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Stories at Latitude 56 to kick off season with ‘First Kiss’
A crowded Crow’s Nest audience listens to Judy Knecht tell a story Nov. 15, 2015, during the Stories at Latitude 56 event. Staff photo by Taylor Balkom

Daily News Staff Writer

The theme is “First Kiss,” and this year's Latitude 56 storytellers are ready to give a glimpse into their interpretation of the topic at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at The Point Art Cafe.

“We’re all curious to see where it goes,” said Marni Rickelmann, who until Friday was program director at the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council. “The idea is that they are mostly true stories. We’re not fact checking but we encourage mostly true stories told by our locals.”

Stories at Latitude 56 is kicking off its third season this month with live storytellers Kelly Burke, Rachel Esbjornson, Rachel Breithaupt, Katherine Tatsuda and possibly one more person, according to Rickelmann.

The group is walked through the storytelling process and mentored together by Jack Finnegan — a writer, performer and fisherman. He guides them through the craft of storytelling, and helps them tell a tale, in an effective manner, in less than 10 minutes.

Rickelmann explained the idea behind the program is to help the community reconnect with each other by learning more about one another, and every person brings something special to the table.

“We usually try to get a diverse group of people to get different viewpoints on the theme, and everybody’s different place in life,” she noted.

Following the event will be a Story Slam at 7 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the Creek Street Cabaret, which is an open mic event. Rickelmann said a lot of people get inspired at the Story Slam, which is open to anyone that wants to give storytelling a try, give it a listen, or cheer people on.

Anyone who is interested in participating in Stories at Latitude 56 can find more information on the KAAHC website, or contact Jack Finnegan at citylovesong@gmail.com.

Future themes for the series include The Neighbors, Ghosts, and Last Dance, which will take place in November, January, and March, respectively, and will be followed by Story Slams. Stories at Latitude 56 is a partnership between KAAHC and KRBD.