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Third Annual Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency Concludes with Free Public Performance at Urban Artist Exchange

July 9, 2024

The 2024 Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency (WBSR) will culminate in a free public performance at the Urban Artist Exchange Amphitheater. The event is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, at 6:30 p.m., located at 1509 Clifford Brown Walk in Wilmington’s Historic East Side District.

This year’s theme, “Rooted in Resilience: Celebrating Black Narratives,” highlights stories of triumph, perseverance, and empowerment within Black communities. Eleven storytellers from across the United States will present original stories crafted during the residency.

Mayor Mike Purzycki and Cultural Affairs Director Tina Betz encourage attendees to bring blankets or folding chairs for this family-friendly event.

Submitted photo

TAHIRA, Founder and Program Director of WBSR, expressed enthusiasm for welcoming storytellers from across the nation to Wilmington for this immersive seven-day experience, which runs from July 7 to July 14. Participants have been trained by masters in storytelling, African dance, and drumming, and have delved into African American history in Delaware to inspire their narratives.

The 2024 WBSR cohort includes storytellers from California, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan. Master teachers Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed, Emily Hooper Lansana, and Kim Graham, along with guest teachers, have guided the participants in honing their storytelling skills.

Community partners such as Christina Cultural Arts Center, the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, the Delaware Historical Society, and The Monday Club have supported this year’s residency.

In addition to the public performance, the WBSR also engages with the youth of Cityfest Arts Work, providing sessions that incorporate instruction in culture, history, music, and movement.

The Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency aims to elevate Black storytelling as an art form and vital cultural practice, fostering a deep appreciation of the rich history and contributions of Black communities.