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Whidbey storyteller wins national award | NOTABLE

Jill Johnson performs in “Rebecca – the story of Rebecca Ebey.” Johnson won a national award for her CD of the performance, her second in the competition.  - Photo courtesy of Jill Johnson
Jill Johnson performs in “Rebecca – the story of Rebecca Ebey.” Johnson won a national award for her CD of the performance, her second in the competition.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Jill Johnson

Jill Johnson, a Langley storyteller and performer, was nationally recognized for her second CD, “Rebecca – The story of Rebecca Ebey.”

She received a Winners Award in the 2014 National Storytelling World Competition. This is the second time she has received an award from the competition. The first was in 2006 for a recording of her show, “Little, But OH My! – the story of Berte Olson.”

“This award is even sweeter,” Johnson said in a news release. “The Winner Award is a step up from the Honors Award I received earlier. To receive national awards for both my CDs … feels great!”

Johnson wrote and performed the original work, which tells the story of the early settlement of Whidbey Island. The story is told through Rebecca Ebey, wife of Island pioneer Isaac Ebey.

Johnson first took hold of the story through documents at the Island County Historical Society museum in Coupeville. She then researched materials on Whidbey and at the University of Washington Special Collections Library. Johnson used excerpts from Rebecca Ebey’s letters and a diary written between 1851 and 1853.

Along with shows in California and Tennessee, she has performed the show at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and the Crockett Barn on Ebey’s Landing, which is named for the Ebey family.

 

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