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Storytellers invited to enter contest

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council is sponsoring the second annual Great American Story contest for oral storytellers.

Stories are now being invited from up to 50 Minnesota storytellers.

Judges will narrow the selections to four finalists who will perform the best-told stories at an event Saturday, Sept. 23 at Armory Square in Park Rapids.

"In 2016, we proved the concept of a storytelling competition," says committee member Jerry Mevissen. "We strove for a statewide event and received submissions and selected judges from metro and out-state Minnesota. The quality of storytelling and attendance were phenomenal."

Saying she loved the event, an audience member added, "Park Rapids is such a thriving artistic community...Bravo!" Another who attended said she learned that "sharing something from the heart and making it real make for a powerful art."

At the public performance, the audience will vote to select the top two storytellers among the four finalists. The two semi-finalists will be given a prompt and tell a 10-minute extemporaneous story. The audience will then select the winner.

First place storyteller will receive an award of $1,000. Second place will receive $500, and each of the other two finalists will receive $250. Lodging arrangements will be made if needed.

For entry information and rules for the Great American Story, go to www.thegreatamericanstory.org. Entries no more than 10 minutes in length may be posted online or recorded on a CD or flash drive and mailed. Entry fee is $10. Entries must be posted on the website or, if mailed, postmarked no later than June 30.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council serves as an umbrella organization for 16 arts and cultural organizations in the greater Park Rapids area. Representatives from these arts groups, along with individual arts project champions, meet monthly to coordinate arts calendars, share information and incubate interest in new arts projects. PRLAAC also maintains a website (www.prlaac.org) and sponsors successful projects including Art Leap and Noon Hour Concerts.

This activity is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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