Lorna Czarnota has been performing as storyteller, author, and musician since 1985. Her programs feature historical presentations, storytelling and writing workshops. She is a national leader in the use of storytelling with at-risk youth. She also specializes in Celtic and Scottish lore, history, creative writing and healing stories. Czarnota has delighted audiences in schools, libraries, museums, conferences, and festivals throughout the United States, Canada and Ireland. She has worked with all ages, using traditional and original tales.
Czarnota holds an MS in special education, a BS in creative studies for young children, and certification in trauma counseling from the University at Buffalo. She is the recipient of the 2006 Oracle Award from the National Storytelling Network, the 2005 Volunteer of the Year award from Hopevale Incorporated, and the Gerald Calabrese Award for Excellence in Special Education. She was nominated as a Univera and United Way Community Hero. Her literary accomplishments include “Medieval Tales that Kids Can Read and Tell,” “Legends, Lore, and Secrets of Western New York.”
Legends, Lore, and Secrets of Western New York
Author and storyteller, Lorna Czarnota, recants and discusses this book of local stories. Learn about the many contributions Western New York has made to the world throughout its rich history. Like the region’s first inhabitants, the ‘Cat People’, who made clothing from the mountain lions and panthers that they hunted, Western New Yorkers still savor the tradition of storytelling. Tales such as the ‘Mail-Riding Mamma’ of Chautaugua County, who carried both the post and her infant child above her head as she journeyed across perilously flooded creeks, and the Ossian Giant, who at age nineteen stood seven feet, six inches tall and weighed 385 pounds, are vividly narrated by Buffalo storyteller Lorna MacDonald Czarnota. Listen to the whispered legends of spirits, heroes and traitors hidden in one of New York’s most captivating regions.
The Road East: Travel the Silk Road
Come join a caravan traveling the famed Silk Road east to Cathay with goods for sale and trade. Meet the wife of a caravan leader, hear stories of the wonders that await you on your journey.
Storyteller, Lorna Czarnota, dressed as a merchant’ s wife beneath a tent set up in the classroom, will take students on an imaginary journey from Samarkand to Cathay. Students will learn the history of the Silk Road, what made it so important, why do we still talk about it today, what happened to it. The artist will set up a tent with rugs and pillows. Students are invited to enter after removing their shoes at the door, for this total immersion in the history that opened China to the world
Must be presented in a classroom or other location suitable to tent set up.
Walking the Line: Becoming Ambassadors for Change
Emphasize the qualities of tolerance, diversity, and personal responsibility. Using stories and a series of creative activities, the artist leads students to discover their own ability to affect change, in the classroom, family, community and world environments.
This program may be extended as an artist residency. Emphasize the qualities of tolerance, diversity, and personal responsibility. Using stories and a series of creative activities, the artist leads students to discover their own ability to affect change, in the classroom, family, community and world environments.
This program may be extended as an artist residency.
In period costume, the artist shares stories, riddles, Celtic harp music, and a rich assortment of artifacts from the Middle Ages, giving students an effective sense of what life was like in that era. Artifacts include armor, games, toys, art work, spinning, scientific devices and more.
This program can be extended into a Living in the Middle Ages residency including one or more:
Home Arts: spinning and weaving, herbal sachet or apothecary
Monastery: Illumination and/or Calligraphy
Bardic: Storytelling, song, and basic juggling
Prince Henry’s School of Navigation: making a sundial or cartography
Arms and Armor: making chainmail, heraldry and/or Bayeux Tapestry designing
The Living in the Middle Ages residency costs will be specific to the residency your school designs.
This World of Ours: Stories from Many Cultures
A world culture presentation of stories from China, Ireland, Africa, the Middle East, America and other countries (may vary). All stories are selected as appropriate to audience age.
This program can be extended into a residency.A world culture presentation of stories from China, Ireland, Africa, the Middle East, America and other countries (may vary). All stories are selected as appropriate to audience age.
An inspiring and educational story about an Oklahoma farm family’s life during the Great Depression. This master storyteller gives students insight into life on the plains, and the courage and plight of migrant workers during one of America’s most difficult eras. This program includes songs and period folklore.
Storytelling & Writing
An invaluable storytelling workshop. Providing an overview of storytelling and dramatic presentation techniques, the artist encourages students to create their own stories, retell stories they have heard, or tell stories from their own lives.
This program is available as a professional development program for educators. Must be booked in conjunction with a performance by the artist.
This program may also be extended into a residency.
Wild and Wooly Tales
Following the tradition of using storytelling to impart values and life skills to young people, this program includes animal stories from Native American culture, African and Russian lore. Often enhanced with props, music and audience participation, it engages students with animal characters who embody human characteristics and learn life lessons young people can relate to. These tales are an entertaining, multicultural experience for students of many ages.
Letters Home: Stories from the Civil War North and South
A dramatic and moving historical performance that explores the Civil War through the eyes of female soldiers. Two master storytellers use song, monologue and letters home to personify a woman from the South and her Northern counterpart as they relate the drama of the war. Students may not even notice they’re learning as they watch this impressive program.
This program may be extended as an artist residency.