Down South Storytellers at the SCAC




Storytelling has always been a great tradition in the South. Whether people enjoy telling or listening, stories are a way of bringing people together. Over the years the Shelby County Arts Council has brought lively stories to the Black Box Theater stage to entertain folks from all over. Now we proudly present a night of storytelling with local storyteller Van Sykes.

Van Sykes might be best known as owner and pitmaster of Bob Sykes BBQ but he also possesses an incredible gift for storytelling. Sykes has been sharing stories his whole life. “I've always enjoyed sharing true stories about my history growing up and spending my entire life at Bob Sykes BBQ,” says Sykes. Spending his life in the family BBQ business gave Sykes the opportunity to meet many different people and collect stories along the way. I love people and interacting with people because that is what I do everyday in my life,” says Sykes. “That really is what story telling is all about.”

Although Sykes has been spinning yarns for years it was movie and tv producer Norton Dill who encouraged Sykes to give professional storytelling a real shot. Sykes joined ARC Stories earlier this year and has since performed his stories for hundreds of people. ARC Stories is a group dedicated to all things storytelling. They take stories out of the coffee shops or from around the dinner table and present them on stage for all to experience. Each event they hold has a theme and their team works with storytellers to help shape their work. Sykes first ARC experience was at the Avon Theater in front of 500 eager listeners where the theme for the evening was “stories from the workplace”. Since that first event with ARC Stories Sykes has done well for himself with the group. “I am on the “Preferred” Storytelling list for ARC stories,” says Sykes. “I’m also featured on the ARC Stories podcast and on NPR as a recent story teller.” Now Sykes prepares to bring his exciting stories to the folks of Shelby County.

Join us at the Shelby County Arts Council on Saturday, August 13th at 7:30pm for the exciting Storyteller Night with Van Sykes also featuring Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley and Peg Hill. Doors open at 7:00pm and tickets are $25. Your ticket also includes a beverage reception before the show. Join us for a fun and unique night of entertainment. Hear stories that are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face. As Van Sykes says, “Look and listen close everyone has a good story to tell.”

To purchase tickets or to find information on this and other upcoming events please visit www.shelbycountyartscouncil.com or call 205.669.0044.

Article by: Lindsay Dyess

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