Storytelling was a way of life in Eldrena's upbringing. She grew up in New Mexico and Arizona among the Pueblo tribes of the Laguna, Tewa & Hopi. Activities with family and friends included listening to family songs and stories. Eldrena pursued and obtained her master's degree in elementary and early childhood education to impact the lives that surrounded her. Her experiences as a public school teacher and her unique Native upbringing benefitted her tremendously as she began her next journey as a professional storyteller, author, and workshop presenter. In 1993, she was encouraged to teach through storytelling about her life experiences, sharing the history of the Pueblos and their contributions to our country. Eldrena travels the country offering captivating stories, a variety of recorded music, and historical accounts from Native American tribes. For example, a story presentation, "Bison, Bison," gives insight into the history of the bison. A workshop, "Creative Spirit," focuses on imagination, listening, and story crafting using creative thinking. A lecture, "Nampeyo, Her Legacy," showcases her revival of Hopi pottery. In 2014, the Tejas Storytelling Association awarded Eldrena with the state’s prestigious John Henry Faulk Award for her significant contribution to the art of storytelling in the southwest. Photo by Katy Pair.
1420 4th Avenue, Suite # 20
Canyon, TX 79015
public performance/concert $250 - $3,000
school performance $250 - $1,000
travel/per diem/lodging $0 - $2,000
E-Flat Porch Band
The E-Flat Porch Band is named for the porch in McKinney, Texas where the members first practiced-- it resonates to the key of E-flat. Audiences are entertained with a unique blend of acoustic "porch music," including blues, folk, early country, jazz and original tunes. This "porch" band is visually exciting as well, with multiple instruments played at one time, including one made out of a wooden soda pop box. Known for their fun delivery and quick wit, this band takes their music seriously without taking themselves too seriously. You will enjoy learning about our rich and varied blues musical heritage. Typical programs include Texas blues such as "Fishing Blues" by Henry Thomas, Mississippi Delta blues such as Robert Johnson's songs, swing jazz like "Route 66," and 20’s and 30’s blues from Tampa Red. Traditional tunes by legendary Texas blues artists highlight playing styles such as the "dead thumb" technique of Mance Lipscomb and the slide mastery of Blind Willie Johnson. Band members are also songwriters, and performances include their original songs such as "Long Gone Again." Programs for schools are tailored for age appropriate curriculum needs, and library programs highlight books in the facility’s collection which relate to the musical performance. Photo by Adah Leah Wolf.
Adah Leah Wolf
200 S. Bass
McKinney, TX 75069
public performance/concert $400 - $1,000
school performance $300 - $600
travel/per diem/lodging $90 - $1,110
Elizabeth Ellis' work has been described as "invariably moving and amusing." A repertoire of more than four hundred stories makes it possible for Elizabeth to create programs tailored to the needs of the presenter and the age and interest of her listeners. Tales of Texas, Appalachia and heroic American women are much requested, but stories of Elizabeth's own life are arguably her best. Adult concerts include "Tougher Than Woodpecker Lips" (challenges) and "Riverfront Property on the River Styx" (aging). Children's concerts include "Tricksters and Troublemakers" and "Around the World in Fifty Minutes." Raised in the Appalachian Mountains in a family of storytellers, Elizabeth has shared her tales with more than a million children and countless adults in her forty-year career. A perennial favorite at schools and libraries across Texas and at the National Storytelling Festival, she is a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award and the National Storytelling Network's Lifetime Achievement Award. A noted teacher of tellers and writers of all ages, she is the author of From Plot to Narrative, a handbook for creating more compelling stories. Photo by Paul Porter.
Dallas, TX 75227
public performance/concert $150 - $1,000
school performance $350 - $900
travel/per diem/lodging $0 - $600
State Artist Joe Ely
Joe Ely, 2016 Texas State Musician, is a true pioneer of the Americana sound. Ely’s boundary-blurring blend of rock, country, blues and folk might most accurately be described as “Texas Roadhouse.” His musical roots were established as a boy growing up on the vast and empty plains of West Texas. Ely’s legend was forged onstage, with relentlessly riveting live performances, hammered out over thousands of shows and countless touring miles from Lubbock to London and back again the long way around. Ely is embraced as a kindred spirit by artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, Linda Ronstadt and the Clash. Over his four-decade career, he’s been at the forefront of Outlaw Country, Alt-Country, and Texas Country and has been recognized as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Ely has garnered well-deserved accolades including a GRAMMY Award, a CMA Award, and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. In addition to his groundbreaking work as a solo artist, he is also widely known for his musical partnership with country’s first super group, The Flatlanders, with fellow Texas troubadours Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock.
The Ensemble Theatre (TET) was founded in 1976 to preserve African-American artistic expression. TET produces a main stage season of six contemporary and classical works devoted to the portrayal of the African-American experience by local and national playwrights and artists. Theater programs benefit a multicultural audience that is diverse in age, income, ethnicity and culture. The Ensemble's touring program provides live performances for students in schools, churches, and community organizations. Curriculum materials are designed to enhance the impact of the program and link plays to specific TEKS and STEAM. Touring performances include "Uncle Remus’ Br’er Rabbit," adapted by TET founder George Hawkins, a fun-packed story of African-American folklore and American popular culture. "I, Barbara Jordan," by Celeste Bedford Walker, explores Jordan’s journey to greatness and those who inspired her. "The Rosa Parks Story" by Jonathan Blum details her story in her own words. Main stage plays are also available. (See website for additional plays and sesason).
