Watch Kate Tell
People From the Past
Who Made a Difference
Articles about Kate
Whether creating stories from the past for all ages, or singing
old-time songs with senior citizens, Kate delights in seeing joy and understanding on the faces of her
Kate is well trained in storytelling
the many storytelling workshops and conferences she has attended),
and experienced in storytelling to adults at
many venues in the Northeast, including
storytelling festivals, museums,
Story Sundays at the Glen Sanders Mansion, several
Tellabrations: Evenings of Storytelling for Adults,
professional meetings, and senior citizen centers.
While Kate is happy to create a program to match your needs,
here is a list of some of her existing programs for adult audiences:
Learning About Muslims
Kate Dudding shares: traditional Muslim stories and poetry; stories about Muslims in the news; and stories about Muslims Kate met and things she learned at meetings of the
Interfaith Story Circle of the Tri-City Area (Albany, Schenectady and Troy, NY.) Here are three of these stories:
comments about this program when I presented it for the Academy for Lifelong Learning, Saratoga Springs.
- The Kindness of Strangers
Kate Dudding shares stories that just may restore your faith in human goodness. The stories tell of: the Gershwins meeting a new Broadway singer;
many kind strangers that Kate's family met in Paris;
an interfaith encounter in Memphis;
the thousands who fearlessly helped in the aftermath of the Oklahoma bombing;
- Chocolate Delights
Kate Dudding shares stories each with at least a taste of chocolate. Stories include: some short stories about chocolate from history, including the tale of a bishop in Mexico who banned it from being drunk during Mass; the story of how Eskimo pies were created; a story about Kate’s best friend who had a kitchen catastrophe; and the story of the Candy Bomber during the Berlin Blockage 1948-1949.
- Mother and Daughter Stories
Kate Dudding shares personal stories as well as folk tales and historical stories about mothers and daughters.
- Knitters From Around the World and Through Time
Lifelong knitter Kate Dudding shares stories including: A Brief Introduction to Knitting (no yarn nor needles required), folk tales, historical stories, personal stories, and stories about knitting activists today.
Fighting For Our Rights - American Women Mid-20th Century
Kate Dudding shares stories from
her fourth CD about civil rights stories and women's rights stories, including how Marilyn Monroe changed Ella Fitsgerald's life. Here are
comments about this program.
- Women Who Made a Difference
True stories about women who made a difference, including stories of Annie Oakley, Betty Friedan and an 11 year old fundraiser for the Audubon Society.
- Women Artists of the 20th Century:
The Tiffany Girls, Margaret Bourke-White and Georgia O'Keeffe
Tiffany lamps are well-known and easily recognized by their images of nature. But how they were created, by The Tiffany Girls, was unknown until 2005. Listen as Kate shares the recently-discovered stories of these women artists of the early 20th century.
Photographer Margaret Bourke-White took photos around the world from the 1920s till the 1960s. Initially she photographed architectural subjects, including the photo on the cover of the first Life magazine. But she then became captivated by people’s faces, and so she told their stories.
Did you ever wonder why Georgia O’Keeffe painted those huge flowers and the bones in the desert? Kate shows 25 photographs of Georgia’s paintings while sharing Georgia’s own words about them – a virtual tour by the artist herself.
- Stories Honoring African Americans
Listen to the true stories of African Americans who
strove to improve their lives, and often also improved the lives
of many others. These people include
Gee's Bend Quilters,
Jackie Robinson, Wendell Smith (a sportswriter),
Clinton 12 (the first students to desegregate a state-supported high school in the South one year BEFORE the Little Rock schools were desegregated), and
Theresa Burroughs, who just wanted to register
to vote in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Julia Child: Cook and Nifty Wench
Julia Child made French cooking accessible to American cooks, was the first person on PBS to win an Emmy, and enjoyed a passionate marriage. Come hear how this Smith graduate worked for the OSS during World War II, married a sophisticated man 6" shorter than herself,
and taught millions everything they needed to know to produce delicious meals.
Click here to watch a story about how
Julia came to the rescue of a friend.
Click here for a
comment about this program.
(Photo courtesy of
Jo-Ellen Unger, Academy for Lifelong Learning, Saratoga Springs, NY)
- Oscar Hammerstein: Lyricist, Writer and Mentor
Oscar Hammerstein wrote the lyrics for some of the most beloved Broadway musicals of the early – mid 20th century. Kate Dudding shares stories of: the musical “Showboat,” the first Broadway musical with a significant plot; how Oscar transformed “Tales From the South Pacific”, a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of stories by James Mitchener, into the musical we now love; and how Oscar mentored Stephen Sondheim, a Broadway composer/lyricist of the mid-late 20th century.
Lighting the Way Home: Stories of Lighthouses and Their Keepers
Lighthouses have been in existence for thousands of years, some of them marking harbors, others marking hazards. Award-winning storyteller Kate Dudding brings to life some lighthouses and the people who worked in them.
- Broadway's Music Men: Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter
Some of Broadway's greatest composers were Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter. Come listen as award-winning storyteller Kate Dudding shares the stories behind their songs and join her in singing a number of their biggest hits.
