Artists in Schools Directory


Mike Follin

Artist's Narrative

Mike Follin Mike earned a masters degree in research and performance of living history with a concentrated study of folklore and storytelling at The Ohio State University and has been active in storytelling and drama for the past 25 years. He has taught oral interpretation and advanced acting at Capital University and music and dramatics in high schools and junior high schools. He has been an Interpretive Education Specialist with the Ohio History Connection, writing and presenting special programs in history for children and adults. In addition, he is an Artist-in-Residence with the Ohio Arts Council and participates in the statewide Artist in Education Program. He is past-president of the Ohio Order for the Preservation of Storytelling, a statewide organization of storytellers.


Upon request.
This artist is based in Columbus. Travel charges may apply for schools outside of the area.

Programs Available

Storytelling With You (Grade levels K-5)
Features stories from the Appalachia Region (Jack tales-Grandfather tales) and Ohio Folktales, legends and Hans Christian Andersen stories. The artist tailors programs to the age level of the audience and can include selected material for a specific age group or background. Elements of the performance can include action, interaction, some props, humor, surprise endings, and tales of the supernatural and "haints" (ie. "ghosts" in Piney Hollar language). The artist directly involves the audience in helping tell the story in order to heighten their imaginations, creativity, and ability to empathize as they express their own secret hopes. Revealing their inner feelings helps the students communicate with one another more easily.
Activity Options:
Storytelling With You
  • Duration: 40-50 min.
  • Fees: $150/ $50 each addt'l
  • Requirements: Large area where children may be seated (preferably on floor) in circle or semi-circle. 40-50 students ideal but can go to 75.

"Saints Preserve Us!” The Irish in America (Grade levels 8-12)
Features the story of Sean O’Shaughnessy, as he journeys from Ireland to America . The story begins in Ireland in 1845 and continues on through 1870, finally ending in Ohio.  Through the character of Sean, the diaries, journals and letters of the Irish immigrants to America come alive. Listen as he tells of the onset of the potato famine, the booking of passage to America with his new bride, the crossing of the Atlantic and the loss of their first-born. Discover what he found upon their arrival in America, “the land with the door of golden opportunity,” the reality of life in the city, and their eventual move to Ohio where they settled. The script is based upon primary research and documentation along with the actors’ own personal family history.
Activity Options:
"Saints Preserve Us!” The Irish in America
  • Duration: 40-45 min. with Q&A
  • Fees: $200/ $50 each addt'l
  • Requirements: Large area with room for a few props 40-50 students ideal but can go to 75.

Lecture/Workshop: Oral Interpretation & Storytelling (Grade levels 1-12)
This program includes hands-on material, individual participation, and improvisation. Material includes stories that the participants work through with the artist and use as a foundation to build on for creative dramatics. The workshop seeks to teach the student to paint word pictures with his or her mind, to speak in colors rather than black and white, and to understand sequencing of events. Workshop material geared to age/grade level.
Activity Options:
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Fees: $300
  • Requirements: Multi-purpose room, 30-35 students or adults, set up according to school's needs.