Be Story Artist for May Festival

If you are interested in being considered as one of our featured tellers or cultural story artists, then please complete the following application online by clicking here.

The application must be received by December 1, 2023 to be reviewed for the 2025, 2026 or 2027 Story Crossroads.  Any application received after that date will be reviewed automatically for the 2028 Story Crossroads.

See the Frequently Asked Questions below.  You can also see the Judging Ballot for Story Crossroads.

Pure storytelling is respected though we also love to see story merged with other art forms.  Bilingual storytelling is sought and welcomed.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is qualified to fill out an application?

Any professional or regularly performing artist is welcome to apply.

What do you mean by “professional” or “regularly performing artist”?

A professional is someone who has worked on the craft for three or more years and has received payment in the past for these talents.  A regularly performing artist is someone who performs at least 12 times a year (monthly or seasonally) to stay polished and fantastic.

What is the expected audience of Story Crossroads?

Think family-friendly.  We will have stories and performances that will engage 5-year-olds to the great-greats in the family.  All generations will be represented.  There will even be “littles” though those ones will not be your focus as a story artist.  The best way is to ponder, “What would engage a 3rd grader and still work for the parents or adults in the room?”

What if I am new to the art of storytelling and would like to still apply or participate as a story artist?

You would be best to approach this as being a community teller rather than one of our selected cultural story artists.  We offer free 8-hour storytelling residencies each Winter/Early Spring in the Salt Lake area as well as other places. After attending an 8-hour residency–Zoom, Academy (self-led online course), or otherwise–top tellers from each residency will be chosen to be part of the 40 community tellers who perform on stage along with the 15 professional story artists.

Do you have a preference for how story is presented?

Pure storytelling is respected though we also love to see:

  • Cultural Story
  • Bilingual Story
  • Story and Music
  • Story and Dance
  • Story Theatre
  • Story and Visual Arts
  • Story merged with Another Talent

What if I am talented in an art form other than storytelling?  Could my application still be considered?

Let us say that you are wonderful at playing an instrument.  If you wanted to merge storytelling with this instrument-playing, then you could receive guidance from people who are part of the Utah Storytelling Guild. Currently, the Utah Storytelling Guild holds two Virtual Meetings a month while some chapters hold monthly in-person gatherings.  Either you could tell and play or recruit a storyteller to tandem perform with you.  This example works for any talent you have and would like to merge with story.  For the sake of the online application, there is a section where you can explain that one performing art is polished and you are in process of merging it with spoken word storytelling.

Does my video link need to be the proposed story piece(s)?  What works best as a video representation of my work?

The purpose of the video link is for the reviewing committee to learn about your natural style and presence on stage.  The video link does not have to be of the story piece(s) proposed to us.

The quality of the video will not have any bearing on the scoring.  However, we do need to hear you (unless you are doing American Sign Language) and to see you.  The sound has to be clear enough to understand and appreciate your performance.  Keep in mind that even iphones can do a great job at filming.  You can even record telling or sharing your performance in front of your computer.  You will likely need a microphone plugged into your computer if the microphone is not built-in.  Post on your Facebook page and give us the direct weblink.  Use YouTube or your website.

The best kind of video is where a full story or piece is done.  Some people like to splice or combine moments together as a type of sampler or visual/audio collage.  These spliced kinds will be allowed though you will score better if we can see a performance from beginning to end.

What do you offer as payment for the selected story artists?

The payment amount could vary depending on your level of experience.  For example, our featured tellers receive more stage time and higher rates as a flat fee that includes hospitality. A specific number of performances and outreaches are expected in return.  The other professional story artists have the opportunity to be on stage for 15 minutes at a time with each of these slots paying $100 each.  There could be negotiations based on level of experience even for these 15-minute performances.  Story artists will perform at least two 15-minute slots.  These 15-minute slots could be in a row so it could turn into a 30-minute program or the 15-minute slots could be part of two different sessions.

How far away could story artists live from the location of Story Crossroads to be considered?

Story artists could be from anywhere in the world.  English does not even have to be your native language.  If we want you to perform, then we will cover any translation needs for you as well as for the audience.  However, only about two every year will be from outside Utah while all the other professional story artists and community tellers will likely live near Salt Lake County, Utah.  Of course, if there are story artists who have friends or associates in Salt Lake to ease on travel costs, we could more seriously look at more story artists from outside Utah. We have adapted to have proper-distanced/masked performances that are filmed to work with our hybrid festival.

Who will review the applications?

We have a Story Training Committee and the people on that committee will review and score each application.  Feel free to email with any questions or call/text Rachel Hedman at (801) 870-5799.