UNM-Taos hosts Storyteller Joe Hayes

UNM-Taos hosts Storyteller Joe Hayes

UNM-Taos hosts Storyteller Joe Hayes at Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros Event

Taos, New Mexico – The University of New Mexico-Taos will host Joe Hayes, award winning author and a nationally recognized teller of bilingual Spanish-English tales from Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo Cultures.

Hayes will speak at a free community event on Wednesday, April 25th at 6:00 p.m. at UNM-Taos Bataan Hall, 121 Civic Plaza Drive. Co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Success and Achievement (CASA) and the campus Library, this event is family-friendly and for all-ages. A special seating circle will be designated for small children.

Hayes has been spinning tales and inspiring both adults and children for more than 22 years, and has published over 25 children’s books. Beyond telling stories, Hayes has visited more than 3,000 schools as he sees the importance of talking to children about writing, listening and using our imaginations. According to Hayes, “I feel like my bilingual approach to storytelling has helped Spanish-speaking children feel proud of their heritage and at the same time has helped non-Hispanic children open up to and appreciate the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. I think it’s really important that my own heritage is not Hispanic….Barriers are lowered; rigid attitudes are softened; a better sense of community is fostered”.

Kathleen Knoth, UNM-Taos Library Director, explained, “Mr. Hayes is not of Hispanic descent yet he has told stories across Spain and Latin America. He can take our diversity and literacy theme to the next level of how we use stories in everyday life.”

UNM-Taos has a history of hosting storytelling events, with the Library’s Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros celebration. During this annual event, the Library collaborates with various local schools to encourage literacy and to celebrate cultural diversity. In addition to the Hayes storytelling event, the Library will sponsoring a reading and art activities with 3rd and 4th graders at the Taos International School for the Arts (TISA), featuring Ed Cardenas’ Lovito series of bilingual books.

According to Amber Gordon, Senior Student Success Associate with CASA, “This event will be an evening of delightful stories woven by a master of tales. It will allow our students the opportunity to explore their identity while encouraging students to write and share their stories that they have been told as they have grown up”. Gordon emphasizes the importance of storytelling with a quote from Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Center, “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling”.

Dave Mansfield, UNM-Taos Librarian, one of a whole generation of Southwestern children who has grown up listening to Joe Hayes’ tales, will emcee the event. Light refreshments will be provided.

For event information contact Amber Gordon 575-737-3695 gordona@unm.edu.

For information on Joe Hayes visit https://www.cincopuntos.com/authors_detail.sstg?id=19

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