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Appalachian artways series turns focus to storytelling

Sue Guinn Legg • Feb 10, 2018 at 12:43 AM

ERWIN – The Tanasi Arts & Heritage Center's ongoing Functional Artways of Appalachia series will continue with a free storytelling workshop Saturday evening, Feb. 24, in the Unicoi County High School auditorium.

The latest in a year-long series of functional art demonstrations and instructional programs is being funded through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts.

The three-hour program will begin at 5 and will include instruction and storytelling demonstrations by representatives of the East Tennessee State University Storytelling Program and the Unicoi County High School drama department.

UCHS drama students will begin the night with a presentation of stories about Erwin.

Under the direction of Dr. Delanna Reed, interim coordinator of the ETSU storytelling program, storytelling master’s degree students will present stories of regional railroads, including the Tweetsie and the Clinchfield.

Participants will learn to engage audiences by capturing emotion from their listeners and incorporate it into their stories.

A press release announcing the program describes storytelling as the “sharing stories with theatrics and improvisation.”

“Every person and place has a story to tell, and our region is rich in history and culture. Whether historical, mythical, or legendary, stories express culture and interaction,” the press release states.

The high school is located at 700 S. Mohawk Drive. Pre-registration is recommended but not required and may be completed online at www.tanasiarts.org/event-registration.

Assistance with hearing and vision impairments or Spanish-language translation may be requested on the registration form.

The series is an exploration of traditional Appalachian arts and crafts that are both beautiful and useful.

Volunteers with an interest in storytelling and other Appalachian arts and those who would simply like to help are invited to take part in event planning, setup, photography and more. All volunteers will be invited to an appreciation party at the end of the year-long series in August.

More information about the Feb. 24 program and the series is available at the website www.tanasiarts.org or may be obtained by calling 423-735-0217.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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