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Michigan Storytellers, Presenters, and Local Historians

Looking for a local presenter or historical performer? Discover them here through our Storytellers network.

Local talent, presenters, and more

Shabazz speaking at podium during LHC

Are you looking for a program for your museum, historical society, library, or other organization? Many Historical Society of Michigan members have excellent presentations to offer. Below you will find a list of presenters, their programs, and their contact information. Please contact them for more detailed information or to schedule a presentation.

Questions about our list? Email us at

Interested in being added to the list? Fill out a presenter information form here

Michael Deren

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Affiliation: THE PAST IN PERSON - History and You - Involved!

Program Title: “Great Lakes Schooner Captain 1875”

Program Type: Storytelling

Program Description: “Great Lakes Schooner Captain 1875” takes the audience on a voyage of music and history of the Great Lakes. Using accordion and concertina he shares the songs, stories, history and resources of the Great Lakes region. Topics include geography, transportation, history (beaver, lumber, fishing, iron and copper) and conservation.

Contact Information:

          Telephone: (734) 663-9634 (office) | (313) 804-0981 (cell)


Program Fees:
          Program: $450-$675
          Workshop: $450-$675

Travel Expenses: $30-$50 per hour for travel beyond a 50 mile radius of Ann Arbor, MI. Lodging and meal expenses as needed depending on the venue.

John Geisler

Location: Kalamazoo, MI

Affiliation: Western Michigan University

Program Titles:

  • "Crazy, Weird, Bizarre, Unique and Strange Michigan Road Signs"
  • "The West Michigan Pike: Old US-31, 112, & M-11; Blue Star & Red Arrow Highways"
  • "The Great Sauk Trail: Across Southern Michigan" – Precursor to US-12
  • "The Old Northwest Ordinance of 1787: Examining the Effects on Michigan Today"

Type of Program: PowerPoint Lecture, Storytelling

Contact Information: 

          Telephone: (269) 353-4071

Program Fees:
          In-Person: $150+, plus travel expenses (within 250 miles of Kalamazoo)

Lois Keel

Location: Clarkston, MI

Type of Program: Storytelling

Program DescriptionLois Sprengnether Keel has a wide variety of storytelling programs or can create one just for you! Programs are always in the form of reenacting, often involving audience participation and audio elements. Some titles include:

  • "Prohibition–How Michigan Provided Three-Quarters of the Nation's Smuggled Alcohol"
  • "WWI's 'Hello Girls': The Bilingual Phone Operators"– Explore their 60 year fight to gain veteran status
  • "Underground Railroad Operation"
  • "Michigan Pioneer Days"
  • "Celebrating Victorian Era Christmas"
  • "Skipping Through the Halls of 50s Memories"
  • ...and much more!

Contact Information:

          Telephone: (248) 625-5848


Program Fees:
          In-Person: $250+, plus travel expenses (federal mileage rate if 50+ miles away).

Robert Myers

Location: Lansing, MI

Affiliation: Historical Society of Michigan

Program Title: Of Icebergs and Inquiries: Michiganders on the Titanic”

Type of Program: PowerPoint Lecture

Program Description: When the luxury ocean liner RMS Titanic went down in 1912, many Michiganders tragically lost their lives. Within a week, U.S. Senator William Alden Smith of Grand Rapids convened the U.S. inquiry into the disaster. Join us to learn about the Michigan survivors and victims, as well as Senator Smith's far-reaching quest for answers.

Contact Information:

Telephone: (517) 324-1828 (office) | (269) 277-0281 (cell)


Program Fees:
          In-Person: $150 (within 100 miles of Lansing)
          Remote, via Zoom: $125

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