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Stories & Songs of African People
Shanta's unforgettable performance features stories, poetry, chants and the spellbinding sounds of African instruments. Melding the work of her own creative spirit with African folktales and contemporary African-American perspectives, Shanta's stories are about empowerment, peace, healing and self-discovery. Without exception all ages respond to the warmth, humor, drama and excitement which the tales convey through her dynamic telling.
"I want to spread love and joy; to stimulate the imagination in ways that technology doesn’t; to challenge racial stereotypes; to stimulate curiosity and interest in other cultures; to contribute to the perpetuation of an age-old art; to make connections across communities; and to validate each person’s life stories and memories as worthy of telling.”
From the moment she moves onto the stage, Shanta encircles her audience in an unforgettable experience of creativity and culture. Shanta’s performances feature not only stories, but also poetry, chants, and the spellbinding sound of African instruments. Melding the work of her own creative spirit with African folktales and contemporary African-American perspectives, Shanta’s stories stimulate imaginations and touch hearts. “Women of Spirit, Women of Power” celebrates the remarkable creativity and resilience which sustain women in the face of adversity. “A World of Stories” explores universal themes found in stories from around the world.
Shanta’s performances of stories and songs of African people have graced the stages of ethnic arts festivals, performing arts series, museums, churches, and virtually any place where people gather for enjoyment, information, community-building, and/or inspiration. Drawing from a large repertoire of stories, her performances evoke, surprise, and sometimes even tears. The art of storytelling is not reserved for young audiences alone. Shanta is a storyteller and musician who has found large and enthusiastic among college students, senior citizens, and families in her travels from Chicago to various parts of the country.
Combining original and world music with the spoken word, Shanta has been featured at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and in China, India, Canada and The Yukon.
Her stories were engaging. She really created a true story circle with our audience, drawing them in and kicking off conversations even after the program. It was one of those times where you could witness connections being made between people who had never met before the program. It was really nice to see. She also brought some really interesting instruments and talked about their roles and their history as she incorporated them into the stories. I was really pleased.
My patrons had a good time with Shanta for our Black History Month program!