3535 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
public performance/concert $1,200 - $15,000
school performance $800 - $945
travel/per diem/lodging $325 - $4,000
John R. Erickson
John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. He has written more than ninety books and is best known for his Hank the Cowdog series of books and audios, which has sold more than nine million copies! Erickson self-published the first Hank book through Maverick Books. Erickson was born in Midland, Texas, but by the age of three his family had moved to Perryton, Texas, where he and his wife live today on their working cattle ranch. In live performances, John Erickson brings the characters from his bestselling Hank the Cowdog series to life through readings from his books and by performing original songs from Hank's adventures. He also can do programs about writing. Hank programs are great for all ages and sure to bring a smile to any audience. Photo by Western Horseman.
PO Box 549
Perryton, TX 79070
public performance/concert $1,500 - $4,000
school performance $1,500 - $4,000
travel/per diem/lodging $300 - $1,500
Eve & The Exiles
Eve & the Exiles' Texas roots always shine through with their blend of down and dirty blues grooves and gritty rock n roll. Eve Monsees has been a fixture in the Austin music scene since the age of 15. Along with fellow guitarist and neighbor Gary Clark, Jr., the two cut their teeth playing blues together as teenagers, eventually branching off to form their own bands. An original member of both the Fabulous Thunderbirds and LeRoi Brothers, Exiles drummer Mike Buck has toured extensively throughout his illustrious career. In addition to founding Eve & the Exiles, both Mike and Eve are also owners of the iconic Antone's Record Shop in Austin, TX. Their shared passion for playing music and collecting records has helped shape the sound of the band. Photo by The Christinos: Christina Murrey & Tino Mauricio.
4425 S. Mopac Expy Building 2, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78735
public performance/concert $2,500- $4,000
school performance $1,500- $3,000
travel/per diem/lodging TBD
Elizabeth Kahura is a native of Kenya, Africa. Living in the United States since 1995, she has shared African knowledge with audiences of all ages through the African Safari program. A teacher by profession, Elizabeth educates while at the same time entertaining audiences through storytelling, puppetry, music, language arts, and hands-on art projects. Schools, libraries, museums, and festivals enjoy her inspirational countenance, her displays of African artifacts, and her ability to build a bridge of understanding by demonstrating the similarities between cultures and traditions of Africa and United States. African Safari comprises seven program choices adaptable to all ages. They include: A Day in Africa- highlights geography and culture; Folktales from Africa- highlights stories and poems of Africa; A Jungle Walk- highlights the flora and fauna of Africa; Sound of Africa- highlights story, music, and dance; African Art- highlights carvings, clothing, and instruments; Kwanzaa- a community celebration that highlights TEKS; and Embracing Diversity- workshops for adults. Elizabeth received a 2017 "Mashujaa" (heroes) award in recognition for "Cultural Preservation and Awareness." Photo by Andrew John.
5011 Daymon Court
Hutto, TX 78634
public performance/concert $500 - $2,500
school performance $350 - $2,500
travel/per diem/lodging $0 - $1000
Pianist Evan Mitchell's recent highlights include debuts on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (Chicago), at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), and at several major venues in Shanghai. He has played concerti with the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Victoria, among others, and collaborated in recital with such major figures as double bassist Gary Karr and clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi. Evan's new recording of world premieres with bassist Szymon Marciniak is earning rave reviews; most recently, Bass World called their performances "intoxicating," deeming this "a seminal recording." He is also featured on the 2012 release "Piano de Pampa y Jungla: A Collection of Latin American Piano Music." Since 2014 Evan has been featured on the TCA Texas Touring Roster, and over the past six years he has given more than 200 performances for Cliburn in the Classroom. He teaches privately and at Tarrant County College, and serves as a chamber music coach for the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra.Programs include a repertoire of some 30 concertos, an extensive chamber and collaborative repertoire, and thoughtfully curated solo recital programs. Photo by Dani Snell.
1000 South Denver Avenue, Suite 2104
Tulsa, OK 74119
public performance/concert $900 - $3,400
school performance $650 - $1,500
travel/per diem/lodging $200 - $750
Ebony Stewart is an interdisciplinary theater artist and poet with over a decade of experience touring the US and abroad. She has been described as "visceral, unflinching, funny, honest and unapologetically herself" (Taji Senior) whose work "makes a canvas out of herself and is a beautiful gift we should embrace” (Elizabeth Cobbe). As a writer, performer, and emerging playwright, Ebony Stewart has performed internationally and in a total of 42 states, providing stages with her life's story as a black woman in America. She is known for taking terrible hurtful relatable stories and making them leap in captivating contrast. In 2015, Ebony Stewart debuted her first one-woman show, Hunger. She won the B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama. She was also nominated for a Payne Award for Outstanding Original Script and won the Austin Critics’ Table David Mark Cohen New Play Award. In 2017, Ebony debuted her second one-woman show, Ocean, and received rave reviews. Ocean won B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama and Outstanding Original Script. Both shows display Ebony’s smooth, confident and relaxed style while taking the audience on a emotional journey to healing. Photo by Christopher Diaz Photography.
2307 Manor Road
Austin, TX 78722
public performance/concert $800 - $1,000
school performance $1,000 - $2,000
travel/per diem/lodging $500