Pokagon Band, library team up for upcoming class

Participants with the Pokagon Band’s last digital storytelling class, held in January, work together on their video projects. The tribe is partnering with the Dowagiac District Library to host another of one of these programs as part of the 2016 One Story later this month. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Participants with the Pokagon Band’s last digital storytelling class, held in January, work together on their video projects. The tribe is partnering with the Dowagiac District Library to host another of one of these programs as part of the 2016 One Story later this month. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Throughout the last several months, Dowagiac area residents have been encouraged to all share in the reading on a single tale as part of the 2016 One Story program.

Later this month, a handful of members of the community will have the chance to craft their own stories, using their own words and images.

One Story partners Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and the Dowagiac District Library are teaming up with nDigiDreams, based out the Southwestern U.S., to host a digital storytelling workshop, which takes place April 19-22 at the Pokagon Band Administration Building in Dowagiac. There are currently 10 slots still available for the class — people can register for the event online, at http://www.pokagonband-nsn.gov/form/storytelling-workshop-registration.

During each of the sessions, which take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., participants will craft short movies about themselves and their family, using personal photos and narration. Following a story idea brainstorming session with the rest of the class, people will have a chance to write a script for their story, perform voice over work, scan photos, pick out music and finally put everything together in a short video package during the four-day workshop, said event organizer Autumn Laraway.

“All the materials you will need to create your story will be provided, including mics and computers,” Laraway said. “You just have to bring your story and your photos, and we will help bring that all together with you.”

Specialists with nDigiDreams will be on hand during the workshop to provide instruction and assistance to participants. Breakfast, lunch and childcare will also offered during each of the workshops, Laraway said.

The theme of the multiple day workshop will be on parenting — as such, area parents, grandparents and caregivers are especially encouraged to register for the workshop, said Kristie Bussler, the Pokagon Band’s educational resource specialist and one of the main coordinators for the One Story Program.

“When you’re a caregiver, you’re often busy and you don’t always get a chance to think about possible words of wisdom you want to pass on to your children,” Bussler said. “With this program, you’ll get a chance to do that and share them with others.”

Both Bussler and Laraway participated in a previous storytelling workshop with nDigiDreams in January, offered to Pokagon Band members. The two, who are cousins, worked together to produce a video, and in the process learned a lot more about their family history, as well as some incredible stories about many of the tribe’s elders, they said.

“It’s an incredible experience,” Laraway said. “It’s not just about putting a video together…we can’t say enough about it. We expected it to be cool, but when it was all over with we were just blown away.”

The workshop will conclude on Saturday, April 23, with a video presentation event at the Dowagiac District Library, which takes place from 10 a.m. to noon.

Participants will be invited to share their finished products during the event, which is open to the entire public.

There is no charge to register for the workshop.

The event is part of the One Story project, a community-wide reading program. This year’s book is Simon Pokagon’s “Queen of the Woods.”

For a complete listing of remaining events, visit the One Story website, http://onestoryread.com.

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