- Celebrating Women: Their Labors, Laughter, Troubles and Triumphs
Kate Dudding shares stories of extraordinary women, including Betty Friedan and others who formed the National Organization for Women -- women who worked hard to expand opportunities for all American women.
Click hear to watch Kate tell one of these stories.
Painters and Friends: Stories of Claude Monet and John Singer Sargent
Learn the stories behind the paintings with storyteller Kate Dudding. Claude Monet and John Singer Sargent were friends as well as giants in their fields and obsessed with light. See images of their paintings while hearing about their work and their lives.
Click here for a comment about this program.
Photo courtesy of
- Sweaters and Mittens and Hats, Oh My! Stories about Knitting
A lifelong knitter, storyteller Kate Dudding shares folktales, personal stories and an historical story on how Aran Island sweaters came to be -- all great 'yarns' not to be missed!
- Eureka! Stories of Inventors
An inventor herself with two patents, Kate Dudding shares stories about the Father of Standard Time; Augustine Fresnel, who revolutionized lighthouses in the mid 1800s; the man who invented Eskimo pies; and others.
People Who Made a Difference
These are little known stories of people who made a difference. Some made a difference in the world, others made a difference in their part of the world.
- Holiday Stories From Around the World
Listen to holiday stories from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions -- heartfelt stories of light and laughter told by Kate Dudding
- Irving Berlin: The Man Behind the Songs
Many people are familiar with some of the 1,000 songs Irving Berlin published in his lifetime. But few people know the stories of the man himself. Come listen as award-winning storyteller Kate Dudding shares the stories of: how Irving Berlin came to write the song "Always"
(click hear to watch Kate tell this story;) what he volunteered to do during World War II; and why she considers him Broadway's greatest gentleman. Join Kate in singing several of Irving's songs.
- Tales of New Yorkers
Many fascinating people came from New York state: a lady balloonist, the first woman to fly across the English Channel, Broadway composers, survivors of World War II. Come hear Kate Dudding share these stories of famous and not so famous people who all made a difference.
Pioneer Women Aviators: Mary Myers, Harriet Quimby, Willa Brown, and Jerrie Cobb
Hear Kate Dudding share the stories of a lady balloonist, a record-setting pilot from 1912, a pilot and mechanic who lobbied Congress in 1938 for equal rights for African American flyers, and 13 women who wanted to be astronauts in 1960.
- The Lilt of Irish Laughter: Stories and Songs from Ireland
Kate Dudding shares stories from her Irish heritage: folk tales, personal stories and historical stories all from the lovely Emerald Isle. Between stories, we all sing songs that make any day seem like St. Patrick's Day.
- Backstage Broadway Stories
Listen and sing along as Kate Dudding shares stories of the Gershwin Brothers
and Dorothy Fields. You're probably very familiar with the songs of
George and Ira Gershwin. However, you might think you don't know any
songs created by Dorothy Fields. But if you've ever sung "On the Sunny
Side of the Street" or any song from "Sweet Charity," you've sung
words written by Dorothy Fields. Come enjoy stories about these
extraordinary song writers.
- Storytelling --
It’s NOT Just for Kids
Come listen as Kate Dudding, an award-winning storyteller from Clifton Park, tells us about the storytelling renaissance in the US. She’ll also share some of her favorite stories with us.
- Tales From the Twentieth Century: Modern Jewish Stories
Storyteller Kate Dudding shares true stories about famous people and
little-known people, people from Broadway in New York City, Germany, Egypt and
Come hear stories about the Gershwin Brothers, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and
Hammerstein as well as people you've never heard of, but will never forget.
Remember When: Stories and Songs from World War II
Kate Dudding shares the unpublished stories of World War II, weaving together cumulative details of life on the front lines and here at home to capture an era for her audience. Join Kate in singing the songs from that era as we all remember when.
- Laughing Fits: Tales to Tickle Your Funny Bone
Children laugh 40 times more per day than adults -- that's just not right! Come help improve your laughing average as Kate Dudding shares personal stories, folk tales and maybe even a tall tale or two.
- Leaving the Old Country: Immigration Stories
Kate Dudding shares immigration stories from the last few centuries, including stories of the Irish potato famine, an eight year old girl leaving Egypt in 1948, and a Russian immigrant we know as Irving Berlin.
Here's a sampling of some of stories she has told to adults:
Comments About Kate Dudding’s Adult Programs
Thank you for your excellent presentation Not only was it entertaining but very informative as well. The variety of stories, from the humorous Nasrudin tales and Talking Turkeys, the beautiful Rumi poetry, to the very moving "Story of One American Soldier," assured an award-winning program. "
Academy for Lifelong Learning, Saratoga Springs, NY
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referenced your story about Marilyn Monroe’s influence on Ella Fitzgerald’s success when I’m talking about the power each of us has to make a difference. "
Maggie Fronk, Executive Director,
Wellspring, Saratoga Springs, NY
“A wonderful way to get info across, I certainly go for this kind of lecture. Kate is a "gem" - hope you have her next year."
"Brilliant storyteller and brilliant person."
