Walter Mayes, also known as "Walter the Giant Storyteller,” conducted Family Fun workshops in collaboration with Education Department staff during his residency in 1997. An entertaining and enlightening performer, Mayes engaged children and their families in imaginative storytelling, and helped them create their own storybooks. He also led a tour based on his own interpretations of works in the collection interspersed with personal stories. He hosted a Story Hour in the Courtyard and Tapestry Room, and gave a lecture titled Taking Back the Museum: Childhood, Art, and Story at the Gardner.
Walter Mayes is the author of Walter the Giant Storyteller's Giant Book of Giant Stories (with Kevin O'Malley) and Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children (with Valerie Lewis). He has been a featured speaker, performer, and panelist at the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival, Rizzoli Book Fair in New York City, American Booksellers Association Annual Convention in Chicago, and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among many others. Mayes also founded Walter the Giant Storyteller & Co., a children's advocacy program dedicated to raising books and stories to a level of daily importance in all children's lives.