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Masters Tell Tales at 7th Annual Storytelling Festival

Vashon Wilderness Program  will host its 7th annual Coyote Tales Storytelling Festival on Saturday, February 1 at the Open Space for Arts and Community on Vashon Island. Starting at 4pm, storytellers Allison Cox, Merna Hecht, Steffon Moody and Gene Tagaban will delight all with an imaginative evening of storytelling; supper and dessert to be served during intermission. The proceeds will support the VASHON WILDERNESS PROGAM mission to provide nature immersion experiences for Puget Sound youth.

“Storytelling is inseparable from human life,” explains Stacey Hinden, executive director of VASHON WILDERNESS PROGRAM.  “For generations, we have been telling story - be it around a fire to convey lessons for survival; at the dinner table to relay a funny happening from our day; or snuggling up in the dark night to whisper a bedtime tale of wonder. The Coyote Tales Storytelling Festival will stir the imagination of all who listen, allowing our unconscious to take flight into sensuous realms of magic, myth and hero.”

The headlining storytellers for this year’s program herald from diverse backgrounds yet share the gift of this timeless medium.  

Vashon Island resident Allison Cox is an internationally known storyteller, and is passionate about using stories to heal. She is a founder and current coordinator of the Healing Story Alliance ( and edits their journal Diving in the Moon; Honoring Story, Facilitating Healing.   She is also a co-editor/contributor to The Healing Heart books on storytelling for encouraging international, community and personal development.  

Merna Ann Hecht is a poet, essayist, teaching artist and nationally known storyteller.  She is a recipient of the National Storytelling Network 2008 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling.  Hecht founded and co-directs the Stories of Arrival Poetry Project with refugee and immigrant youth at Foster High School in Tukwila and she teaches creative writing, arts and humanities at the University of WA, Tacoma.  

Steffon Moody is a Character Actor and Physical Comedian, entertaining audiences professionally for the past 25 years, and also a writer, director, musician, designer and storyteller.  Moody is a founding member of the UMO Ensemble, a performer with Room Circus Medical Clowning, and manager of Chameleon Performance.           
Gene Tagaban, “One Crazy Raven,” is an inspirational speaker, performer, and storyteller. He is a board member and trainer for the Native Wellness Institute. He has been a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, the Kansas City storytelling Festival, the Bay Area Storytelling festival in Berkeley, the St. Louis Storytelling Festival and the Singapore International Storytelling Festival. Tagaban’s foremost passion is teaching. Using his gift of storytelling, dance, and music, he travels across the country performing, presenting, and facilitating workshops on suicide prevention, empowerment, leadership, relationship-building, communication skills, self-awareness, spirit and honor to participants of all ages.

Vashon Wilderness Program (VWP) is the major sponsor of the Coyote Tales Storytelling Festival. VWP provides nature immersion experiences for Puget Sound youth, ages 4-17. More than 500 youth have been transformed through Coyote Mentoring, VWP’s approach to deep nature connection mentoring touted by award-winning author Richard Louv as “good medicine for nature deficit disorder.”

Tickets for the Coyote Tales Storytelling Festival are $50/family, $20/individual, and includes a supper of soup, salad, bread, and dessert. Tickets can be purchased from and also at the Vashon Bookshop.

 For more information about the Vashon Wilderness Program, visit the website: