Arts and Entertainment

Storytellers take to the stage in support of wilderness program

Gene Tagaban during the Dalai Lama’s visit. - Courtesy Photo
Gene Tagaban during the Dalai Lama’s visit.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Masterful storytellers will come to the stage at the sixth annual Storytelling Festival, a fundraiser for the Vashon Wilderness Program’s scholarship fund, which will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday at Vashon United Methodist Church.

The event, which will be hosted by comedian Steffon Moody, will feature three seasoned storytellers.

Gene Tagaban, a trainer and board member for the Native Wellness Institute, has performed at the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee. He was also in Sherman Alexie’s film, “The Business of Dancing,” and performed before the Dalai Lama during his “Seeds of Compassion” visit to Seattle five years ago.

Merna Ann Hecht is a poet, storyteller and teaching artist who received the National Storytelling Network’s 2008 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling. Hecht, a widely published poet and essayist, currently teaches creative writing, humanities and social justice at the University of Washington in Tacoma.

Shane Kenode is a hip-hop artist, storyteller and youth mentor who was raised in Sitka, Alaska, and graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in sustainable business and a minor in myth and ritual studies.

Tickets for the family-friendly event are $10 per person or $25 for a family and are available at the Vashon Bookshop and


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