RICHARDSON – For more than 18 years writer, educator and oral historian Decee Cornish has made it possible for people to travel to foreign lands, exploring different cultures and backgrounds all through his own experiences.

“I want them to walk away from listening to my stories with a sense of empowerment,” he said.

This week, Cornish visited Richardson for the city’s first ever storytelling festival, an event sponsored by the Arts Incubator of Richardson and other community partners such as the Cultural Arts Commission and the Ann and Charles Eisemann Arts and Innovation Initiative.

“Arts Incubator is all about collaboration so for this one, we been able to collaborate with a wonderful new group in Richardson called Read, Play, Love with a local artist from the storytellers guild, Twice Upon a Time players with Mr. Cornish, with the Public Library, with the school district, with First United Methodist Church of Richardson so air has found many partners to collaborate,” said Pat Fox with Arts Incubator of Richardson.

Cornish’s stories come from past experiences in the military, traveling and studying abroad – and growing up in the inner city.  While in Richardson, he has presented in various venues including the Richardson Public Library.

“We have seen storytelling festivals have wild success in other communities and with access to the wonderful storytelling that we have in the Dallas area, it just seemed silly not to try,” she said.

On Saturday, Richardson’s Storytelling Festival wraps up with events at the First United Methodist Church. The public is invited to attend. Cornish who will be storytelling hopes to not just entertain, but also educate.

“We as the elders of the village have an obligation to learn how to communicate to our young people and through that process of communication maybe we can start to impart morals and values that will help make them better people,” said Cornish.

For a list of art programs, concerts and community events please visit