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NSN: The Huebner Grant

August 1, 2011

After a very busy July, it is nice to take a break and enjoy our summer. My sympathies to all of you who are sweltering in unseasonable heat this year. Yes, I live in that tiny little blue-green sliver on the northwest corner of the weather map: which means that we are wetter than normal – but not hotter.

 Recently, I received a very welcome announcement: I had just been awarded the 2011 Huebner Grant from our national organization, the National Storytelling Network. The grant is for funds to complete the final research for my second one woman show, “Rebecca: the story of Rebecca Ebey”. It is the story of the wife of the first Anglo-American to settle here on Whidbey Island. Much of the show will be based on a diary that Rebecca left which begins three months after she settled here with her husband and two young sons.

 This award is very special to me for a number of reasons. First, the award is sponsored by the Jonesborough (TN) Storytelling Guild. I began storytelling almost fifteen years ago at JSG: telling at local restaurants, churches, and events. I remember soft fragrant Tennessee nights…laughing and joking with other tellers… listening to their tales – gentle and hilarious – all delivered in that wondrous drawl….  I am so grateful for their support and for the opportunities they gave me.

 Second, the award is named to honor a JSG teller and dear friend, Carole Ann Huebner. Carole Ann and her husband, Treetop (Jack) Wilson mentored dozens of beginning tellers in their careers – and I was one of them. Their support was crucial. I almost gave up several times. I remember once shouting at Carole Ann, “I’m going back to teaching and training; at least it’s something I know how to do!!”   “No, you’re not,” she said softly, “you’re a teller – like it or not.” Both were meticulous crafters and they taught me so much. To receive an award honoring them is… very, very special.

 “Rebecca” will premiere here at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in March 2012 as part of the 2011 – 12 Local Artists Series. And now – it’s time to go to work!

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