January 06 2011The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) will host noted Tlingít performer and artist, Gene Tagaban, for workshops and performances in the “Art of Storytelling” in late-January in Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock. While on Prince of Wales Island, Tagaban will provide two free community performances — at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Hydaburg School gym (before that night’s Yakutat at Hydaburg basketball games) and at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, at the Klawock School gym. Tagaban also will visit schools in Hydaburg, Craig and Klawock to provide a series of workshops for local students about how to use stories to prevent suicide, prevent drug/alcohol abuse, add healthy foods to your diet, reduce screen time (TV, computer, video games, etc.), promote physical activity, prevent bullying and other topics. Tagaban, who owns RavenDreaming Productions, shares his wisdom and talent through dance, Native flute and storytelling. He is of combined Tlingít, Cherokee and Filipino heritage. Tagaban, whose Tlingít name is Gaay Yaaw, is of the Tak’deintaan Raven Freshwater Sockeye clan of Hoonah and a child of the Wooshkeetaan Eagle Shark clan of Juneau. Tagaban started dancing when he was 5 years old, and he grew up listening to and learning the songs, dances and stories of Alaska’s Tlingít people. The workshops are funded by SEARHC grant programs that address chronic disease prevention through traditional and customary food harvesting and preparation alongside traditional arts and wellness. Tagaban will guide participants through the structure and art of storytelling as a celebration of wellness. His teaching blends commentary, comedy, story, laughter, insight, vision, spirit and honor. Tagaban also is planning similar workshop/performance visits to Petersburg, Wrangell, Kake, Angoon, Hoonah, Juneau and Sitka in early February. Details of those events will be released later, once schedules are finalized. For more information about the shows, please call SEARHC WISEWOMAN Women’s and Colorectal Health Programs Health Systems Specialist Becky Koslovich at 966-8936. For more information about Gene Tagaban and his workshops, go to http://www.genetagaban.com/.