Become Part of the Story of Appalachia

  • Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival

Many travelers don’t realize that Georgia has mountains — wild, beautiful, and home to a rich legacy of Appalachian culture. Minutes away from Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia, but only two hours from Atlanta, Young Harris College will celebrate Appalachian culture, particularly the spoken word tradition, during the second annual Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival on April 1-2, 2016.

The festival will showcase the art of Southern storytelling with a particular focus on Appalachian stories, both traditional and contemporary. The festival also offers musical performances, children’s events and workshops.

Get an incredible sense of the history and culture of the Appalachian region from these performers:

  • LYN FORD, well-known Affrilachian teller, shares folktale adaptations, spooky tales and original stories rooted in her family’s multicultural storytelling traditions.

  • Four-time Grammy Award winner DAVID HOLT, and rising acoustic music star and Grammy nominee Josh Goforth join together to bring to life the joy and spirit of old time mountain music and stories. In Holt’s words, their “show is about folk traditions that are exploding with creative energy and fun.”
  • DOUG ELLIOTT is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher and harmonica wizard. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world.
  • ANDY OFFUTT IRWIN‘s manic Silly Putty voice, astonishing mouth noises and hilarious stories make him equal parts mischievous schoolboy and the Marx Brothers, peppered with a touch of the Southern balladeer.
  • Tracy Sue Walker, Debbie From and Hannah Sage are SWEET SUNNY SOUTH, three story artists who use story, music, art and movement to engage their audiences. Members of the Southern Order of Storytellers, this trio has perfected the “high lonesome” sound of the Appalachian balladeers.
  • A showcase of tellers from the region and a special panel of Young Harris College student tellers.

Tickets range in price from $10 to $35, and the festival is free to all local students. We hope that the festival will bring us all a little closer together by showing that, as individuals and families, we share many of the same dreams, the same aspirations, the same stories.

To learn more about the event,  contact, call 706-379-5136, or visit us on Facebook.

To purchase tickets, and make an online donation, go to


Dr. Ruth Looper

Dr. Ruth Looper – After graduating from Emory University with a Ph.D. in English Literature, Ruth Looper accepted a position at Young Harris College.  She currently serves as Professor of English and Director of Study Abroad. Highlights of her year include taking a group of students to study in Ireland and serving as Co-Director of YHC’s Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival.