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Storytellers sharing ‘War Stories’ at museum Spring Kick-Off
April 21, 2017

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Prairie Village Museum kicks off its 52nd season Sunday, April 30, at the Rugby Eagles Club with a ham dinner served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a program featuring five local storytellers at 1:15 p.m.

Featured "War Stories" storytellers will be Duane Baillie, Hartley Hageness, Josh Siegler and Danielle Skjelver, all of Rugby, and Orlan Hall, Minot. Travis Gerjets, cofounder of the Minot Story Hour, will act as emcee.

This is the second storytelling event hosted by the museum. The first, "The Good Old, Bad Old Days: Storytelling with Travis Gerjets and Friends," was presented at the museum's 2016 Spring Kick-Off.

"The storytellers were so well received last year," says museum executive director Cathy Jelsing, "we decide to repeat the format and bring Travis back again as our storytelling coach and program host."

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of United States' involvement in World War I, over the next two years Prairie Village Museum's programming will include a lecture series, a major museum exhibit, community book discussion, and a film series all related to WWI. Coordinated by museum collections manager Stephanie Steinke, these activities are being supported in part by an $1,800 Library for America "World War I and America" grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The "War Stories" program on April 30 will span several military conflicts. Hageness, owner of Hartley's Buses, will share tales of the Great War as told to him by his father. Retired pharmacist Duane Baillie will tell how his life was impacted by service in both WWII and the Korean War. Hall, who grew up near Upham, N.D., will base his story on his experiences as a combat infantryman in Vietnam. Skjelver a history scholar, mother of three and wife of a retired Marine veteran will relate stories of military family life. And Pierce County Sheriff Siegler will share his experiences as a Marine during the Gulf War.

Freewill donations for the meal and program will support the museum's Boost the Caboose campaign. Local event sponsors include Ramsey National Bank, Thrivent Financial and the Rugby Convention & Visitors' Bureau. The museum's "WWI and America" partner organizations include American Legion Post 23, Heart of America Library and the Lyric Theater, Rugby, and Dakota Territory Air Museum, Minot.

Individuals interested in renewing or purchasing Geographical Center Historical Society memberships may do so at the Kick-Off. Memberships include museum season passes.

For more information visit www.prarievillagemuseum.com, call 701-681-9342 or email prairievillagemueum@gmail.com. The museum grounds open for school tours beginning May 2 and for touring by the public on May 15.

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