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About Fox

Here is short biography for publicity purposes:
 
Brian "Fox" Ellis is an internationally acclaimed author, storyteller, historian, and naturalist. He has worked with The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The Field Museum and dozens of other museums across the country. Fox has been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences including the International Wetlands Conservation Conference, National Science Teachers Association Conference and the North American Prairie Conservation Conference, et al. Fox is also the Artistic Director for Prairie Folklore Theatre a unique theatre company that celebrates ecology and history through original musical theatre productions. He is the author of 16 books including the critically acclaimed Learning From the Land: Teaching Ecology Through Stories and Activities, (Libraries Unlimited, 2011), the award winning children’s picture book The Web at Dragonfly Pond, (DAWN Publications, 2006) and Content Area Reading, Writing and Storytelling (Teacher Ideas Press 2010). Many of his stories are also available on one of 12 CDs.
 
Follow this link for a resume or one page flier of performances to share with your board of directors, cultural arts committee or PTA.
 
Here is a more detailed autobiography for your perusal. Please note that the first paragraph works well for an introduction:
 
From "A Storyteller's Tour of the Louvre" in Paris to a campfire in the mountains of North Carolina, from the Historic Sandwich Illinois Opera House to an International Conference on Wetlands Conservation in Washington D.C., Brian "Fox" Ellis has been regaling audiences for more than 35 years. Since 1980 Fox has been touring the world as a performer and educator. Through stories and song, myth and poetry, Fox brings the world to your school, library, festival or conference. He is a dynamic teller who, in a warmly entertaining manner, captures what is most life-affirming and beautiful in the human experience.
 
Fox believes that within each of us is a story to tell. One of his goals is to awaken the tale teller in all of us. He is a keynote speaker and master teacher who provides workshops for students, teachers, parents, clergy and naturalists.
 
His "Adventures in Nature" celebrate our relationships with all of creation. His renditions of international folktales evoke a deeper understanding of other cultures. Fox's retelling of American Indian tales enriches the listener with the wit and wisdom of his elders. He brings to life the history of America through the voices of presidents and slaves, farmers and factory workers.
 
 
 
foxbigfishEarly Beginnings
 
I was initiated into the storyteller's art at a very early age through telling stories to neighborhood kids. Several of my buddies and I would climb Old Man Johnson's mulberry tree and eat berries until our tongues were purple. While eating, we took turns telling tales both tall and true. My early training took place in the forests and cornfields of Ohio while coon hunting with uncles and cousins. As the men sat around the fire listening in the quiet dark for the bawl of trailing hounds, they told of family deeds, fools and heroes, adventures and tragedies. Here my love of a story well told was born.
 
I graduated from college with several unofficial minors: biology, comparative religion, literature, political science, agriculture, and psychology. I majored in education with an emphasis on storytelling in the classroom. I quickly saw storytelling as the perfect template for tying the curriculum together. If the truth be known, I love learning. In addition to my academic training, I've studied dance, mime, acting, and voice to enliven the art. I love literature and revel in the history and mythology of the human race. Wherever I travel, I spend time exploring the local cultures, history, and ecology. I also enjoy passing long hours learning about the environment directly from the plants and animals who share my home.
 
In my professional career, I've always worked with children. I have been a teacher, counselor, and mentor to children of many ages, races, and backgrounds. I've taught in day care centers, summer camps, outdoor education centers, and public and parochial schools. I taught third and fourth grades at an inner city Catholic school and seventh grade language arts and social studies at a suburban public school. My principal once said, "In all of my career in education, I have never seen anyone get students so excited about writing, and give them the skills they need to become better writers."
 
In the field of outdoor education, I am often invited to be a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at major conferences. I have given presentations for the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Association of Interpreters, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and countless environmental education centers. I have also been hired as a consultant for Outward Bound and Yosemite Institute. In addition to these specific works, for ten years I managed summer camps in Michigan and North Carolina.
 
Recently, I have expanded my work to develop two new areas of expertise:

foxaserastusI have developed more than a dozen Chautauqua style, first person monologues. I have spent countless hours exploring the worlds these characters have created through their writings. The goal of these programs is to bring to life the ideas and perspectives that have shaped our world. I often speak first person when it suits my character, but occasionally I choose to be "a friend of" because this second person voice allows me to put the life of the author into a broader perspective and to discuss the implications of their work. My performances as John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, and Gregor Mendel have been selected by the Illinois Humanities Council Roads Scholar Program.

I am a consultant with science and art museums across the country. I regularly present performances and docent/teacher training workshops at the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The Field Museum in Chicago has recently hired me to develop a one man show as Charles Darwin to coincide with a new exhibit. Through The Field, I have created teacher training integrating storytelling, art and economics in conjunction with Yoyo Ma's Silk Road Tour, created hands-on science as part of their celebration of Lewis and Clark, and I regularly tell stories for their overnight programs. From workshops at the Ben Franklin Institute, in Philadelphia, PA to "A Storyteller's Tour of The Louvre" in Paris, as part of a graduate course on European Fairytales, a large focus of my work is within the walls of museums.
 
Through my work, I seek to erase some of the boundaries separating culture and individuals. I feel that it is through our own personal narrative that we see our "self" and our relationship to the world. It only makes sense that our stories be told to expand our awareness of each other, to emphasize our similarities and celebrate our differences.
 
I also believe that we are all storytellers. When we come home from a rough or good day and tell our family about our experience, we are enacting the ancient art of the story weaver. It is how we wrap our lives and bind them with others. One of my goals is to awaken the tale teller in all of us. My workshops provide a supportive environment in which we can explore our personal mythology, share our tragedies and triumphs, and develop the skills needed to captivate an audience.
 
I have performed at countless festivals, conferences, and schools. I have published fifteen books, twelve award winning CDs, hosted a television pilot, produced two DVDs and written more than 100 magazine articles. To learn more, read about my career highlights.
 
Follow this link for a resume or one page flier of performances to share with your board of directors, cultural arts committee or PTA.
 
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