"Great blend of nonfiction and creativity. I would like to see more presentations of this type."
"Excellent, I loved the audience participation-singing."
"Excellent. Uplifting. Captivating."
Comments from partcipants after hearing Kate's program Oscar Hammerstein: Lyricist, Writer and Mentor, Senior Lecture Series,
Adirondack Community, Queensbury, NY
Kate Dudding told an amazing story about
'A Witness to the Truth.'
Everyone's ears were glued to each word flowing from her mouth. What started out as just a story about a man trying to tell his story to whoever would listen, ended up bringing a few gasps from the audience.
Jeannette Jordan, The Saratogian, Saratoga Springs, NY
Wow! What a humdinger of a story-set Kate told to 80 people at the Academy of Lifelong Learning story series in Saratoga! All were
about Julia Child. All were terrifically interesting and fun. I loved every
Margaret French, Storyteller
Kate Dudding has presented several storytelling programs for our organization. Her creativity, enthusiasm and ability to bring the listener into her stories have made her a favorite of our members. Her programs are the best attended of our lunch and learn offerings, filling the classroom and requiring extra seats to be brought in. If you choose to invite Kate to present a storytelling program to your group, I guarantee you an enjoyable and educational experience.
Jo-Ellen Unger, Executive Director,
Academy for Lifelong Learning, Saratoga Springs, NY
Kate Dudding has a real gift for taking historical stories and bringing them to life so that they're meaningful to us today.
leader of the
Interfaith Story Circle of the Tri-City Area
Once again, thank you for giving such an absorbing program on
Claude Monet and John Singer Sargent. You had the audience, as they say, in the palm of your hand! They loved it.
Gail Winters, Head of Reference and Adult Services, Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, NY
"What a wonderful job you have done with your CD
"Lighting the Way Home: Stories of Lighthouses and Their Keepers." There is a great mix of material on the CD. I really like the first person account from the lighthouse's point of view. An unexpected treat. I was also delighted that you were able to include a ghost story in the line up. Ending that tale with the warning in Portuguese was eerie and very effective.
In short, you have done a great job. The tales are well chosen, well crafted and well told. Hats off! A job well done!"
Elizabeth Ellis, renowned international storyteller
"Thank you for participating in
the Great Hudson River Revival, the Clearwater Festival 2006! And what an amazing festival it was! We could not have a festival without the wonderful performances that bring the audience back each year. Your participation is a gift to us and the Clearwater Community. Thank you again.
Ron Aja, Festival Director
"You’re a helluva storyteller!
Jack Turner, 347th Infantry, Company H, 87th Division, US Army, WWII
I have a long-running adult English class, here at the kibbutz -
some of my pupils have been coming to the group for over twelve
years. What I've been doing for the last five years is this: I
give them a story, plus an English - Hebrew glossary, typed out
and printed in a large clear font. They have a week to read it,
and then in the next lesson we discuss the text and read part of
As you can imagine, a story a week - forty five a year - adds
up to a stack of papers; so usually they give me back the texts
when we have finished with them. They
have the option of keeping the texts, but they never do. Well,
I gave them your story, My Mother's Hands to read, and when
we'd finished the lesson one woman said, "I'm going to keep this
one, is that all right?" And the rest of the pupils (aged 70 to
90) all breathed a sigh and said, "Me, too."
That had never happened before, and it has never happened since.
Lois Tsur, Israel
Thank you for your fascinating program on lighthouses and their keepers. You packed the house! We all thoroughly enjoyed and learned from your presentation
Marji Dickinson, Co-chair of the Social and Special Programs Committee,
Academy for Learning in Retirement, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Thank you so much for the wonderful presentation yesterday and the remembrances of World War II. It was awesome how you held everyone in rapt attention.
Your expertise deserves so much praise.
Don Harmande , one of the seven seniors interviewed for
Remember When: Stories and Songs from World War II
Thank you for coming to the Ilium Literary Club and presenting such a great and interesting program. Everyone was so pleased with it and enjoyed it so much.
Ilium Literary Club, Troy, NY
Thanks for all the great stories! The evening was a
"keeper" for sure.
Joe Doolittle, Producer,
Story Sundays at the Glen Sanders Mansion
"Very entertaining! We were all able to relate to
your family story.
Good choice of details to prompt memories -- you evoked the forties for us.
It'll cause us to look at our own photos."
My parents never married. A few years after I was born, my mother married
another man. He and his family always treated me like an outsider.
As a child, I spent many hours in the attic,
poring over my mother's family photo albums, searching for someone who looked like me.
Until I heard your story, I never realized that I have
my mother’s hands.
"What an absolutely wonderful evening!
Those were great Adirondack stories. Your rather wry sense of humor and
the twinkle in your eye appeared when you told the
outhouse and the moose turd
Fran Yardley, Storyteller
My Father's Daughter could have been written by me about my
relationship with my father! My father passed away in 1971 when I was
20 - just 4 months before my husband and I were married. I, too, have
just one picture of my father and I together where he is looking at me,
and I'm forever searching for ways in which I resemble him.
I could go on and on, but my intent was to let you know that your
stories made ME think. Thanks so much.