MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Upper Peninsula has long been a place of fascination for authors, songwriters and storytellers. Its landscapes and people have inspired abundant written material. Some of these words will be featured during a public event being sponsored by the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University. “The U.P. in Story” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, at Forest Roberts Theatre. Local performers, radio personalities and scholars will read or sing works by the famous—Robert Traver (John Voelker), Ernest Hemingway and Jim Harrison—and the not so famous. The event is free and open to the public.
The Beaumier Center will also award the 2013 Upper Peninsula Folklife Award to the late storyteller and historian, Fred Rydholm. The award honors individuals and organizations whose efforts contribute to the preservation and promotion of the region’s traditional arts and culture. One of the most highly regarded bearers of the U.P.’s oral traditions, Rydholm’s work as an educator, author and guide in the Huron Mountain wilderness cemented his importance in preserving the traditions of the region. His service work for the Bay Cliff Health Camp, Yellow Dog Watershed and as the mayor of the City of Marquette rounded out a life dedicated to community and the land. In his April 6, 2009 obituary, the Mining Journal wrote, “Known and beloved as a storyteller, mentor and friend to countless numbers of followers and fans both regionally and internationally through his books, travels and speaking tours, Rydholm inspired and influenced the way many think and relate to their personal life story, their cultural identity and their relationship to the Upper Peninsula’s wilderness heritage.”
“The U.P. in Story” is being sponsored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.