Creative Connections Speakers Series brings storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung to Hillsboro.

PHOTO COURTESY: THE WALTER CULTURAL ARTS CENTER - Storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung will perform at the Walters Cultural Arts Center on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Telling scary stories is a favorite pastime each fall, and the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center is bringing award-winning storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung to town for an evening that will put audiences at the edge of their seat.

As a part of the center's Creative Connections Speakers Series, Takiyama-Chung will tell spooky tales from his childhood home, Hawaii, where he learned of stories about the islands' magic and superstitions.

"Hawaii is a mystical place where the veil between the worlds is very thin," Takiyama-Chung said. "Ancient Hawaiian gods and supernatural beings still have power and make themselves known. Each wave of immigrants have brought with them their own spiritual beliefs, guardians and monsters. They, too, have found a home in the islands."

The all-ages event begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Walters, 527 E. Main St., in downtown Hillsboro.

"We're really excited to welcome Alton Takiyama-Chung to our stage," said Bridie Harrington, the Walters' cultural arts program supervisor. "It's a wonderful chance to immerse yourself in tales from Hawaii, while also getting your goose bumps ready for Halloween with scary stories."

Takiyma-Chung's storytelling is influenced by his Japanese and Korean roots, and has explored stories involving the Japanese-American experience during World War II as well as folklore in Asia.

"Stories allow us to safely explore those dark corners of ourselves where we are too afraid to look," he said. "Identifying ourselves with characters in a story and being there with them through their trials makes it possible for us to safely re-experience our own hurts and wounds and see them as they truly are. Stories provide us with the opportunity to re-evaluate assumptions we made about life. In this way, stories can help us begin to heal and become all of who we truly are."

He has also taught storytelling workshops and won the National Storytelling Network's first J.J. Reneaux Emerging Artist Award in 2005.

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