David Titus, author and professional storyteller, has been entertaining children and adults in libraries, schools, churches and at conferences and festivals since 1968. He travels extensively, consulting, conducting workshops and residencies, instructing adults in storytelling, and collecting stories and string figures. He has entertained audiences across six continents from the frozen Arctic to the Sahara. With a piece of string and a thread of a story he captures his audience, young and old. Needless to say, he is having a lot of fun doing it.
Collecting string tricks from Tibetan refugees in Nepal, Pakistani refugees in Cairo, or a traveler in the Seoul airport; he then shares them in other parts of the world. This Master Storyteller spent five weeks in Nepal in 1999 renewing acquaintances he made two years earlier. He traveled to very remote regions to help at leprosy hospitals, teaching the patients to make string figures as physical therapy. They loved it and so did the staff, not as therapy but as just plain fun.
Spending August and September 2000 in Mongolia, Titus took 20,000 strings to give the new organization “String Ministries, Inc.” the acid test. The nomadic Mongolian people loved the diversion and activity these games provided. Eagle TV, the local Christian station had him on two live programs, translated all three of his videos for airing, and shot almost two hours of short testimonies and stories to be inserted in future broadcasting. The NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) such as Habitat For Humanity, UNESCO, VetNet, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Joint Christian Services, etc. that Titus was involved with saw this ministry as a useful tool for reaching people with their particular messages. He returned to Mongolia in August 2005.
In 2001, Titus went to England to work in schools, prisons and churches and took two trips to Mexico to share his talents with string and collect information on the use of string figures in their culture. He has made three trips to Eastern Europe spending up to six weeks in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Finland working in churches, schools, prisons, a refugee camp and orphanages. In 2002, Titus took the first of two trips to South Africa and a mission trip to Belize. He went to South Africa and Namibia and made two trips to a Refugee camp for Liberian refugees in Ghana, West Africa. After living on the camp and working with the Liberian people, he plans to return to visit Liberia and Guinea in the near future. Titus also traveled to Venezuela in 2004. He traveled to Australia and Papua New Guinea in October 2006. This was his first trip to these countries.
David Titus is now the author of “Native American String Figures.” This oversize soft cover book has directions for eleven Native American string figures. Graphic artist Donna S. Moore-LeMaster produced over 120 drawings for this edition. In the fall of 2004 they collaborated on a second book, “African String Figures.” This book contains a sampling of the many figures that Titus saw during his travels to Africa. From his extensive work with Alaskan natives, Titus released his third book, “Native Alaskan String Figures” in February 2007.
Titus has a video that explains the mission and goals of String Ministries, Inc. This 31-minute video titled “Sharing with String through String Ministries,” gives practical examples of how string figures can be used as a tool for mission trips, youth groups, retreats etc. Directions for each of the figures are included in the video.
The video “String Magic from Around the World” has been a favorite with many schools, libraries and families since it came out in 1997. “This video shows more than 50 string figures, gives directions for over 20, and includes a practice string. It provides live-action demonstrations and storytelling with string figures,” School Library Journal, October 1997.
Titus’ first in the series of Christian string videos is “String Fun with the Parables.” Video Librarian gave it 3 stars out of 4 in the July/August review and School Library Journal said, “This engaging introduction to the Old and New Testament Parables will appeal to Christian schools and churches and to public libraries where its cross generation appeal will be a plus.” June 1999. All of Dave’s video works are now available in DVD format.
David Titus is now traveling in cyber space with his new enterprise, http://www.StringFigureStore.com. His DVD’s, audiotapes, books, strings and other string related products are available at this website. He estimates that Goodwill Industries, Inc., who has the contract to provide the labor to produce the colorful knotless strings that he provides, will produce over 100,000 this year.
Titus has been a librarian in Ohio, Michigan, Honduras-Central America and Oklahoma and was also with the Oklahoma State Department of Education as a consultant to library and media programs. He has been active in storytelling and was president of Territory Tellers, the Statewide Storytelling guild.