New York City’s Storytelling Festival


We believe that we are enriched through our interconnection with others  — this is what the rich heritage of storytelling is about and why we wish to foster storytelling in our city and, throughout the world. CelebrateStory performances include music, dance and audience participation as well as storytelling.


The 40 years that Diane Wolkstein, New York City’s Official Storyteller, served the children and families of New York with her storytelling was the inspiration for starting CelebrateStory. Ms. Wolkstein began telling stories in the parks in the summer of 1967 and went on to work full time for the Parks Department in the City’s parks and schools as well as hosting a storytelling program for 13 years on WNYC Radio.


Our past festivals have taken place at the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, where we have partnered with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Central Park Conservancy, the Storytelling Center for New York City and The Moth; and at LaSalle Academy in New York’s East Village.


In 2007, twenty international professional storytellers and 3 student tellers performed at two venues within Central Park and shared stories from the Native American, European, African and Asian traditions.

In 2008, we brought together eight national storytellers from diverse storytelling traditions who told stories from the Apache and Cherokee peoples, the Kalahari Bushmen, mythic tales of India and China and stories about the American family. Both of these festivals were a huge success, garnering attention from television, radio, and newspapers and reaching thousands of people. 

In 2009 we gathered as a community to share one of the most famous Asian epics: Journey to the West. Twenty-six storytellers from across the US and Canada met at LaSalle Academy in March of 2009. Each storyteller told part of the 2,000 page story. The great epic of Journey to the West is known to almost every Chinese person in Mainland China and the diaspora but very few Westerners are familiar with this extraordinary spiritual adventure story. (Learn more about the story at www.monkeykingepic.com.)


Our Board

Diane Wolkstein, President

Olivier Bernier, Vice President

Rita Auerbach, Secretary

Jeff Greene

Barbara Abrash

Robert Geile

Phil Robinson

Steve Trujillo


Diane Wolkstein

Jeff Greene

Phil Robinson

Roomful of Sky



NYC Parks

Kalos Interactive

About Us

CelebrateStory 2008 Finale with: Len Cabral, Olivier Bernier, Melissa Heckler, Diane Wolkstein, Joan Henry, Bill Harley, and Elizabeth Ellis

Photo by Ari Ress