Once upon a time a long, long time ago - and only yesterday - Anne Jennison asked herself, “What would happen if Storytelling were looked at not only as an enjoyable spontaneous activity, but also could be honed and crafted into an art form which, if offered in a spirit of service, would also become an act of worship in and of itself?” Seeking the answers to this questions has led Anne on a merry three-decade adventure as a professional storyteller. In 1994, Anne earned a BA in Storytelling and in 1996, Anne became possibly the first (only?) person to receive a Master’s Degree in “Bahá’í Storytelling”. Additionally, Anne has an MA in History and taught storytelling courses and history courses at both the secondary and college levels for 20 years.
Since then, Anne has spent many years as a professional storyteller who thinks deeply about the history of the world and its oral storytelling traditions, as well as the inner meanings of stories and how to best share her storytelling - in recordings, public performances, schools, workshops, powwows, and festivals - in ways that are warmly entertaining.
While Anne has had many opportunities - as a history teacher and a member of her town's Heritage Commission - to share history, biographies, multicultural folktales, parables, and autobiographical stories, as a professional storyteller she chooses to tell primarily the Native American lesson stories that reflect the Abenaki part of her heritage. Anne explains it this way:
“Stories from all traditions share the wonder of life and great gifts of humor and wisdom, but for their gentle yet critically important lessons of life, Native American lesson stories are my favorite to tell. I first began learning Northeast Woodlands stories when my daughters were quite young, to teach them about their Abenaki and Mohawk heritage, and have since expanded my repertoire to include stories from all over Turtle Island”.