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Local man wins national award
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The National Storytelling Network ( has named Andy Offutt Irwin of Covington a recipient of its Oracle Circle of Excellence Award, which is presented to artists who are recognized by their peers as master storytellers.

A Covington native, Irwin is a humorist, singer-songwriter and musician who is described by the Storytelling Network as a “walking menagerie of sound effects and dialects.”

In storytelling circles, he is well-known for relating the adventures of his 85-year-old newly-minted physician aunt, Dr. Marguerite Van Camp. In his performances, Irwin addresses such issues as aging, death and dying, and race relations in the New South.

All five of his storytelling CDs have won Storytelling Word Awards. He has appeared five times at the National Storytelling Festival, and this month marks his eighth year as a Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center. He also has been a guest artist at La Guardia High School of Art, Music, and Performing Arts in New York (The “FAME!” School), and a keynote speaker/performer at the Library of Congress-Virburnum Foundation Conference on Family Literacy.

Irwin also continues to do occasional theatrical projects with Oxford College in Oxford, where he was Artist-in-Residence, 1991-2007.

Early in his career, Irwin performed with the comedic troupe SAK Theatre at Walt Disney World, 1984-1989. These days, he tours with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Cathy Fink; with the chamber ensemble the Kandinsky Trio; and with Bil Lepp and Kim Weitkamp, as the “Uncalled for Trio.”

He also is known for one-man shows, educational programs and camps for children.

Irwin will receive his award at the National Storytelling Awards Ceremony on Aug. 3 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump in Richmond, Va.

For more information about Irwin, see