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January 21, 2017: Stories of our Lives
The Karshner Museum and Center for Culture & Arts was filled with laughter, storytelling, drama, and book making on Saturday, January 21, 2017. It was the latest Family Festival sponsored by the Puyallup School District - "Stories Of Our Lives." 

Children were mesmerized by Eva Abram, acclaimedava Seattle Storytellers Guild member. She captured the attention and imagination of listeners of all ages. Sitting front and center on the museum's fluffy rugs, children heard stories about Br'er Fox, Br'er Bear, and Br'er Rabbit. 

Found in folktales of African-American and Native American origin, these characters and their antics made the audience smile and laugh. Actors with Book-It Theatre took stage next performing a children's theatre piece based on the award-winning book, Goin' Someplace Special. 

playIn this story, 'Tricia Ann went on a journey all alone. Set in a 1950s southern town where all are welcome, no matter their skin color, 'Tricia Ann learns about the world beyond her hometown. On the bus, 'Tricia must sit in the back behind the Jim Crow sign and wonder why life is so unfair. 

Throughout her day, 'Tricia keeps the words of hersmiles grandmother in her mind, "You are somebody, a human being - no better, no worse than anybody else in this world."  

Later, Native American Roger Fernandes, a member of the Wisdom of the Elders storytellers shared myths and legends of the local Puget Salish tribes of western Washington. Fernandes was a returning guest, having shared stories at the Karshner Center's Gathering of Families last year. 

uwWhile children were busy making books and listening to stories, parents and teachers were learning from Humanities Washington speaker Anu Taranath. She presented a program encouraging adults to use children's books to inspire bold conversations with their children. 

In her talk, University of Washington lecturer Anu Taranath showcased children's books from around the world as well as diverse communities in the United States and invited her audience to use such literature to help children navigate our complicated world. 

Guest readers from the school district kept theLaurie momentum alive and families all enjoyed this free family event at the Karshner Center. The next festival will be held on March 11, 2017. A Gathering of Families will celebrate the spirit of Indigenous People with exhibits of Native American artifacts, native dancers, storytellers, and an art show of modern native artists. 

The Culture & Arts Family Festivals are offered for free in an effort to enhance cultural awareness and promote cultural competency. 

The Puyallup School District hopes to engage the community through creative educational programs offered at the Karshner Center for learners of all ages.