Monday, October 11, 2021 - 10:55am

MADISON, WI -- Madison Public Library, in collaboration with Ho-Chunk Gaming, is launching a Storyteller-in-Residence program with events taking place October 11 (Indigenous Peoples’ Day) - December 18, 2021. The residency is called “Ho-Chunk Through Story: The Origin, The Wayz, and The Life” and will be led by Ho-Chunk Nation storyteller and tribal member Andi Cloud. 

"I am happy and honored to be selected as the first indigenous storyteller-in-residence,” said Cloud. “I think this residency is vital, and a great way to celebrate culture in our state. My hope is for the community, young and old, to embrace and engage in Ho-Chunk culture and life."

Throughout the residency, the community can engage in a variety of interactive storytelling and creative learning opportunities for all ages. With art workshops, activity kits, storytimes, social media sharing, exhibits, and more across the city, there are lots of ways to participate, celebrate, and learn.

“The residency is intended to promote intercultural understanding and story sharing. In light of both the COVID-19 pandemic and movements for racial justice, it is also an opportunity to make space for healing and connection,” said Community Engagement Librarian Neeyati Shah, who took inspiration for the program from a similar residency done at Vancouver Public Library.

The 3-month residency will include both in-person and virtual events, as well as grab-and-go Mini Maker Kits created in collaboration with The Bubbler at Madison Public Library that connect the program to We Read, the library’s year-round celebration of reading. A new Mini Maker Kit will be shared each month and will coincide with the themes (October explores The Origin; November, The Wayz; and December, The Life).

Another tie-in with We Read is the storytimes that will happen throughout the residency and follow along with the themes of The Origin, The Wayz and The Life. Each storytime will feature an original story created by Andi and will highlight different aspects of Ho-Chunk culture, including the concept of kinship, learning about the twelve clans and showcasing a day in the life of a young Ho-Chunk boy named Kunu. 

Displays in libraries will show a variety of traditional dress and regalia throughout the residency and a Ho-Chunk flag will hang on the lower level at Central Library. Book displays will also be featured at library locations.

“Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison appreciates the Madison Public Library for having the discernment to inaugurate the Storyteller-in-Residence program for the entire Teejop community,” said Missy Tracy, Municipal Relations Coordinator at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. “We believe it is integral for everyone to know and understand the true history of this place and this programming is intended to do just that.”

The first event in the residency, What Is Ho-Chunk?: An Introduction, takes place on Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m. online. Andi Cloud will be joined by journalist and former Public Relations Officer for Ho-Chunk Nation, Anne Thundercloud to talk about the past and future of the Ho-Chunk people. Registration is required: Register here. See additional events below. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Thursday, October 14, 7 p.m.: What Is Ho-Chunk?: An Introduction feat. Anne Thundercloud, journalist and former Public Relations Officer for the Nation (Virtual, Sign-Up Required)
  • Saturday, October 16, 10 a.m.: We Read: Ho-Chunk Storytime (In-person, Pinney Library Patio)
  • Friday, October 22, 5-9 p.m.: Madison Public Library + Andi Cloud attend Madison’s Night Market (In-person, Top of State Street)
  • Saturday, October 23, 10 a.m.: We Read: Kunuga Storytime (In-person, Pinney Library Patio)
  • Tuesday, October 26, 7-8:30 p.m.: Miniature Moccasin Making Class (In-person in The Bubbler at Central Library, Sign-Up Required)
  • Saturday, November 13, 10 a.m.: We Read: Ho-Chunk Veteran’s “I See” Storytime (In-person, Pinney Library Patio)
  • November 14-20: Chalk the Walk! Share messages of gratitude and harvest on the sidewalks of the city as we rethink Thanksgiving together. Share your work using #chalkthewalkmadison 
  • November 14-20: Rock Your Mocs. Join a worldwide social media event started in 2011 as a positive opportunity to be united and celebrate tribal individuality by wearing moccasins. Non-native people can participate by picking up a coloring sheet from any library location and decorating moccasins that way. Share your pics on social media using #RockYourMocsMadison and #RockYourMocs2021

The Storyteller-in-Residence program is made possible thanks to Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation and the Madison Public Library Foundation.

Additional events will be announced as the residency continues. Learn more and see upcoming events at madpl.org/storyteller.

About Andi Cloud
Andi Cloud is an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Her Ho-Chunk, waksik, name is Nizuwi, Rain Woman. She was named by her grandfather, coka, the late Eugene Thundercloud and is a member of the Thunder Clan. Andi grew up in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. After graduating high school she attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UW-L) and earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and Political Science in 2006. Later, she returned to UW-L and earned her Master of Education-Professional Development degree in 2012. Andi enjoys traveling, pow-wows, fly-fishing, campfires, and a good story.

About Madison Public Library
The Madison Public Library's tradition of promoting education, literacy, and community  involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 145 years. Our nine locations throughout the City of Madison are open six days per week and welcome over 1.9 million visits each year. For more information, visit madisonpubliclibrary.org, @MadisonPublicLibrary on Facebook and Instagram, or @MadisonLibrary on Twitter.

View the Mayor's blog post on Indigenous People's Day in Madison

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