'The Power of Your Own Story'

Luther College welcomes storyteller, poet and musician David Gonzalez Sept. 28-29

Nationally acclaimed storyteller, poet and musician David Gonzalez will present "The Power of Your Own Story" artist residency Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, on the Luther College campus.

The residency includes a public performance, along with workshops for Luther students, faculty, staff and community members. Events are open to the public with no charge for admission. To register, contact Emily Neal, Luther Center for Sustainable Communities assistant director, at [email protected].

Gonzalez's workshops are sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Communities, the Visual and Performing Arts Department, the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement and the Luther College Writer's Festival.

Friday, Sept. 28, Gonzalez will present "Run It Down," an evening of poetry, music and stories, at 7:30 p.m. in Luther's Jewel Theatre. Using original compositions for piano and guitar, Gonzalez intertwines poems about mountains and urban culture with stories about his experiences as an art therapist, Orpheus in the Underworld and his father's career in the CIA.

Also on Friday, Gonzalez will present "Maddog and Me: Bullying and the Power of Kindness" at Decorah Middle School.

Saturday features two workshops. The first, "Personal Narrative: The Power of Our Own Story," is 9-11 a.m. in Luther's Center for the Arts Room 119. Focusing on how personal experiences can be shaped into compelling stories, Gonzalez will teach participants to take key points of personal experiences and articulate those narratives into something that will move the audience. Participants are asked to bring a bullet point outline of their story.

The second workshop, "From Page to Stage: The Art of Public Reading with David Gonzalez," is 3-4:15 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Room 119. Gonzalez will work with participants to bring to life written works for the stage. Using a variety of tactics, participants will work on their physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding and overall performance. Everyone is asked to bring three poems of varying length and style or one prose narrative, and wear loose-fitting clothing.

The weekend workshop concludes with a story/poetry slam at 7 p.m. Saturday in Jewel Theatre. Gonzalez and the workshop participants will present their featured works. This event is co-sponsored by Arthaus.

Gonzalez is an award-winning storyteller, musician, poet and playwright. He's received the Lifetime Achievement award from International Performing Arts for Youth and was a nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work "The Frog Bride." His Afro-Cuban musical "Mariel" won the Macy's New Play Prize for Young Audiences. His poetry has been featured at Lincoln Center's Out-Of-Doors festival, on Bill Moyers' documentary "Fooling with Words" on PBS and on NPR's "All Things Considered." He's the author of copious plays and one-man shows, which have been presented at various performing art centers, theatres and festivals in the U.S. and abroad. He is currently the artistic director for Crisalida Communications, which works on art outreach with theatres and community organizations. He has a Ph.D. in music therapy from New York University's School of Education. He also taught at NYU for 10 years.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.