Headlining our event was award-winning author Joseph Bruchac. Mr. Bruchac's visit was funded by Humanities Nebraska, Mrs. Carol Gendler, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, UNO College of Education, and the Omaha Public Schools Native Indigenous Centered Education Program. Joe (as he introduced himself) is the author of more than 120 books which include picture books, chapter books, young adult novels, and books for adults.
Joe entertained his audience with a variety of tales from native American tribes. His wonderful storytelling kept everyone captivated as we laughed and responded to his tales. While photos were not taken of his performance, here are some pictures taken before his presentation and at the meet and greet and book signing that took place afterwards.
Pamela Duncan, standing to the right of Joe, was on hand to provide sign language interpretation for anyone who needed the service.
Ellen Scott from The Bookworm Bookstore was on hand to sell copies of a few of Joe's books following his presentation. Joe was gracious in making himself available to sign copies of his books, sit and chat with some audience members, and pose for photos.
Following Joseph Bruchac's performance, attendees were invited to enjoy the music of local musician Michael Murphy. Michael brought a Native American flute, as well as a drone flute to play for his audience. He also spent time showing children how to decorate their own balsa wood flutes to take home.
Several parents and interested adults stepped forward to help the children. Some cut lengths of yarn while others helped the children with wrapping the yarn around the flute.
If you are interested in Michael Murphy's music, you might like to purchase one of his CDs, which are available at Rebecca's Indian Trading Post.
Rebecca's Indian Trading Post generously loaned us a table-full of artwork, herbs, clothing, and musical instruments which we placed on exhibit during this event. Regretfully I didn't get any photos of the display. If any of my readers happened to take a photo of the display, I would love to add the photo to this post!
Our Cultural Fair also included a puppet show performed by local puppeteer Brian Henning. The audience arrived and took their seats in anticipation of the start of the show.
In Brian's "Native American Tales", Little Crow's sister, Mourning Dove, tells him several tales she had learned from their grandmother. The stories included "How Opossum Got Her Tail", "How Beaver Raced Turtle", "How Crow Became Black", and "A Mouse Tale" (a version of the story about an ant and a grasshopper).
I am so grateful to Susan McWilliams, Assistant Professor at UNO College of Education, who contacted me about hosting Joseph Bruchac during his visit to the metro area. Susan is a member of the Omaha Family Literacy Partnership which worked to bring Mr. Bruchac to town. Her patience in answering my myriad logistical questions was very much appreciated! I hope this is not the last time you see her name in my blog, as I would love to partner with her again in hosting an author visit or other activities designed to encourage and celebrate literacy within families!