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Project to navigate the free Klamath River gets a boost from arts funding

The arts took a big hit during the COVID pandemic, a setback that is taking time to recover from. California leaders looked for ways to help spur greater activity, and devised the California Creative Corps, a vehicle for putting money into the arts all over the state.

Upstate California Creative Corps doles out the funding for our part of California, and a chunk is going to Paddle Tribal Waters Storytelling Collaborative. The plan for Paddle Tribal Waters calls for young indigenous people to paddle kayaks down the Klamath River--from source to sea--once the big dams are removed, probably in 2024.

The participants are not just kayakers, they are storytellers, too; that's the arts angle. We get the big view of the project from Rush Sturges, the founder of the project, Paul Robert Wolf Wilson, a Klamath Tribe member and Chief Storyteller, and Danielle Frank, a Hupa Valley Tribe member, Paddle participant, and artist.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.