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Bobby Norfolk, February 18, 6:00 p.m.

We are very pleased to welcome multi-award winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk to Skylark as part of the University of Missouri’s celebration of Black History Month.

Bobby's innate ability to read and connect with audiences of all ages makes him one of America’s premier storytellers. Using dynamic movement and vocal effects, Bobby creates vibrant characters who come to life through imaginative, creative story. Living History programs that highlight the African-American experience, and toe-tapping musical shows that feature song and live musicians are also part of his repertoire. His stories promote character education traits (such as respect and responsibility), cultural diversity, and literacy. He inspires and motivates kids and adults telling stories that can be shared through the oral tradition. “No fancy electronics, just teller listener, and the imagination.”

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Bobby began his career as a stand-up comedian in 1975 at local St. Louis comedy clubs and as an actor with The St. Louis Black Repertory Co. Concurrently, he worked ten years at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis as a National Park Service Ranger. In 1979, Bobby made his first appearance as a storyteller at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, and discovered that through storytelling he was able to combine his theatre and stand-up comedy background to become a “story-performer.”

In television, Bobby won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS TV show “Gator Tales” and also hosted the Emmy nominated series “Children’s Theater at Bobby’s House.” Both shows were based out of St. Louis and the themes were character education, literacy, and storytelling.

In October 2009, Bobby was given the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the nation. This prestigious award is given to artists for exceptional commitment and exemplary contributions to the art of storytelling, who set the standard of excellence in their craft.

Bobby travels both nationally and internationally presenting performances, keynotes, and workshops. A past member of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Network, he currently serves on the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Advisory Council and is a featured artist in festivals word-wide. He founded Folktale Productions, a storytelling company started in 1987. His web site is www.bobbynorfolk.com.