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Native American Storyteller and Native Artifact Expert to Visit Region

For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 5, 2010

Contact: Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148 or vickie.devenport@wsiu.org
(NOTE: Devenport can provide contact information for Robert Lewis and Gina Burnett of the Cherokee Heritage Center)

Carbondale, Ill. -- In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, WSIU Public Broadcasting and the Shawnee National Forest are proud to present “Phoenix Rising, Cherokee Voices: Lifeways and Culture,” three regional public performances coming November 17-November 19, that will highlight the spirit and rich history of Native American culture. All performances are free and open to the public.

Cherokee Education Specialist and Native Storyteller Robert Lewis of the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Gina Burnett, Outreach Coordinator for the Center, will share enlightening and often humorous stories about Cherokee art, culture, and ways of life. Lewis, who is on his third visit to the region, makes his performances an interactive experience by inviting audience members on stage to perform scenes from traditional Cherokee stories. Burnett, an artisan and a storyteller, will share the histories of Native artwork and artifacts.

Lewis and Burnett's first performance will be held on Wednesday, November 17 at 7pm in Glenn Auditorium, located in Dempster Hall on the Southeast Missouri State University campus in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

On Thursday, November 18 at 7pm, the duo will perform at the Harris-Pruett Community Building, 107 East Church Street, in Harrisburg, Illinois.

 A final performance will take place on Friday, November 19 at 7pm at the SIUC Student Center, Ballroom D in Carbondale, Illinois.

Robert 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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