Profile Type: Artist
Jo Radner

Jo Radner is a  storyteller for all moods who delights in eccentrics, believes that humor and gravity are good bedfellows, and favors characters who shape admirable lives around unavoidable misfortunes.  She has performed and taught from Maine to Hawaii.  Although she tends to make stories about the people and history of northern New England, she also performs traditional folktales and her own modern tales and riffs on well-known classics.  Her major stories include “Burnt into Memory,” a performance created from oral histories she gathered from survivors of the 1947 wildfire that destroyed the town of Brownfield, Maine, and “Tangled Lives: Native People and English Settlers in Colonial New England,” which examines our troubled history by juxtaposing Native American oral traditions and stories told by Jo’s own New England settler ancestors.

Jo is committed to strengthening communities by helping them find, shape, and present their stories.  Her workshops on the art of interviewing have served historical societies, libraries, hospice and home-care organizations, elementary and secondary schools, and intergenerational and multicultural groups.  Before taking early retirement and returning to her family's home in western Maine, Jo taught for 31 years at American University. She has also taught storytelling in the curriculum in the Lesley University Creative Arts in Learning M.A. Program.  Her first CD, Yankee Ingenuity: Stories of Headstrong and Resourceful People, received a 2013 Storytelling World Award; her second, Burnt into Memory: How Brownfield Faced the Fire, received the Storytelling World Award in 2019.  In April 2013 she was given the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award by the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, “in recognition of extraordinary commitment, dedication and loving encouragement to the New England storytelling community.”  Jo holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is past president of the National Storytelling Network and the American Folklore Society. 

Additional Links: 
Seventh grade -- my first date
My mother astonishes her family--with a pie
Interviewed by Simon Brooks about my work
The real story behind Little Red Riding Hood
A pioneer Maine settler outwits a tricky peddler
an adventure beyond a child's understanding

I Have Worked With


  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Mailing Address: 
P.O. Box 145
Lovell, ME 04051
Physical Address: 
Lovell, ME 04051
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Theater - Storytelling
Additional Disciplines: 
Humanities - General
Humanities - Cultural Heritage
Humanities - History
Literary Arts - Spoken Word
Theater - Solo / One-Person Show
Populations Served: 
General Public
Immigrant Populations
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Curriculum Development
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
National Storytelling Network
Northeast Storytelling, Inc. (NEST) (formerly LANES)
Maine Organization of Storytelling Enthusiasts (MOOSE)
New Hampshire Storytelling Alliance
Northlands Storytelling Network
Storytelling World Award 2013
Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award 2013 (LANES)
Distinguished National Service Award, National Storytelling Network, 2009
I am on the following State Arts Agency Roster(s): 
New Hampshire Traditional Arts Roster

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Mic and sound system appropriate to the venue
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Afterschool Program
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Arts Integration - History and Social Science
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: