When she tells to children, Ford loves the fascinated look on their faces — "they really miss something if they don't have storytelling in their lives." Last summer, one six-year-old fan who'd heard Ford before was still surprised that someone could tell stories without reading them aloud and declared: "You forgot the book again!"

But Ford also values her performances for adults: "That sense of empathy or connection that people share crosses cultures and belief systems. Adults usually want to come up and tell me something similar that happened in their lives. It may give them a more comfortable feeling about sharing their own stories."

In addition to Ford and Capel, FUNDA FEST will host perennial favorite Teju Ologboni, from Milwaukee; Masankho Banda, originally from Malawi; local groups Spittin' Images and I.S.I.S. Storm; plus Rhode Island Black Storyteller members Len Cabral, Rochel Coleman, Raffini, Ramona Bass, and Valerie Tutson.

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  Topics: Theater , storytelling, Mitch Capel, National Storytelling Festival
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