Paiute, Shoshone, Washo Nations contribute to International StoryBox Project

Event Rescheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 19

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

RENO, Nev. — The public is invited to attend an official stop of “The StoryBox Project,” a free global storytelling event, on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.

With a built-in element of cultural exchange, the StoryBox Project promotes the power of storytelling and celebrates storytellers. Reno’s StoryBox is sponsored by the Folklife Program of the  Nevada Arts Council with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKinley Arts & Culture Center.

StoryBox  is an international project that visits new cities every three weeks during a year.  At each stop, Story Ambassadors read several of the collected stories as well as ones from the ‘host’ community.  The StoryBox is then shipped to the next community and its StoryBox Keeper. Selected stories will be published in a book.

In Reno, American Indians, a cowboy poet, students and other local storytellers will contribute their stories to the project. “I am honored to be chosen as a StoryBox Keeper,” says Wishelle Banks, a Reno producer-writer, poet and American Indian third-generation storyteller. “Storytelling is a vital part of every culture. In keeping with the season, Nevada’s storytelling will have a central theme – “Share a Story about the Greatest Gift You’ve Ever Received.”

Banks explains. “For me, it is inspiration, so I’ll be sharing that story. I anticipate listening to other storytellers talk about their greatest gift. What I love about The StoryBox Project is its built-in element of cultural exchange, which fosters compassion, tolerance, peace and understanding.”

Banks will be joined by Ben Aleck, collections manager and Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal historian, and Ralph Burns, Paiute Language Specialist, both from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Museum and Visitors’ Center; Christina Thomas, a Paiute-Shoshone and Hopi traditional drummer and singer; Dennis Golden, a local rancher and song writer; and Tana Lynn (Zunino-Smith), a fourth-generation Nevadan, writer and storyteller. Together they will share stories and music filled with personal and historical significance, wisdom and humor.

The StoryBox project was started by Kevin Cordi, an internationally known storyteller whose work has been commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Newsweek, and Highlights for Children. For more information, visit http://storyboxproject.com/

The McKinley Arts & Culture Center is part of the City of Reno Arts, Culture and Events Division. It is a historic building with two gallery spaces, arts and crafts workshops and rental office space for local non-profit arts organizations.

The Nevada Arts Council is a division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs.  The Department serves Nevada’s citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, preservation and promotion of cultural resources, and education.  The Department also includes the Division of Museums and History, State Historic Preservation Office, State Library and Archives, Comstock Historic District Commission, Literacy Coalition, and the Commission for Cultural Affairs.  For more information, visit the department’s Web site at www.NevadaCulture.org.

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