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Master Storyteller, Writer and Public Radio Journalist, Joe McHugh

June 20, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Joe McHugh

Master storyteller, writer, and award-winning radio producer Joe McHugh will present “Slaying the Gorgon: How the Technologies of Storytelling Shape How We Think and Act” on Tuesday, June 20, 7:00 pm, at the Boulder Junction Community Center.

Since the dawn of time, people have told stories to entertain, inform, and pass on cultural values. They have also used stories to persuade. In today’s fast paced world, corporations use stories to sell products and gain a competitive advantage. Political parties use stories to elect candidates and garner support for controversial policies. Military leaders use stories to inspire courage and foster unit cohesion. Social activists, educators, environmentalists, economists, religious leaders, and a host of others use stories to promote their views and agendas.

Slaying the Gorgon is a fascinating and provocative multimedia presentation by storyteller, writer, and public radio journalist Joe McHugh that looks at how stories are told in the modern age given the dynamic and transforming influence of new technologies. From the venerated saints and cathedrals of the Middle Ages to the pop stars and cineplexes of today, he explains why images and sound are increasingly supplanting the authority of the printed word and, by so doing, radically altering the cultural, economic, and political landscape in the United States and around the world.

Joe McHugh is a traditional oral storyteller, an award-wining public radio journalist, and a cultural historian with thirty-five years of experience helping organizations and communities discover and more effectively tell their own authentic stories. He has collected and published three books of traditional folktales from the mountains of Appalachia, produced multicultural festivals, directed a museum, designed a literature camp for children, pioneered the use of radio dramas in the classroom, and produced and hosted programs for public television and public radio. He has presented at numerous national and regional conferences and has served as a project consultant for several state departments of education, the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and other organizations.

He is the author of Kilowatt, a novel about the energy industry and the nature of time, and Coins in the Ashes, the chronicle of his twelve-year quest to find the family of an African-American woman named Helen who cared for him when he was a child and his family was nearly destroyed by polio. He is currently working on a trilogy of books examining the art and practice of storytelling in the modern world.

Joe lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife Paula Blasius-McHugh who is a painter, graphic designer, and musician. Audio stories from Mr. McHugh’s archived public radio series The Telling Takes Us Home, a Celebration of American Family Stories can be heard at:   www.americanfamilystories.org

This program is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call the library at 715-385-2050.


June 20, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Boulder Junction Community Center
5392 Park Street
Boulder Junction, WI 54512 United States
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