Anne Dunn won the title of Great American Storyteller at the conclusion of Saturday night’s inaugural event at Armory Square.
Dunn, who now resides at Cass Lake, received a check for $1,000.
The audience chose the winners after an initial round of storytelling by finalists Dunn, Leigh Harper from Pine Point, Steve Maanum from Park Rapids and Amy Salloway from Minneapolis. Salloway won second place and was awarded $500. Harper and Maanum each received $250.
In addition to the two rounds of storytelling, Dr. Carson Gardner shared the Chi-Dewe`igan, Big Drum, story, rarely if ever told to an off-the-rez audience in English and when it’s not part of the drum ceremony itself. As a bonus, Richard Rousseau, St. Paul, also engaged the audience as the second round of ballots was being counted. Rousseau is Minnesota liaison for the National Storytelling Network. Bruce Bolton served as emcee and presented the awards.
The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council sponsored the event with grants from Itasca-Mantrap and the Region 2 Arts Council funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.