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Story49: “What Happens When Two People Meet Each Other”

Collaborators Ryan Conarro, Gary Beaver, and Justin Perkins before the Nome premier of Alaxsxa | Alaska.

“Alaxsxa | Alaska” is an ambitious new production that combines storytelling, dance, and puppetry to explore the complicated history of cross-cultural encounters in the 49th state, but its creators say what it comes down to is “what happens when two people meet each other.”

This month on Story49, we go behind the scenes with Gary Beaver and Ryan Conarro, two of the show’s collaborators and performers, who crafted stories from their respective experiences as a Yup’ik drummer and dancer who grew up in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and a white man who moved to Alaska as an adult.

Gary Beaver raises a hand to his mouth as if to call out while performing a Yup'ik dance at the Nome Elementary School.

Gary Beaver performs a Yup’ik dance at the Nome Elementary School before the Nome premiere of “Alaxsxa | Alaska.” Photo: Zoe Grueskin/KNOM.

Listen here or tune in on KNOM (780 AM, 96.1 FM) on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 6 pm and again on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 3 pm.

If you or someone you know has a story to share, contact KNOM at 443-5221 or by email at story49@knom.org.

Story49: Sharing your story, your voice, your Alaska.

Image at top: Collaborators Ryan Conarro, Gary Beaver, and Justin Perkins before the Nome premiere of “Alaxsxa | Alaska.” Photo: Zoe Grueskin, KNOM. You can explore more of the stories Ryan collected around the state about cross-cultural encounters here.

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.

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