Seattle Storytellers Guild

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Golden Circle 2022

Barry McWilliams and Mary Anne Moorman
From the left, Marianne and Barry McWilliams,
Mary Anne Moorman, and Martha Walkenshaw.
Golden Circle 2022

Mary Anne Moorman

Mary Anne Moorman is a storyteller, a writer, a radio host, an event organizer, and a storytelling coach. She was born in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, in southwestern Virginia. She grew up listening to Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter.

She is known to many people as Auntmama, and she is passionate about music and storytelling. She is an unstoppable force in the music and storytelling communities of the Pacific Northwest.

Barry McWilliams

Barry McWilliams saved our Guild when Covid hit — we honor him as a Golden Circle member today, September 17, 2022.

Barry was a member of the Guild back in the mid-80's to the early 90's. Remember that? Meetings in the Boiserie, Festivals at the Nordic Heritage Museum?

He also started a website back then. It is filled with folktales, Bible stories, favorite stories of master storytellers, articles on the art of storytelling. The site is always listed on the SSG website, and in the newsletter, along with the National Storytelling Network, and other important resources. Then family and career drew him away for some time. He traveled overseas to Uganda, and Hungary, but kept the website going. It is now the only website from that era still accessible.

Barry rejoined the Guild in 2014. In the Fall of 2015, Norm Brecke recruited Barry to be the editor of "In the Wind," our quarterly newsletter. Barry took it on, and used all his creativity and graphic design skills to add many interesting graphics, compose articles about technology and storytelling resources, and spice up the publicity for Guild events. The pages for the newsletter announcing events were useable for posters, suitable for libraries and coffee houses, as well as social media outlets.

Then the Board talked him into becoming President. With retirement looming, he agreed, and aren't we thankful?

There's more: His creativity came into further play as he quilted backdrops for our stage and storytelling alcove, using PVC pipe to fashion a frame to hang them, enhancing the program themes and spotlighting the tellers. He provided a sound system for various programs, and learned to use and promote Zoom for our Board meetings. We met in person one month, and on Zoom the next. What a blessing!

That meant that when Covid hit, we were not as handicapped as many groups. Barry stepped right in and we were able to continue to have story swaps, both the Guild's First Friday swap, and the one hosted by Afifi for Briarcrest community group. Zoom made it possible to continue our programming, and to even expand it to invite storytellers from all over the country — from local to world-renowned we hosted: Tom Rawson, Anne Louise Sterry, Carmen Agra Deedy, Anne Glover from Canada, Tuaratini from New Zealand.

Barry is also committed to continuing education — his own, and our members: he not only learned how to Zoom, but taught others to back him up as cohost at Guild events, held workshops for Guild members to learn how to Zoom, and even presented at National Storytelling Network to the Special Interest Group for Producers (ProSIG). He also saw the opportunity Story Crossroads presents for hearing national tellers and attending workshops with the best of them.

After SIX years of being President, more than 2 of which were our Covid years, Barry stepped down, but the Guild will always be grateful for his leadership above and beyond the call of normal duty. The Guild has survived, perhaps to enjoy another 40 years, thanks to Barry McWilliams.