Founder of storytelling festival to retire

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) -- The founder of the Jonesborough Storytelling Festival says he is retiring, but will stay involved with the event he started 40 years ago.

Jimmy Neil Smith told the Johnson City Press ( ) that he is retiring from the International Storytelling Center, but he will still work part-time and remains committed to advancing the role of storytelling locally and around the world.

Smith says he first presented his idea for a storytelling festival to the Jonesborough Civic Trust in 1972, and they encouraged him to move forward with it.

He said the first festival was held the next year. It may have been small, but he said it "ignited a storytelling revolution" that spread across the globe.

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