CT Humanities is partnering with the Connecticut Storytelling Center to offer programs by six storytellers who bring unique Connecticut stories to life.
What better way to learn about our state’s past, its culture, people and places, than through the magic of storytelling?
Audiences will be immersed in another time and place as these exceptional performers engage them through word, gesture and passion. These tales will be remembered long after the program is over, leaving audiences with a new appreciation for the State we call home.
Connecticut Humanities and the Connecticut Storytelling Center have partnered to bring unique Connecticut stories to life.
Please download a printable list here.
Tom Callinan’s entertaining and informative narrative style brings audiences of all ages into the performance with catchy choruses, interesting anecdotes, and an assortment of musical instruments. Special attention is paid to sharing the fundamentals of the age-old art of spoon-playing with contemporary audiences.
Tom has a wide variety of programs on Connecticut history including: Songs of Colonial Life; Revolutionary War; 1812 Songs; Sea Songs, Chanteys & Tunes; and Civil War era songs. Tom was Connecticut’s first State Troubadour, 1991-1992.
PORTRAYING CLO PRATT
Although born into slavery, Clo Pratt is willed her freedom by her late mistress. As a free woman, Clo earns her living by hiring herself out, making clothes and cleaning local homes. Join Tammy on a trip to Colonial Connecticut, where you will learn about some of the events that led to freedom for the Colonies, including the meeting between George Washington and Rochambeau at Joseph Webb’s house.
PORTRAYING MARGU, a child of the Amistad
Margu is one of four children held captive on the schooner Amistad. After gaining freedom through a victory in the United States legal system, Margu goes on to become the first African to graduate from college in America (Oberlin College, Ohio). Share with Tammy this poignant voyage from childhood denial to adult autonomy.
NO SMALL CHANGE
This is the story of Sarah Harris Fayerweather, a free woman of color determined to become a teacher and the struggles she endured to obtain an education. Her acceptance at Ms. Prudence Crandall’s prestigious boarding school brought out extreme reactions from the Canterbury residents, but at the same time, showcased the courage and determination of Sarah and Prudence to take a stand against racism, sexism and injustice. This is a 30-45-minute presentation.
MAKING HISTORY: Turning stories into songs
Sally Rogers works with students and local historical societies to collect oral histories of community elders to research historical people and events linked to primary source materials. From these stories and images, she engages students to create songs reflecting the history that is all around them.
Learning their own local stories encourages people to learn more about the wider world of history. Sally has created several CDs from these projects, including Tercentenary Projects in Mansfield, Lebanon and Pomfret and Songs of the Heritage Corridor, written by Rogers and 4th graders in three Quiet Corner schools.
Rogers is also available for commissioned works, from songs to larger project based on local history.
Carolyn Stearns’ repertoire includes a wide selection of historical stories. Based on prominent, as well as lesser know people, her passion for the past and extra-ordinary ability to connect with groups of all ages makes her a great match for venues of all types.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR STORIES: Continental Ship Confederacy; The House Woman Built; Nathan Hale – Coventry, New London; A Uniform in a Night; Lauzon’s Legion at Lebanon; Provision State – Lebanon War; Dan Storrs Salt Peter – Mansfield Center; Silver Lane East Hartford; Asher Wright a True Friend –Coventry.
FREEDOM TRAIL STORIES: Private to General, the Story of Edward Whitaker, Unsung Hero; Connecticut 1st Cavalry; 4 Sister Schools; The Secret Six; The Dictator; Sam Colt; Mrs. Colt; George Henry Story in the Office of President Lincoln; Lincoln’s famous photograph; Connecticut 21st Infantry; Henry Clay Work; Re-enactor’s Coffee; Equines of the Civil War; and Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Valerie has been telling stories in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. With a master’s degree in Theatre Arts from Brown University and a degree in a self-designed major – Storytelling as a Communications Art, Valerie has carefully crafted Connecticut / New England-based stories.
THE RIGHT TO…LIBERTY – During the colonial period and the time of the American Revolution, freedom was on the minds of all people, including those held in captivity or on the margins in the free Black communities. Valerie recounts significant moments from that time in our national history through the tales of Ona Maria Judge, who escaped from the plantation of President George Washington, James Forten, who, as a teen, risked his life in the fight against the British, and Elizabeth Freeman, known as Mumbet, whose court case paved the way to abolishing slavery in Massachusetts.
MARY ELLEN PLEASANT – the story of the Black business woman who financed John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. Hear about her journey as a free young Black girl whose father sends her from Philadelphia to Nantucket for an education. There she encounters the likes of Frederick Douglass and other Abolitionists and dedicates her life and mission to assist the abolition of slavery. When she hears about John Brown, she travels to meet him, and give him the money he needed for his endeavor.
THE STORY OF THE AMISTAD – After slaves revolted and took control of the Amistad in 1839, Americans captured the ship off Long Island and imprisoned the slaves in New Haven. A US Supreme Court trial in which Roger Sherman Baldwin and John Quincy Adams defended the slaves, ultimately won them their freedom. An absorbing story told by a master storyteller.