Jerri Hurley came into the world of storytelling due to the talent of her daughter, Katie. For the past three Story Crossroads Festivals, Katie has earned one of the cherished spots through one of our feed-in events, the Murray Storytelling Festival. Not even half of these wonderful Murray youth tellers continue on to the county-level of our Festival. This in and of itself is amazing. Then, add to that the volunteerism from Jerri who serves as the Hospitality Chair with the Story Crossroads Board.
Jerri said she was impressed by the Festival and all the ways that the community became involved. She wished to support Story Crossroads. Jerri sent along a picture of Katie with Mara Menzies, one of our featured tellers of that year from Scotland.
We gladly welcomed Jerri. In return, she welcomed our out-of-state professional story artists to the Salt Lake Valley and personalized the items that the story artists could take home with them to remember Utah. For example, she knew that Brian “Fox” Ellis loved bird watching. He received a book on Utah birds and then Jerri worked out a trip for Brian to go to the planned a trip to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge between performances and outreaches for Story Crossroads. She also honored the amazing Utah professional story artists with special goodie bags.
During August, the Granite School District invited Rachel Hedman to teach two different storytelling workshops while introducing people to Story Crossroads. Rachel knew this only could be done if each of the workshops were kicked off with a youth teller performing for these teachers. Katie Hurley was one of these selected youth. She did a wonderful rendition of “Tops and Bottoms” on two neighbors figuring out how to share what they have grown.
Then last September, Story Crossroads had the opportunity to have a booth at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboral celebrating 100 years in Utah. Jerri and Katie volunteered to help out. As Janine Nishiguchi and Rachel Hedman performed tandem ghost stories the night before with the Scouts and Leaders, this spooky theme continued on with the booth. The people spun the Scary Story Starter and found out which one of the four beginnings would be theirs to build and shake our bones. One lady told the Hurleys that this was the best booth in the entire Jamboral. There was always a line of Scouts, anxious to tell stories…and to earn one to four pieces of candy depending on how developed their stories turned out.
To handle the lines, Katie decided to perform for a small group of Scouts. Katie has grown her repertoire after a few years telling for the Murray Storytelling Festival and the Story Crossroads Festival. One of the groups of Scouts were those with special needs. All were enthralled.
Jerri captured some of the moments as seen in the pictures above. She wrote to us, “Katie is loving helping out with the booth.” We know that we will count on Katie–and her mother–many more times.
So toss, tip, or take off your cap to Jerri and Katie Hurley!