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Native Storyteller Robert Lewis to Perform at SIU Carbondale This Friday

Media Advisory
For Friday, November 19, 2010 • 7-9pm

Contact: Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148 or

Carbondale, Ill. -- Reporters, camera crews, and photographers are invited to cover a public storytelling performance in Carbondale, Illinois by Cherokee Education Specialist and Native American master storyteller Robert Lewis (Cherokee / Navajo / Apache) of the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The free performance, entitled “Phoenix Rising, Cherokee Voices: Lifeways and Culture,” will take place this Friday, November 19 at 7pm at the SIU Carbondale Student Center, Ballroom D, 1255 Lincoln Drive. It is sponsored by WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public broadcasting stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), and the Shawnee National Forest.

Lewis, who is on his third visit to the region, will share enlightening and humorous stories about Cherokee art, culture, and ways of life. Lewis is a charismatic performer and is known for engaging his audiences by inviting people of all ages on stage to perform as characters from traditional Cherokee stories. Accompanying Lewis this year is artisan and storyteller Gina Burnett, Outreach Coordinator for the Cherokee Heritage Center. Burnett will share the histories of Native artwork and artifacts.

Lewis and Burnett also will perform on Thursday, November 18 at 7pm at the Harris-Pruett Community Building, located at 107 E. Church Street in Harrisburg. The duo performed on Wednesday, November 17 at 7pm at Glenn Auditorium - Dempster Hall on the Southeast Missouri State University campus in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Lewis specializes in conducting outreach classes and services in Art and Storytelling for the Cherokee Nation's Education Department. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Northeastern State University where he teaches evening classes in art and Native crafts.

Lewis and Gina Burnett's visit to the region is funded through a partnership between WSIU Public Broadcasting and the Shawnee National Forest.

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