Award-winning storyteller Ingrid Nixon can usually count on being the most interesting person at a dinner party. Just for example, when she arrives in Jonesborough for her series of performances at the International Storytelling Center (ISC), she’ll have recently finished traveling by ship far off the coast of Russia.
Nixon, who was a national park ranger in Alaska for 15 years, is what you might call an adventurer. We’re not talking a vacation to India or a safari honeymoon. We’re talking Nixon has been to Antarctica more than 25 times.
That’s more than most professional explorers, in case you’re wondering.
Altogether, the award-winning storyteller has more than 30 years of travel experience, and while she’s not new to storytelling—stories were a big part of her work as a park ranger and a travel leader—she is relatively new to Jonesborough. Just years before she planned to retire from being a park ranger, she made the leap into professional storytelling.
Her debut as a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival last year went so well that Nixon can’t wait to bring more of her stories to Tennessee’s oldest town.
“Every time I’ve been to the microphone, I’ve always walked away a better teller,” she has said.
Nixon, who lives in Washington, recently spent time in Johnson City studying storytelling at ETSU. Her repertoire has grown to include fairy tales, folk tales, personal stories, myths, and tall tales—all of which she’ll likely incorporate into her performances in Jonesborough.
As ISC’s teller in residence, Nixon will host a weeklong series of matinee concerts in downtown Jonesborough. Her appearance is part of the organization’s popular Storytelling Live! series, which will run through the end of October. All performances will be held in the intimate theater in Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall, located just off Main Street.
Nixon’s residency will be July 18 – 22 (Tuesday through Saturday), with concerts beginning daily at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are just $12 for adults and $11 for seniors, students, and children under 18 for all performances. Reservations are recommended.
Nixon’s unique tales travel far and wide, from Madagascar to Easter Island. If you can think of an interesting place, chances are she’s been there—just ask. Maybe she’ll even have a story.
Storytelling Live! will bring a new storyteller to Jonesborough each week during its 2017 season. Ticketholders can present their ticket stubs for a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at JJ’s Eatery and Ice Cream or Main Street Café, two popular eateries in Jonesborough.
Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule for 2017, is available at www.storytellingcenter.net. The premier sponsor of Storytelling Live! is the Heart & Soul program of Mountain States. Additional program funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the East Tennessee Foundation, Eastman Credit Union, the Niswonger Foundation, Citi and Food City.
The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 952-8392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.