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Featured Teller at Rock Island Festival

Published April 16, 2007

Rock Island Trail Storytelling Festival

"Oh, the Rock Island Line is a Might Fine Line!"  These are the lyrics that start what once was a popular song about one of the great railroads of America.  The Rock Island line is now a line-up of storytelling programs for libraries starting in central Illinois and ending in the Rock Island, Illinois area.  The festival celebrated its tenth annual festival in April, 2007.

The Normal Storyteller was the first of three tellers on what was three successive weekends of storytelling programs at Illinois schools and libraries.  Dr. Mike Lockett, popular storyteller from Normal, Illinois performed two programs at Peoria Heights Grade School and one assembly at St. Thomas Catholic Grade School in Peoria Heights, Illinois on Friday, April 13.  Lockett performed at the Alpha Park Public Library and at the Peoria Heights Public Library on Saturday, April 14th.

Marilyn Price performed at the Pekin and Peoria Public Libraries.  She captivated audiences with her animated stories and her use of puppets during her programs.  Chris Vallillo, who performed for the very first festival, was brought back to perform at the Toulon and Princeville Public Libraries.  Vallillo was applauded for his guitar music, original songs and his musical performance that brought history to life. 

The Peoria area programs were paid for by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council that was distributed through the Peoria Public Library.  Lorraine Stotts, children's librarian at Peoria Heights rated the program as highly successful.  It was well attended, and evaluations by adults in attendance gave it a 9.89 out of a 10 point scale.  Stotts said the program was enjoyed by all ages of listeners in the audience.  Reviewers of the programs at other libraries said that all the programs were received well by the audiences