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Summer Reading 2023 Performer Showcase

November 30, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

Are you looking for new performers for your summer reading celebrations? Or just throughout the year? Come watch nine local performers in our showcase. You’ll get a sampling of what type of edutainment they can offer your library patrons. Learn more about who you’ll be meeting below!

Performer Bio(s):

Illusionist Leon Etienne

You’ve seen Leon on America’s Got Talent, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Penn & Teller Fool Us! For over two decades, Leon Etienne has been rocking venues around the world with his blockbuster performances of Magic Rocks! Originally from Utica, NY, Leon’s national tour schedule allows him to be in our region each summer.

Mary Rys, Storyteller

Mary Shea Rys is a Storyteller and Educator from Liverpool, New York. She provides programs to school-age children, adults and families in either one day performances or week-long residencies. For one day performances, venues may pick from the following four Storytelling programs, all of which include interactive stories that bring participants into the experience

Captain Jack Sparrow

Rick Martinez loves to bring joy to children in any way he can. He dedicates his life to volunteering with hospitals, libraries, schools, and many other community organizations. After more than a decade of volunteering as a pirate and reading other authors’ works, he embarked on his own adventure and began writing children’s books. His mission is to restore reading and using the imagination in all of humankind. To inspire parents, to empower children, and to remind the world, nothing is impossible.

Tom Sieling, Musician

Grew up near Rose, N.Y., a small town in Wayne County, in an area known for fruit and dairy farming and its proximity to Lake Ontario. Over 30 years of performing as a children’s musician in libraries and schools. 47 live summer reading programs in 5 states last summer (would have been 63 but a retina detached on the MA Turnpike, all fixed now!).

Vanessa Johnson, Storyteller

Vanessa Johnson is a Griot, a storyteller in the West African Tradition. She is a quilter, fiber artist, community educator, activist, writer, playwright, and actor. Ms. Johnson uses her visual art forms and her voice to tell traditional tales from Africa and from the African Diaspora. Her tales of social justice and resistance include the stories of the Enslaved during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Abolitionists in the U.S., voices from the Women’s Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement, Earth-Justice Tales, Testimonies from Modern Day Human Trafficking, and stories from the lives of Contemporary Women.

Twistin’ Topher’s Balloons

Twistin Topher has been twisting up a storm in Syracuse and surrounding areas for 5 years now. Whether it be private parties, Birthdays, local community events, library events, parades, or family reunions, he’s done it all. Topher is a master craftsman at not only twisting balloon art but also captivating the attention of all ages. A father of 2, Topher knows just how to keep all children wrangled in and having the time of lives. He is the perfect addition to any event you have planned, and will leave you constantly guessing what it is he will twist up next!

Michael Albert, American Pop Artist

Michael Albert is a prolific artist who, over the past 35 years, has created literally thousands of original works of art including drawings & collages. In the past two decades, he has been creating large-scale “Epic” collage works on various themes including History, Literature, Religion & Philosophy, Music, Poetry & Lyrics, Botany/Landscapes, Logo Montages, Color Studies, Abstract Art, Mathematics & Geography. 

Benjamin Berry: Hoop Dancer, Circus Artist, Teacher Artist, Performer

Benjamin Berry is a teaching artist and circus performer based in Buffalo, NY whose programs have become a staple in libraries, schools, eldercare, and other community facilities in WNY. Since 2017, he has shared movement workshops and performances in 70+ cities nationwide and in 100+ Western New York facilities.

The Reading League’s Reading Buddies

The Reading League’s Reading Buddies is an engaging foundational reading television series that cleverly teaches underlying components of skillful word reading such as phonological awareness, letter names/sounds, and blending sounds to decode words. The show features a hilarious talking dog named Dusty who, with the help of his best human friend Dott, he’s learning a new trick – how to read! 

Live captioning will be provided.

This webinar will be recorded and a recording will be shared with all registrants afterward.

Register Now

**All participants will have the option to request a certificate of attendance for one and a half contact hours.**

All CLRC events are open to CLRC members and members of the Empire State Library Network.

All Attendees are expected to follow CLRC’s Code of Conduct


November 30, 2022
10:00 am - 11:30 am EST
Event Categories:


Online Via Zoom
NY United States + Google Map