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Women’s Storytelling Festival to celebrate power of spoken word in Fairfax City

The annual Women’s Storytelling Festival returns to Fairfax City this week (courtesy Jessica Robinson)

An event featuring the stories of women returns to Fairfax City for its fifth year this week.

Organized by nonprofit Better Said Than Done, the Women’s Storytelling Festival will take place this Thursday through Sunday (March 14 through 17) in Fairfax. The event features 21 storytellers who will deliver spoken word pieces intended for mature audiences.

A virtual-only showcase kicks off the event on Thursday, while in-person performances begin at Old Town Hall (3999 University Drive) from Friday through Sunday. Tickets are available online.

The festival launched in March 2020, days before a statewide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event switched to a virtual-only option in 2021 and kept the event hybrid in 2022.

Last year, the festival returned to in-person performances in Fairfax City. Recordings of the performances were released one month after the event.

Jessica Robinson, the event’s producer, says the event holds special meaning for her as a storyteller for 17 years and a storytelling show producer for 12.

“I can honestly say, the Women’s Storytelling Festival is what I am most proud of creating and, as a fan of storytelling, some of the best damn storytelling I have ever seen. 2024 is going to be another amazing weekend of stories, and I cannot wait to watch and enjoy,” she said.

She launched Better Said than Done in May 2011 to bring the art of storytelling to Virginia. The organization was granted nonprofit status last year.

Coinciding with Women’s History Month, the Fairfax festival will feature novice and expert storytelling from across the country.

“I’ve always been amazed at the sheer amount of talent the WSF brings together in one room,” Fairfax City Cultural Arts Manager Megan DuBois said. “From nationally known legends of storytelling to emerging artists, the tellers are all performing at the top of their game. The WSF curates an incredible cast.”

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