at the festival?

You will have the opportunity to hear three nationally recognized and celebrated tellers on our outdoor stage. In between, you can choose to hear many outstanding community tellers.

How do I get tickets?

We recommend that you purchase tickets through the website and they will be held for you at will call. You may also purchase tickets at the gate with cash, check, or a credit card.  Admission is $10 per adult and $5 per child.  Children 5 and under are free.

What ages will enjoy the festival?

This is an event for families, and we are aiming to please and entertain a wide range of children and adults. Parents are asked to be attentive to their children's needs and considerate of tellers and others in the audience.

Will there be food and drinks available?

Yes, there will be food trucks and picnic tables in the Berkwood Hedge School parking lot off of McKinley and Bancroft.

What are the seating arrangements?

We will have mainly chairs and benches. You do not need to bring your own seats, but very low portable chairs are allowed.

Will there be disabled access?

The school site is accessible. To request details or get further information about disability accommodations, please call 883-6990, email us at or call the California phone relay at 711. We will have specified disabled parking at the event.

What about signing for the hearing impaired?

We will provide signing by advance request. Please contact us by October 1st. (See above for contact info.)

How do I get to Berkwood Hedge? Is it close to BART?

The school is a block west of Berkeley High School and only a few blocks from the downtown Berkeley BART station. Mapquest has a clear map if you type in our address, 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 94703. 

What about bus access?

The #15 bus runs on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, about a block away.

What about automobile parking?

Parking can be challenging near Berkwood Hedge; many nearby streets have two-hour limits. Carpooling or coming by BART, bus, foot or bicycle is encouraged. If you do drive, be sure to allow plenty of time and be prepared to park a few blocks from the school.

If I bike, is there a secure place to park my bicycle?

Yes, we will provide supervised bike parking.

May I take photos or record the tellers?

No, due to arrangements with the tellers, we ask that no photos or recordings be taken. You will be able to purchase recordings at "The Marketplace" throughout the day.

Are dogs and other pets allowed?

Only service dogs are permitted on the festival grounds.

What if it rains?

We'll carry on. We'll likely have to make some location changes for featured tellers, but we will make it work, so please come rain or shine!

Many thanks and we hope to see you at The Berkwood Hedge School Storytelling Festival on Saturday, October 13th, 2018.