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New faces at Frazee's anunal storytelling event

JoAnne Lower will perform at the annual Storytelling event and lead the Saturday morining workshop.1 / 2
John Peterson is due to perform at the annual Storytelling event and lead the Saturday morining workshop.2 / 2

FRAZEE - It's not always "once upon a time, in a land far, far away." Storytelling is for adults, too.

The sixth annual Sharing the Tradition of Storytelling event is set for Friday, March 27, in the Frazee Event Center.

"We've learned to listen and learned to appreciate a good yarn," organizer Patty Nunn said.

Participants this year include Nunn, returning guest Michael Cotter, and new storytellers JoAnne Lower and John Peterson.

Again this year, storytellers will work with students in the schools. Since this is the sixth year of the program, kids in the Frazee-Vergas Elementary School will have worked with the storytellers every year they have been in school thus far.

When it comes to the Friday evening event though, Nunn said to think more along the lines of Garrison Keillor, not the Three Little Pigs.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and refreshments will be served. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Peterson performs traditional Appalachian music and storytelling, and most of his instruments are handcrafted by traditional Appalachian craftspeople, with a few of his own as well.

Lower is a Norwegian-Lutheran farm girl from Iowa who "weaves word pictures of ordinary people and places into rich tapestries that warm and comfort all who hear them," according to her Web site.

On Saturday morning, March 28, there will be a storytelling workshop for anyone interested in learning to craft his or her own stories. The workshop isn't necessarily about performing, but more about writing a story to leave a legacy for generations to come. It is for people "interested in capturing and preserving their own stories," Nunn said.

"This is a wonderful way to pass on what's important to the next generation," she added.

For instance, Nunn has a story that stemmed from a letter her grandmother had written to her mother. She warned her daughter to save her nylons for the Easter parade. From those few sentences, Nunn said she learned about the values of her earlier generations, including being thrifty to save the nylons, religious to celebrate Easter and patriotic during the time of war.

"We can chart the waters for future generations," she said of writing down stories that will pass along the values of a family.

The Saturday morning workshop is $10, and CEU's are available. Call Frazee Community Education at 334-2525 to pre-register for the workshop. There will be a breakfast served at 8:30 a.m., followed by the workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. It will take place in the Frazee High School Media Center.

The previous evening's storytellers, Peterson and Lower, will lead the Saturday workshop.

The workshop will include writing exercises on how to get to the meat of a story. There will also be time for a question and answer panel. Bev Jackson will be assisting with the workshop as well, although she will not be among Friday night's performers.

"They're not going to embarrass. (Participants are) not expected to be published writers. It's for very baby beginners in the writing process," Nunn said.

And again, storytelling is for adults, too.

"It's not just for children. I can't say that often enough," Nunn added.