Welcome to the Arts and Peacebuilding Group. I'm excited to learn more about your work with storytelling as a form of peace building, empowerment and reclaiming history/culture. I've spent a lot of time in South Africa with…"
The Arts and Peacebuilding Group is for any individual and/or group interested in the role of the arts in peacebuilding. This encompasses working with children and youth in conflict and post-conflict settings. Conflict is defined broadly.
I already tracked down your video, but thanks for including the link. That was powerful, insightful stuff... and I love your voice. Yeah, I know and dig both Irma and Earl. They were on one of our "Projects and Visioins" trips…"
I am familiar with your wonderful work. I think you know my friends Storytelling Irma and Earl Hammond, and my son, Sharif Valentine. Yes, we do indeed share common ground. I would love to connect further. I'll be sure to give you a call.…"
I saw your photos, read your introductory comments, and enjoyed reading about your activities and visions. (I was on the same program with "Brother Blue" a long time ago in Cambridge, and played for one of his stories that…"
I use storytelling as a tool to teach cultural literacy, human rights, conflict resolution, and self and community empowerment. I have been commissioned to write and perform stories specifically relating to African Americans in early Philadelphia history to inspire awareness of, and appreciation for, Pennsylvania'’s African-American and Underground Railroad heritage. I have been appointed to the Pennsylvania Humanities Council Commonwealth Speakers Bureau to tell these stories around the state. Other projects for social change include: Peace Parables: Message For Humanity, performed at the National Network of Communities for Peace Making and Conflict Resolution; and A Village Called Earth – teaching children about ecological sustainability, performed at the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Earth Charter Community Summit.
Places I Would Like To Visit
I performed at the Sibikwa Storytelling Festival, Johannesburg, South Africa (Oct 2004) with the National Storytelling Network and People to People Ambassador Programs. I gained valuable knowledge of how folktale traditions are collected and preserved in the context of South African life, cultures and customs, and the influence of politics on contemporary oral stories. More importantly, it was an opportunity to open my own heart. I had warmhearted dialogue with many South Africans. I was inspired to do in-depth research on storytelling as a force for social change. My essay on this topic, A Voice for the Voiceless, was accepted for publication for the July/August 05 issue of Storytelling Magazine.
Art Forms And Cultures I Would Like To Engage With
My dream collaboration would be to work with Jazz composer and musician, Wynton Marsalis at a Jazz festival on the Red Sea.
My Creative Influences & Favorite Artists
In 1995, I became a member of Keepers of the Culture, Inc., Philadelphia’s afrocentric storytelling group and was mentored by outstanding master storytellers including: Philadelphia’s official storyteller, Linda Goss, and Charlotte Blake-Alston. I have many favorite tellers including: Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill "Brother Blue," and Susan Klein.
I am also a member of Soka Gakkai International, a religious organization, and United Nations Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that promotes peace through education and culture. In my youth, I participated with SGI, in various cultural presentations: a chorus of 1000 young women in the World Youth Culture Festival in Hawaii; The Cultural Exhibition of the World’s Ethnic Peoples; the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration and Exhibition; and the Books for Africa Project, in which 15,000 books were collected nationwide and presented to two universities in Ghana.
In 1992, I met South African exile, Godfrey Sithole. Inspired by the selfless determination of Nelson Mandela, I attended the National Conference in Support of a Democratic South Africa, on the 80th Anniversary of the ANC. In 1993, I was on the Welcome Mandela Committee, and attended a reception for Mandela when he came to Philadelphia to accept the Liberty Medal. These events inspired me to become an activist, and then a storyteller for peace.
My Artistic Affiliations
National Storytelling Network, National Association of Black Storytellers, Keepers of the Culture, Inc.
Welcome to the Arts and Peacebuilding Group. I'm excited to learn more about your work with storytelling as a form of peace building, empowerment and reclaiming history/culture. I've spent a lot of time in South Africa with family and for research. Our group is always evolving and open to any suggestions. Please also feel free to post and share your work directly with us.
I already tracked down your video, but thanks for including the link. That was powerful, insightful stuff... and I love your voice. Yeah, I know and dig both Irma and Earl. They were on one of our "Projects and Visioins" trips to Senegal.You should come with us; we're doing two trips this year. One in February, and another at the end of June. Here's the link to my take on these trips: www.tonyvacca.com/senegalamerica/projects. I hope you check this out. I think we'll have even more to talk about once you do.
I saw your photos, read your introductory comments, and enjoyed reading about your activities and visions. (I was on the same program with "Brother Blue" a long time ago in Cambridge, and played for one of his stories that night. That was one very a special spirit.) I get the feeling we have some powerful common ground. I've done a lot of work in Senegal, mixing their unique sound and vibe with my own fusion of World Music, Jazz and Spoken Word. I've also worked in and around Phily many times. So let's talk sometime soon, in cyber-space or on the phone. I'm at: 413 665-1067. You might want to look at the portion of my site that describes The Senegal-America Project: www.tonyvacca.com/senegalamerica