The four finalists for the Great American Story event have been chosen. They will tell their winning stories as part of the program from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, September 24. They are Anne Dunn from Deer River, Leigh Harper from Ponsford, Steve Maanum from Park Rapids and Amy Salloway from Minneapolis.
In addition, Dr. Carson Gardner, will be guest storyteller. A genuine Minnesota-native codger, he is a board-certified small-town family doctor and a founding member of the Park Rapids Jackpine Writers’ Bloc. He left the practice of corporate medicine in 1999. Since then he and his wife, Gail, have been living and learning on the White Earth Ojibwe/Anishinaabe Reservation. He has actually had a few poems published – even fewer prose works – and wrote lyrics for an album entitled The Heron Smiled; which helped its singer win a 2001 Native American Music Award. Gardner is bear-clan, a cedar flute player, a traditionally-observant pipestone carver, a joyful dog rescuer, a perennial student of Ojibwe language, culture and spirituality and a compulsive storyteller.
Dr. Gardner will share 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. Emcee will be Bruce Bolton, founder, owner and artistic/managing director of Long Lake Theater.
This activity sponsored by the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.