Karen performs in schools, early childhood centers, and senior centers. She shares her stories at festivals, conferences, and libraries. Her work as a story practioner finds her weaving her stories with people in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Some of her favorite stories are about growing up in Kingston, NY. In 2002 she was named the Storyteller Laureate “in perpetuity” for the city of Kingston, and continues to invite people to find their own stories in the frame of hers. Her CD, The Crone and Other Lives I Have Lived, is sure to make you laugh!
Karen has been sharing stories for over 30 years. She has performed in libraries, camps, churches, parks, schools, historic sites, festivals, and even on a stage floating in a lake in a cave.
Karen was selected as a National Arts Education Fellow for her storytelling program: “There’s No Place Like Home: Stories of the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains." In 2002 she was named Kingston, New York’s official Storyteller Laureate in perpetuity.
Holding a MS in Early Childhood Education, Karen combines her 33 years of teaching experience with the art of storytelling, to work with teachers in elementary schools,
giving workshops and
visiting classrooms. Her workshops include, but are not limited to,
“Once Upon a Time: It CAN Happen in Your Classroom",
"Community Storyteller: Drawing the Community Together through Story", and "Storytelling with Poverty in Mind".
She has presented these workshops in the United States, Newfoundland, Canada, and most recently in Sydney, Australia.
In 2021, Karen was certified as a Storytelling Schools practitioner by
Storytelling Schools Ltd., UK.
This involved ten weekly virtual sessions of two hours each, covering all the main elements of the Storytelling Schools method, followed by an assessment which led to Karen's certification.
Karen says: "What an amazing experience it was taking the Storytelling Schools Training. I discovered new ways to teach the art of storytelling and to infuse storytelling into all the language arts. Though I wish I could have taken this course in-person, the availability of the virtual classroom made it possible to experience the course with people from around the globe."
Karen is co-founder, along with
Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi of Tall Tales/Short Story Productions which has produced a host of storytelling events in the Hudson Valley of NY, including Tellabrations.
She is regularly featured at Mohonk Mountain House, a historic landmark hotel in New Paltz, NY where she has been telling stories for over 25 years!
Karen is on the Board of Advisors of the
Multifaith Storytelling Institute.
Her newest work includes working with people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction at Villa Veritas in Kerhonkson, NY. Her most rewarding work to date.
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Tall Tale/Short Story Productions (AKA Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi and Karen Pillsworth) donate proceeds of Tellabration 2009 in the amount of $800 to The Children's Home of Kingston. They are pictured with Patti Habersaadt, Director of Development (on left), and Gwen McCann, Director (on right).