National storytellers Mo Reynolds, Joe Hayes to lead UNK workshops

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney is hosting two storytelling workshops featuring a pair of nationally recognized entertainers.

The event is Feb. 7 at the Ockinga Seminar Center on the UNK campus, 2505 20th Ave.

Mo Reynolds will present “And They All Learned Happily Ever After: Storytelling in the Classroom” from 9:05 to 11 a.m.

Joe Hayes will follow from 1 to 3 p.m. with his talk “A Conversation on Cultural Storytelling in the Classroom.”

Reynolds is a professional storyteller, speaker, published author, workshop leader and teacher from Idaho who performs at schools and festivals nationwide.

A full-time Spanish teacher, she weaves folk tales with personal narratives, drawing connections along the way and inviting listeners to be part of her stories.

Reynolds was a featured storyteller at the Florida Storytelling Festival in 2020.

In 2023, she was a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and the Women’s Storytelling Festival in Fairfax, Virginia. She also performed at the Kansas Storytelling Festival in Downs, Kansas.

Hayes weaves narratives that blend Hispanic, Native American and Anglo traditions. His bilingual performances and writings have garnered national acclaim.

His upbringing near the Mexican border in Arizona ignited his passion for Spanish and Hispanic culture, later influencing his professional path in mineral exploration.

Hayes taught high school English before becoming a professional storyteller. His work has led to prestigious accolades such as the Talking Leaves Literary Award and recognition as a New Mexico Eminent Scholar.

Hayes’ literary contributions began in 1982, earning numerous awards including the Arizona Young Readers Award and the Aesop Accolade. His book “Ghost Fever” made history by winning the Texas Bluebonnet Award as the first bilingual book to do so.

The storytelling workshops are hosted by UNK’s Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Committee.