Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi |
TALES OF IMAGINATION & INSPIRATION
Early Childhood Programs
Booking and Contact Info
Storyteller Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi grew up in northern New York State 20 miles from the Canadian border. When she was in fifth grade, snow covered one side of the school building making outdoor recess impossible. For an entire month her teacher read aloud every afternoon from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. “That was when I learned the power of the spoken word,” says Lorraine. “Our teacher became the characters in those novels. All of us in that classroom were bound together in the common experience of the story. Bits and pieces of ourselves were reflected back to us in Tom and Becky and Huck.”
In 1991, Lorraine attended the first Hudson Valley Storytelling Festival and was inspired to try “this storytelling thing.” She joined the newly formed Visions Story Circle, a group for both listeners and tellers, created by Tracy Leavitt, Director of Visions Story and Art Center. For over a year, she participated in workshops, listened to other tellers and attended story gatherings in order to absorb the details of finding, shaping, and telling a story. Finally, she participated in a “New Teller’s Night” and officially shared her first story. She gained experience by telling stories in her children’s classrooms and local library.
“It is in the process of sharing stories that you become a storyteller,” explains Lorraine. “Each tale is an adventure of research, reading, imagining and sharing. Hearing the words and feeling the response of the listeners allows you to shape the story and develop as an artist.”
Her interest in education prompted her to organize Storytellers in the Schools for the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center as well as help children in local schools tell and write their own stories through her residency program Children’s Voices. She and artist Johanne Renbeck received a Dutchess County Arts Council 2003 Arts-In-Education Grant for Visual Narratives - The Artists’ Workshop.
Lorraine’s work with visual artist Johanne Renbeck revitalized her interest in the visual arts and she began offering story and art workshops for children and adults. In January 2011, she received an Expressive Arts Certificate for completing 120 hours of training at New York Expressive Arts in Albany. “My work at NYEA has deepened my awareness of my own creative spirit and allowed me to find new ways to express myself authentically,” says Lorraine. “We all have a great deal of inner wisdom and the expressive arts provide an opportunity to explore that part of ourselves.”
Along with Gail Burger, Muriel Horowitz and Kusum Gupta, Lorraine helped found an Interfaith Story Circle through The Dutchess County Interfaith Council.
Lorraine and Karen Pillsworth are Tall Tale/Short Story Productions. They have produced Kingston's Tellabration 2003-2009 as well as community storytelling at Everette Hodge Midtown Center in Kingston.
Tall Tale/Short Story Productions (AKA Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi and Karen Pillsworth) donate proceeds of Tellabration 2009 in the amount of $800.00 to The Children's Home of Kingston. They are pictured with Patti Habersaadt, Director of Development (on left), and Gwen McCann, Director (on right).