Guest blogger: Shanai Matteson, Water Bar & Public Studio
“This week presents a couple of opportunities to reflect on the role of cultural storytelling while learning more about the Be Here project in Minnesota, and specifically, the town of Red Wing.
On Wednesday, I will be joining Be Here Local Project Coordinator Casey Mathern for an afternoon workshop at Red Wing Ignite. This workshop is really a follow-up to an earlier gathering (read the blog) where a group of local educators and cultural organizers shared their thoughts on ways that they could integrate cultural storytelling into their existing community development work.
At this first gathering, there was some talk about the need to brush-up on tools and platforms, so this Wednesday’s workshop will focus on the technical side of storytelling using everyday digital devices to record and share stories. Red Wing Ignite is a fitting place for a workshop like this, since the space – and the organization behind it – fuels economic development by working to support entrepreneurs, businesses and students in the community.
On Thursday, it happens that Ben Weaver – who has been working with Be Here as a Statewide Storytelling Ambassador – will be making his way through Red Wing while on a 1,700 mile bicycle trip. Ben has been riding and sharing stories and music in nontraditional venues, his way of touring a new record he has just released called Sees Like A River. You can learn more and read about some of Ben’s experiences here.
On Thursday night, Ben will be joining the regular Open Mic Night at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing – a bookstore and community hub with a unique tradition that I was fortunate to experience on a visit earlier this year! A reminder to never be shy about telling someone it’s your first time visiting a place.
Ben will share some stories and songs from his trip, alongside other local storytellers, and we’ll have a chance to talk a bit about the Be Here project, encouraging others to connect. If you happen to be in Red Wing, we would love to see you there! Things start at 7:30PM, check here for more details.”