The CISA Projects...

California Indian Storytelling Festivals

One of CISA's primary goals is to present annual events such as the California Indian Storytelling Festivals.

The Festivals have been held in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995, in southern California since 2000, and in northern (Humboldt County) California since 2001.


The first Festival in 1995 was a half-day event with five storytellers presenting in a small outdoor area in Indian Canyon, near Hollister, California.

The Festival quickly grew in popularity and over time storytellers from around the state joined the the organization. Within a few years CISA was able to offer ongoing festivals in both Southern California and Humbolt County, as well as continue the San Francisco events.

Special Programs

Our festivals include special programs such as the Emerging Voices where apprentice tellers have the opportunity to share in a larger arena and to attend the festival in a mentoring relationship with more experienced tellers.

Other festival programs include:
Featured Tellers (performances by experienced storytellers)
Honored Elders
(honoring our greatest tradition bearers)
Guest Tellers (featuring tellers from indigenous communities outside of California)
Story Swap (open microphone sharing)
Story As Song (Native music shared in the context of story)

How It Works

The Festivals have been held for over 17 years. In an effort to reach more deeply into smaller regional communities we started our Southern and Northern California Indian Storytelling Festivals.

These smaller festivals are considered “moveable festivals" and as such, can be offered in different locales within a region, enabling different communities to learn how to create their own events.

CISA Projects...

California Indian Storytelling Festivals...

League of Indigenous Voices...

Casting a Net of Story and Song...

Bridging the Pacific with Native Voices...

When the ancestors whisper...

Events Calendar...

Northern California Storytelling Festival
San Leandro, California
dates to be announced

Southern California Storytelling Festival
Palm Springs, California
dates to be announced

Read more about CISA events...

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