Katie Knutson fell in love with Storytelling in high school when she competed in weekly Forensics (Speech) competitions. Although she performed in many different categories through the years, one category held a special place in her heart. "Storytelling was challenging and fun, but there was something else there that I didn't see in other categories. Since part of storytelling is connecting with your audience, we bonded with our fellow competitors. We coached each other, cheered for each other, and celebrated each person's accomplishments. This is what made storytelling stand out - as an Art."
In college, Katie performed with Comedy Sportz and studied Theatre, Child Development, and Calculus (you know, for fun). It wasn't until she was doing a residency for Climb Theatre in a small town in rural North Dakota that she met her first professional storyteller. "Wait, you do what? That's a job?" She has been going strong ever since.
In Katie Knutson’s 27 years as a Storyteller and 20 years as Teaching Artist, she has delivered Arts-Integrated residencies, performances, and classes to well over 35,000 kids. She has been called an "enchanting and magical" performer, and an "articulate, fun and inviting" workshop leader. Katie spends her days integrating Storytelling and Drama with Math, Science, English Language Arts, Spanish, and Visual Art to bring required curriculum and standards to life in an active and engaging way, all while embedding Professional Development for classroom teachers. Katie has contributed to three books on storytelling and write/curated the New Voices column in Storytelling Magazine (see publications page). She leads Storytelling and Arts Integration workshops for adults, mentors new Storytellers and Teaching Artists, is a Minnesota State DEVELOP Guest Trainer, and has worked as a Teaching Artist for Stages, Stepping Stone, Homeward Bound, Climb, and Children's Theatre Companies. Katie has received three highly competitive Arts in Education grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in partnership with Folwell School, Performing Arts Magnet, Neill Elementary, and the Gifted and Talented Department of Bloomington Public Schools to be their Storyteller-in-Residence for at least one year each. She has also completed the ArtSage Arts in Aging Teaching Artist Training Program to work with older adults across the aging spectrum.
This world traveler has taught in both Spanish and English and presented workshops on the Art of Storytelling, Physical Character Choices, Theater Games, Vocal Warm-ups/Character Voices, and Arts Integration in Canada, Chile, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and around the US. She was the first American featured at "Tales on the Island," the International Storytelling Festival in Sharjah (U.A.E.).
Katie is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network (NSN) and has served as the Chair/Co-Chair of the Youth, Educators & Storytellers Alliance of NSN, the Chair of the NSN Conference Committee, the President of Story Arts of Minnesota (formerly Northstar Storytelling League). She has also served on the Board of Northlands Storytelling Network and spent several years organizing Tellabration!(TM) and StoryFest in Minneapolis. Since the pandemic began, Knutson has spent much of her time training other storytellers to use Zoom, producing conferences, and leading tech teams for festivals.
Katie lives in Bloomington, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, son, and two black cats. Outside of storytelling, she loves gardening, eating good food, listening to podcasts, and being near oceans, lakes and rivers. You can often find Katie in her kitchen cooking or fermenting anything from kombucha to beet kvass to salsa. She drives an electric car and is politically active. Ask her about her pet worms!
-Storyteller since 1994
-Teaching Artist since 2001
-Based in Minneapolis, MN
-Arts Integration Specialist
-Current Chair of National Storytelling Network Board of Directors
-Promotes Social Justice through Storytelling