Nancy Shapiro-Pikelny dreamed of a career in hockey or baseball. But somewhere along the way, teaching and storytelling were victorious over the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Nancy’s audiences and students were happy that she hung up her ice-skates and baseball cleats and found the path to the world of story.
A gifted storyteller and educator, Nancy brings storytelling into the lives of children and adults. She has the unique ability and creativity to integrate storytelling with math, social studies and language arts curricula. Shapiro-Pikelny is known for her fun-filled renditions of traditional folktales, original stories, poignant family narratives and inspirational stories from the Holocaust, most notably her widely acclaimed original performance A Window of Beauty.
With an irresistible blend of warmth and disarming humor, Nancy has performed for diverse audiences, including the prestigious National Storytelling Festival Exchange Place, the Illinois Storytelling Festival, Tell It In the Mountains of North Carolina, the Chicago Jewish Folk Arts Festival, Piccolo Spoleto and Whitwell Middle School, Tennessee – the home of The Children’s Holocaust Memorial.
Nancy’s work as a storyteller is deeply influenced by her Jewish heritage; steeped in the folklore, melodies, history and culture of Jewish life past and present. Named ‘Resident Storyteller’ of her school, her talent has also been praised by teacher organizations, schools, women’s groups, churches, festivals and fellow storytellers and educators. Every ethnic group, historically and still in present day, has relied on their storytellers for education, entertainment and cultural transmission. Nancy is honored to be recognized in her community for fulfilling that role.
“Nancy’s voice is authentic; confident and lovely in its humor; warm and open hearted.”
-Angela Lloyd, storyteller, teacher and musician