Chris Kastle

 ABOUT THE ARTISTS AND HER WORK

Chris Kastle is an award winning singer, storyteller, songsmith, author, artist, poet and educator who offers insight into a lifetime of adventure and travel. Her original works possess great imagery and have the occasional flavor of Celtic and Maritime traditions. 

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS

In 2022 she presented in the Author Showcase at Women Writing for (a) Change; did her one-woman show, “Travel Tips,”  a Tale Tellers of St. Augustine Production, at the Limelight Theatre;  lectured in the Friday Night Naturalist Series at the Trout Lake Nature Center and was featured at the First Coast Poetry Showcase where she released her first chapbook, Nonets in Nine Courses: Recipes in Verse through Rising Moon Press. 

In 2021, her poem, “Greeting” was one of the winners of the Janet Binkley Erwin Memorial Award; she played the role of the Musician in a production of Philip Butera’s play, The Apparition, at the Art Box; exhibited original music, songs and poetry at PAMJam Jacksonville and PAMJam Ponte Vedra; was a featured teller at Katha Potpurri in Chenai, India via Zoom; and formalized her YouTube Channel. 

OVERVIEW

As a singer, storyteller and songsmith, she has released three solo CDs of music and spoken word and, as part of a duo, 12 critically acclaimed CDs and a DVD.  Chris received the Annette J. Bruce Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Storytelling Association. Her song, El Faro, in memory of the crew,  has been well-viewed on YouTube. She has performed throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe and New Zealand. 

As an author and poet, she has penned articles for maritime publications and been a contributing author in a maritime history anthology published by Claremont Press. She has published many short stories and poems; most recently, as the author/designer of a new chapbook, Nonets in Nine Courses: Recipes in Verse, through Rising Moon Press. Other books include Dolly the Decorator Crab (author/illustrator) for children and From the Icy Fingers of the Deep, a critically acclaimed book of short, scary, sea stories. 

As a visual artist, Chris has helped students of many ages and abilities to create solo and collaborative artwork in watercolor, sculpture, collage, set design, puppets, mixed media and more. Her individual work has been on exhibition at PAMJam, and alongside that of her students at the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens and also at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts. 

As an educator, she worked as the Director of Education at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, an instructor for the Inland Seas Education Association, a Visiting Professor at Governors State University, Community Educator for Friends of A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway and has done a myriad of educational residencies and masters classes throughout the United States. She is  currently on the faculty at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and is a Teaching Artist for Arts4All and Ace Arts. 

As an arts administrator, advocate and producer, she was the Executive Director of Common Times, the folk-arts organization that presented the "Chicago Maritime Festival" and the "Chinquapin Folk Music and Storytelling Festival".  Chris has served on the boards of the Florida Storytelling Association (Past President) and the Tale Tellers of St. Augustine (Past Treasurer, President and Secretary ). 

She is a one-time Tall Ship sailor from Chicago who has found a home in St. Augustine, the nation's oldest port city and is enjoying the best of the old world and the new.

Education 

EDUCATION

M.A.S. Human Ecology, Governor's State University; B.A. Geography/Political Science; minor in Education, University of Illinois; Graduate coursework in Professional Education with a Cognate in Literacy, University of North Florida 

CURRENT PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
Florida Storytelling Association, Past President; Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer; North Florida Folk Network; St. Augustine Songwriters Association; Ancient City Poets; North Florida Poetry Hub; Florida State Poets Association 

SELECTED PERFORMANCES 

Lullaby of the Rivers Festival • Story Central Concert Series • Florida Storytelling Festival Outreach • Florida Folk Festival • Mohegan Storytelling and Music Festival • Gamble Rogers Music Festival • Jacksonville Public Library Summer Reading Series • Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Series • Will McLean Festival •The Environmental Education Faire • Chicago Maritime Festival • Theater of the Mind • Spoken Word Café • John G. Shedd Aquarium • Illinois Storytelling Festival (Illinois Showcase) • Storybook Festival • Wild Onion Storytelling Festival • Field Museum of Natural History • National Maritime Museum (New Zealand) • Chicago Historical Society • Uncommon Ground Storyteller Series • Passim's • Shanties Festival (Poland) • Museum of Science & Industry • Fox Valley Folk Festival • Folklore Society of Greater Washington • Workum Shanty Festival (Netherlands) • Philadelphia Folksong Society • Mystic Seaport (Sea Music Festival; Concert Series) 

SELECTED RADIO AND TELEVISION APPEARANCES

"The Story Cafe" • "Studs Terkel Show" WBEZ • "The Midnight Special" WFMT • "Folk Festival" WDCB • "848" WBEZ • "Rick Kogan Show" WGN Radio . "Insight" WTMX • "River City Folk" • "The Michael Stock Show" WLRN • "Bound For Glory" • "Gene Shay Show" WHYY •  "Absolute Artistry" • "Outdoor Wisconsin" • "Prairie Harvest" • "Wild Chicago" • "Chicago Stories" • "Artbeat Chicago" • "Stage 9" • WBBM News Chicago • WMNF 

SELECTED HONORS, GRANTS AND JURIED ROSTERS 

Arts4 All Florida Teaching Artist, 2011-Present • “The Picture in the Story Workshop Series” Crisp-Ellert Fund Grants through Northeast Community Foundation, Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, 2017, 2019 • Annette J. Bruce Lifetime Achievement, Florida Storytelling Association, 2015 • Lantern Bearer Award, Folk Alliance Midwest Region, 2007 • Founders' Award, Shanties '93, Krakow, Poland • Arts-in-Education Rosters in Missouri, Illinois, Delaware, Indiana •  ArtsTour, Illinois • Michigan Humanities Council • Chicago Office of Fine Arts-Community Arts Assistance and Neighborhood Arts Programs • Illinois Arts Council-Special Assistance Grants • Arts International-Festival Travel Grant 

SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS, SEMINARS AND ARTS PLANNING 

“Using an Economy of Words: Writing Stories in Verse”, Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference” 2019 • “Tell Your Own Florida Story: Workshop Series for Seniors", Rotary Club of Northeast Florida Grant for Tale Tellers of St. Augustine, 2016-17 • “Music Across the Spectrum” (co-presenter, Hellen Snow), Duval County Board of Education, 2016 • Chicago Maritime Festival, 2002-16 (Co-Director and Founder) • “Cross-disciplinary Teaching Through the Arts", VSAFlorida, 2015 • Environmental Education Faire/Kid's Ocean Day, Friends of A1A Planning Committee, 2011-14 • "Principles of Performance", Tale Tellers of St. Augustine Workshop Series, 2013 • "StoryLines Game Pilot”, "Perk It Up With Puppets", Florida StoryCamp, 2013 • Festival of Muses, Planning Committee, 2012  

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

 

El Faro

Gone Away

Daughter of the Wind

Way Out West