Dan Keding, storyteller of international acclaim, is well known for his telling of
traditional world folktales, personal narratives of his boyhood in Chicago, ghost
stories and dark tales, and superbly crafted original pieces. As a child he learned
the traditional stories that his grandmother brought to this country from Croatia.
A well-respected ballad singer, he accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and spoons.
This combination of dynamic storytelling and powerful ballad singing has made him
a festival and concert favorite throughout the US, Great Britain and Ireland, endearing
him to audiences of all ages.
In the summer of 2000, in recognition of his artistic achievements and his contributions
to the art of storytelling, Dan was presented the Circle of Excellence Award from
the National Storytelling Network. Dan has been a featured performer at some of the
most prestigious events in storytelling including The National Storytelling Festival,
The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, The Texas Storytelling Festival, The Sidmouth
International Folk Arts Festival (England), and Festival at the Edge (England). His
love for story goes beyond the performance stage and into research, resulting in
a unique masters degree from The University of Illinois at Springfield in the history
and performance of traditional folktales and ballads. As an adjunct professor at
the UI Springfield, Dan taught courses on the literature and art of storytelling.
He is also a Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Illinois in the Graduate School
of Library and Information Sciences. He currently writes a column on storytelling
for the folk music magazine Sing Out. He has appeared on numerous television and
radio shows, including a Halloween special on London Radio BBC.
Dan is a sought after workshop and seminar leader for teachers, librarians, and professional
and amateur storytellers and has been a featured presenter at dozens of conferences.
Among these are The National Storytelling Conference, The Florida Storytelling Camp,
Storytelling at the Edge Workshops in Shropshire, England, The Society for Storytelling
Conference in England, and the International Storytelling Institute at East Tennessee
Working as a performer and as an educator for over thirty years, he has entertained
students from pre-school through high school in countless assemblies and served as
artist-in-residence for over 400 schools. In 1989 he received a Special Recognition
Award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education and in 1993 was awarded a Distinguished
Service Award from the Sun Foundation for the Arts & Environmental Sciences. In 1994
& 1995 he was awarded Artist Achievement Awards from The Springfield Area Arts Council
in recognition of his professional accomplishments.
His first book Stories of Hope & Spirit - Folktales from Eastern Europe won the prestigious
Anne Izard Storyteller's Choice Award and The Storytelling World Honor Award for
2005. His second book, English Folktales, coauthored with Amy Douglas, was released
in the fall of 2005 and won the 2007 Storytelling World Winner Award. His latest
book, Elder Tales, came out in the fall of 2007. Dan has released over a dozen recordings
during his career. His newest CD, Wisdon and Wayfaring also won a 2007 Storytelling
World Winner Award. The Gypsy Wagon and Other Neighborhood Tales, remembrances of
a Chicago boyhood, was awarded the 2003 Storytelling World Winner Award. In 2000,
he recorded In A Dead Man's Company, a CD of dark and ghostly stories that also received
The Storytelling World Winner Award. In 1999, his recording Rudy and the Roller Skate,
original & traditional folktales and songs, won the American Library Association
Notable Recording for Children Award. In 1998, three of Dan's recordings won the
Storytelling World Honor Award, Rudy and the Roller Skate, Strawberries in Winter,
and Once Upon a Midlife, recorded with Janice Del Negro. Other recordings by Dan
include Stories From The Other Side, which was included in the ALA book Best of the
Best for Children.
Dan also produced and was one of the featured artists on the recording Tales Across
the Ocean that featured five American and five Irish tellers and that also won the
Storytelling World Winner Award in 2000. In 2000, he also released Promises Kept,
Promises Broken, traditional and original stories and ballads. Dan's stories appear
not only on his CD's but also in print. His story "The Tear" appears in the award-
winning book Stories and Songs of Simple Living, in the British school guide Promoting
Positive Behavior, and in the book The Healing Heart - Communities, along with his
story "The Two Warriors." A traditional story that he collected and adapted, "The
Dancing Fiddle", was included in the August House book, More Ready to Tell Tales
From Around the World. "Rudy & the Rollerskate" appears in The Scenic Route: Stories
from the Heartland, a publication by the Indiana Historical Society and Storytelling
Arts of Indiana.
Dan has also been active as an organizer and leader in the storytelling community.
He served on the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Association from
1996-1998. He was the artistic director of the Bluestem Storyfest from 1997 to 2001
and the Clayville Music & Storytelling Festival from 1986 -1989. For six years Dan
was the host and artistic director of the award winning local cable show The Grapevine
Harvest featuring storytellers and folksingers from around the world.
Dan has performed at festivals, schools, libraries, colleges and concert halls. He
tells the old stories from times long ago and people almost forgotten and he tells
the stories of his own journey and the people whom he will never forget. Folktales
and fairy tales, myths and legends, original stories and personal narratives these
are the tales of storyteller Dan Keding.