Wish Upon A Star, November 4, 2015
Wish Upon A Star with Anndell Banks
Denise Valentine’s storytelling performance illustrates the power of story to transcend differences between people, inspire hope, and transform negativity. She tells stories that emphasize the dignity and power of the human spirit, and the inter-relatedness of life. Denise has a passion for researching history and folklore, then bringing it to life with her captivating voice.
Ms. Valentine presents interactive storytelling performances for schools, libraries, museums and community events. Her programs are designed to engage audiences of all ages, encourage exchange between generations, and promote a spirit of connectedness and community. As a teaching artist, she facilitates folk arts residencies and teacher/professional staff development workshops.
Program themes include: reading and cultural literacy, conflict resolution, ecological sustainability, recovery and empowerment and much more.
The storyteller made her debut with Keepers of the Culture, Inc. (KOTC) in 1997, and shortly thereafter joined theNational Association of Black Storytellers.
In 2004, she participated in a storytelling delegation to South Africa, with the National Storytelling Network, under the auspices of People to People Ambassador Programs. In addition, she was awarded The Leeway Foundation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s 2004 Window of Opportunity Grant to study the preservation of folktale traditions in South Africa. Her essay, A Voice for the Voiceless© was published in the July/August 2005 issue of Storytelling Magazine, by the National Storytelling Network.
Beginning in 2014, the storyteller collaborated in "Reconstruction," a project funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, with historian Phillip Seitz, Chair of Reconstruction Inc. William Goldsby, psychologist Thomas Gordon and a cohort of ex-offenders. Through a series of difficult history colloquia the cohort examined issues in the black past. Ms. Valentine introduced storytelling skills, techniques and concepts of African American storytelling traditions to provide a cultural context for navigating difficult knowledge.
Also in 2014, Denise Valentine was a featured presenter at Ananse SoundSplash Storytelling Conference and Festival, November 19 -24th, in Jamaica, West Indies REDISCOVER, RETELL, RENEW, hosted by Ntukuma, The Storytelling Foundation of Jamaica. honored Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey in the year of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of his UNIA. Together with an international contingent of storytellers, Denise presented at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Moneague College in Saint Ann Parish, and Montego Bay Community College.
The storyteller was awarded the 2014 Sankofa Research Award by Linda Goss and Friends of the Artist (FOA). The award funded her journey to South Carolina to find and tell her personal family history. Currently, Denise is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Arts in Education Directory for Southeast Pennsylvania; the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s Commonwealth Speakers Bureau, and the Art Sanctuary (ARTStac) Teaching Artists.
In 2015, Denise has been a featured performer at Pete Seeger's Clearwater Great River Festival on the east bank of the Hudson River, Art Sanctuary's 31st Annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Folklore Project, Historic St. Georges United Methodist Church, The African American Museum in Philadelphia and dozens of other schools and community organizations.
Ms. Valentine is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts 2010-2014 Arts for in Education Directory Southeast Pennsylvania. She is also included in the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s 2012-2016 Commonwealth Speakers Bureau.
"Wish Upon A Star" is a dynamic program dedicated to spotlighting talent in the arts arena. Conversations discussing the challenging elements of visual, musical, literary, painting, and the performing arts. We will interview professional guests in the fields of entertainment law, copyrighting, studio recording, songwriting, publishing, and other topics in these highly creative and challenging fields."