January 27 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 February in Juneau, Hoonah, Kake, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. Tagaban will offer free community performances in four communities — at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, at the Kake High School Commons; at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, at the Sheet’ká Kwáan Naa Kahídi community house in Sitka; at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the Petersburg High School Auditorium; and at a time and location TBA on Thursday, Feb. 10, in Wrangell. During his tour of Southeast Alaska, Tagaban also will visit schools in Juneau (Mendenhall River Elementary and Thunder Mountain High School), Hoonah, Kake, Angoon, Sitka (Mt. Edgecumbe High School), Petersburg and Wrangell 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. SEARHC grant programs that address chronic disease prevention through traditional and customary food harvesting and preparation, along with traditional arts and wellness, are funding the workshops and performances. 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. 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/.