ASU Kerr is honored to present this special Sunday Canal Convergence edition of gather! Guest host Nina Simone Moore will be joined by storytellers Harriet Cole, Kenneth Duncan, and Aminah Imani. The theme is “Reconnect.” Watch, comment, and be sure to ask questions for the Q&A following our guests’ stories.
Harriet Cole grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, surrounded by physicists, chemists, and even mathematicians. She did not discover the power of oral storytelling until she moved to the Phoenix area, where she decided, almost on a whim, to attend the first Mesa Storytelling Festival. She spent the next three days listening to stories and immediately enrolled in the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute. She ended up as a member of their adjunct faculty and can now call herself a teller, a teacher, and a writer.
As a performing storyteller, Cole specializes in a mix of folktales (mostly Scandinavian), myths (mostly Norse) and personal stories. She has been a featured storyteller at the Musical Instrument Museum’s Explore Norway and Explore Scandinavia events. She has told portions of the Völsunga Saga during the Storytelling Institute Myth Informed series and the Phoenix Fringe Festival. As a storytelling teacher, Cole starts every class and workshop she teaches with an oral story, often a folktale. She has become part of the ASU Gammage Molly Blank Fund Teaching Artist Program, bringing storytelling into the classroom as an arts integration activity. As a writer, Cole has completed Fifteen Pounds of Muscle and Bounce, a collection of slightly odd folk and fairytales for kids 10 years and older. Learn more at HarrietColeStoryteller.com.
Kenneth Duncan, Sr., San Carlos Apache, is an accomplished cultural teacher, singer, flute player, artist, and storyteller. He is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe. Duncan is the founder/director of a family business, Yellow Bird Productions. Duncan was recently accepted into the 2020–2021 ASU Gammage Molly Blank Fund Teaching Artists Program (TAP). Among his many accomplishments, Duncan has lectured on American Indian cultures across the Unites States and throughout the world, including the United Nations in Geneva, the Kennedy Center, and The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. He has served as a Native American consultant to the U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense on numerous foreign goodwill tours to U.S. embassies and consulates in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central America, and South America. He was named Culture Keeper of Arizona by Arizona’s Governor’s Office in 2004 and was also recognized with the Arizona Native American Business of the Year Award in 2015. Duncan has performed across the United States and throughout the world, including the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the UNESCO International Culture Fest in Uzbekistan, and the World Alpine Ski Finals in Bormio, Italy.