Photo of storyteller Karen Pillsworth

Watch Karen

Workshops Storytelling
    and Healing


  About Karen


Press Kit

Karen Sangaline Pillsworth has been enchanting audiences
from Newfoundland, Canada to Sydney, Australia with her stories for over 30 years.

Karen performs for the youngest listeners in places like Head Start, and older listeners in senior centers. Her tales take her into schools, churches, camps, museums, and historic sites. But no matter where she roams, she is always happy to come back home to Kingston, NY where in 2002 she was named Storyteller Laureate in perpetuity for the city. Karen knows "there's no place like home" and continues to invite people to find their own stories in the frame of hers.

Click here to watch Karen tell stories.

photo of storyteller Karen Sangaline Pillsworth performing at the Sydney International Storytelling Festival, Sydney Australia
Sydney International Storytelling Festival, Sydney, Australia

photo of storyteller Karen Sangaline Pillsworth at Mohonk House, New Paltz, NY
Mohonk House, New Paltz, NY

Invite Karen to come enchant you too!


Karen will be sharing stories at thess events:

Karen Pillsworth will perform at this event on Apr. 28, 2024

Karen Pillsworth will perform at this event on May 5, 2024


Published in the Dutchess County Interfaith Council March 8, 2024 newsletter

Holding Your Hand
by Karen Sangaline Pillsworth
Storyteller/ Story Practitioner

It's 5:30 a.m. here in New York and 12:30 p.m. in Ukraine. I wait for Zoom to connect me to my high school students at my friend Yulia's school. I met Yulia 12 years ago when she came to the states and we did our Montessori internship together. We have remained good friends.

Yulia lives in Ivano-Frankivs'k in the west of Ukraine. She is the owner of a school which houses 140 students, from early childhood through high school. She turns no one away. Refugees arrive from the east and Yulia welcomes them in as they try to escape the devastation of the war.

After many emails like the one below, we decided to begin a class on storytelling with her high school students.

My dear friend!

I am alive, and all the family are fairly ok now. The situation in the country is depressing. We all keep doing what we can, but it takes so long that we have been under continuous stress that the general state of mind is depressing. We realize the war won't wind up soon, and potentially Ukraine is much much smaller than the number of people who invaded our country. Sorry for the pessimistic ideas.

Karen, how are you? Is life treating you and the children and the grandchildren well? I will be happy to zoom with you!?

Holding your hand too and very very very grateful to you for staying with me no matter what...



And so our classes began. I meet with my students every Monday. I share stories and we talk about the importance of their stories. When asked to share a story about anything they wish, there come no stories of war. They delight me with folktales, family stories, and stories about traditions. For one hour each week we escape together to a safe place. They laugh at me as all high school students might. They think I'm silly sometimes. I tell them I understand. Adults can be so….adult. I share with them that I have told my own teenage grandchildren that their Nona will always embarrass them. My grandchildren always laugh and reply, "We know Nona". This makes my students laugh also.

At the end of our last session I look at the tired faces. I know they are getting ready for their lunch break and probably can't wait to end the session. When I mention this to them Yulia says, "Oh, no Karen. They are happy to be with you. Right before we started the sirens wailed. We did not go to the cold underground parking shelter. Instead we stayed here with you and the stories!"

We are all desperate for ways to hold each other together during these turbulent times around the world. Let us begin by sharing our stories. And also by saying good-bye to each other the way Yulia and I do as we end our emails.

HYH – holding your hand. May we continue to reach out our hands, embrace one another, and share our stories. I believe it is the way to heal.


  Karen Pillsworth
136 Foxhall Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401 914-388-6212
Copyright 2007-2024 by Karen Pillsworth. All Rights Reserved. Web site designed and maintained by Kate Dudding