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Storytellers to spin tales Friday at Frazee Center

Stories of the human race. That's how Patty Nunn describes the storytelling event in Frazee Friday night.

"Some think it's for kids, but this is definitely for adults. It's not X-rated, but it's not going to be fairytales and folktales," organizer Nunn said.

Friday at 7 p.m. in the Frazee Event Center three storytellers and one musical guest will perform. The storytellers include Michael Cotter, Bev Jackson and Nunn herself.

"No performance fee needed here," she said of being able to perform and be an organizer of the event.

Featured musical guest this year is Ann Reed. The award winner has also performed at the Smithsonian, the Minnesota State Fair, on "Good Morning America," in the Fitzgerald Theater, is a regular guest on Minnesota Public Radio and a regular guest on "Prairie Home Companion."

"She has a great sense of humor," Nunn said. "She has great stories she puts to music."

The Frazee Area Arts Association puts on the event. Founder Gene Anderson passed away one year ago. Nunn said it's been a tough year for the organization, but it was always Anderson's goal to have Reed perform at the Frazee event.

"This is our way to let Gene know that we're still kicking here as an organization," Nunn said.

Reed has earned major music awards in Minnesota, including Artist of the Year, Folksinger of the Year and the Alumni Fine Arts Award.

Michael Cotter has been to the Frazee event each year. Nunn said people love his performances and ask for him every year.

"He's a third generation farmer and has so many stories of the old days," she said.

Cotter is the artistic director of the Minnesota Storytelling Festival held in Austin for the last 22 years.

Bev Jackson has also performed in Frazee at the second festival.

"She's an author. She tells stories that have challenges women face," she said.

And Nunn has been storytelling since 1990.

"In the last seven to eight years I started writing and developing my own stories," she said. Previously she had read other's stories.

The storytellers will perform in the Frazee school Friday for students.

That evening then, the cabaret-style show will be "comfortable and casual" in the Event Center.

This is the fourth year the Frazee Area Arts Association has hosted the storytelling event. A grant was received from the Lake Region Arts Council through the Minnesota State Arts Board to help fund it.

"We're able to work out some of the kinks and it keeps getting better," she said.

She says just because someone may have seen the show one year doesn't mean it'll be the same the following year.

"There are so many stories we don't need to repeat them," she said.

And each time it's told, it could vary. For example, she said, the creation story has the framework, but each detail is different.

"We wait for the certain basic story, but it's accessorized different," she said.

"It (storytelling) is more interactive than TV. You're forced to make a picture in your head," she said.

Sharing the Tradition of Storytelling is Friday at 7 p.m. in the Frazee event Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the door.

Refreshments will be served at intermission for a free-will donation.