"The world’s original storytelling art, theater is the social ritual through which people around
the globe have gathered for millennia to share and create community, transmit culture, history,
ideas, myths, dreams, values, celebrate their togetherness and probe the great questions and
mysteries of their time. This act of public communing is primal, universal and ever-present in
the social engagements of humankind. It satisfies the hunger to connect with others both like
us and not like us."
Benny Sato Ambush, Emerson College, Distinguished Producing Artistic Director-in-Residence
Awele has mesmerized audiences around the world including the Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts, The Musikverein Vienna, Tsinchu Teacher’s College in Taiwan, Suriname
(U.S. Dept. of State Tour), Russia, Australia, France and Canada.
Awele (ah WAY lay) is an award winning and internationally known storyteller/teaching artist,
literacy specialist, and recording artist recognized as a “truth teller," an artist for social
change, and someone who sparks "aha!" moments. She researches, writes and performs hidden
African American history, folklore, and personal tales. She provides opportunities for
audiences to grapple with the meaning of their own lives as they make meaning of past
lives. She has made it her life’s work to tell history through the words of its silenced
and oft-forgotten witnesses. Awele uses art to catalyze deep conversations about race,
our common humanity, and our vision of a just, humane, multiracial society. Awele
teaches through performance and she animates democracy through her art.
She has written two one-woman shows, Rage Is Not A 1-Day Thing!: The Untaught History
of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off in which she
tells the story of the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott, watershed moment in U. S. history
through the eyes of four women, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Rosa Parks, and
JoAnn Robinson. See QUOTES and PROGRAM page.
Awele’s story, “The Story of Claudette Colvin,” is featured on the Music for Little People
benefit recording, This Land is Your Land, for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Featured
artists include Danny Glover, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, The
Neville Brothers, and others. She is also the featured storyteller on Oregon Public Radio’s
radio series and CD The Undiscovered Explorer: Imagining York with Danny Glover as the
narrator. Other award winning CDs include: Tell That Tale Again and Trailblazers: African
Americans in the California Gold Rush. Film credits include Supervisor Ella Hill Hutch
in the Oscar award winning film, MILK directed by Gus Van Sant starring Sean Penn.
Awele is a founding member of Vukani Mawethu, a South African Freedom Song Choir
based in Oakland, CA http://www.vukani.com/
Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world
TED 2012 Speaker/Storyteller Long Beach, CA
Friday, March 2 Session 11: The Classroom
Bill Nye Science Guy
Ainissa Ramirez Science Evangelist
Aaron Reedy Teacher
John Bohannon + Black Science Writer
Al Vermacchio Sexuality Educator
Kate Messner Author, Educator, Speaker
Angie Miller Language Arts Educator
Awele Makeba Storyteller, Teaching Artist
Rafe Esquith Educator
Storytelling Programs for Adults and for Youth
Mississippi Roots: Tracing My Family Tree (#1 hobby in the U.S.)
Going Down South
Scar Stories: Seen & Unseen
Agents of Change: Youth in the Freedom Movement
I'm Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off
Rage Is Not A 1-Day Thing!: Untaught History of the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Move or Fight: Organizing & Standing Up for Tenants' Rights
On the Path to Being an Artist: The Universe Provides
Tell That Tale Again
Trailblazers: African Americans in the California Gold Rush
Anansi the Spider
Nuggets of Wisdom
TBA 2012 NEW Work in Development
MA Education, Reading/Language Arts Specialist Advanced Credential, Multiple Subject
Teaching Credential - San Francisco State University
Supplemental Drama Credential - Sacramento, CA
BFA Theatre Arts - Webster University, Conservatory of Theatre Arts
Booking Information: Performances, Workshops, Residencies, CDs, Keynotes,
Venues: Local, U.S. Domestic, International
VIMEO VIDEO: by Duarte Design
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Morgan Holm, Executive Producer
Morgan Holm is currently Director of News and Public Affairs at Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. He has been an assignment editor, producer and reporter in his 15 years at OPB. As director of news and public Affairs, Morgan oversees OPB's local news operation, acts as executive producer of local radio and television news/public affairs programming and manages local news content for OPB's Website.
Morgan graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he started his journalism career at Jefferson Public Radio. In 1987, he began working for KOBI-TV as a weekend news producer, and was eventually promoted to assignment editor. He began working for OPB in 1990.
Awards include: Finalist, Livingston Young Journalists Award, 1991. Clarion Award, Best Local TV Public Affairs Program, 1997. Northwest Regional Emmy nominee, Public Affairs Series for Seven Days program, 1998-2000; and Public Affairs Special, 2004. Oregon AP Broadcasters Association, Best Public Affairs (Radio), 1990 and 1999. Other citations from the Society of Professional Journalists, Public Radio News Directors, Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, New York Festivals, and Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Claire Schoen, Producer/Director
For the past twenty-five years Claire Schoen has been creating award-winning documentaries in radio, film and video. Her works address a wide range of subjects including: environmental education, physical disability, communications technology, genetic engineering, nuclear proliferation and Jewish culture.
Claire's recent series, Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying was broadcast on over 150 public radio stations. The series was honored by both the Gracie and the Clarion awards for Best Documentary Series.
Claire's previous producer/director credits include: Mad River , an hour-long PBS documentary film about logging the Pacific Northwest Redwoods; Voices in Exile, a 4-part radio series about undocumented Salvadoran refugees, winner of the NFCB Golden Reel; Is Our Fate in our Genes? an hour-long radio documentary on genetic engineering, which was part of the series, The DNA Files, winner of both Peabody and Dupont-Columbia awards.
Along with long-format documentaries, Claire also produces short-format radio features. She has created over 130 stories for CBS Radio's The Osgood File. She has also produced for radio shows such as Pulse of the Planet, Crossroads and The Communications Revolution .
Additionally, Claire works as a sound recordist, sound designer and mix engineer for both documentary and feature films. She worked in the sound department on The Black Stallion , which won an Academy Award in sound. She also worked on Never Cry Wolf and Apocalypse Now.
And she was the sound recordist for the Academy Award-nominated Mothers of the Plaza, a documentary film about Argentina's "dirty war".
Claire has a full-production, digital audio editing and mix facility running Digidesign's ProTools, in Berkeley, California.
(Download hi-res image, color)
Danny Glover, Narrator
Acclaimed as an actor on stage, film, and television, Danny Glover has performed on Broadway in Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys, on television in the HBO production of Mandela and on the screen in the Lethal Weapons series, The Color Purple, The Royal Tenenbaums and many other movies. A passionate social activist, Glover is currently board chairman of the TransAfrica Forum.
(Download hi-res image)
Awele Makeba, Storyteller
Awele Makeba paints pictures with words, breathes life into characters, teaches, and inspires through the power of story. Awele has mesmerized audiences from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to Russia, Australia, Taiwan, France, and Canada.
(Download hi-res image)
Christopher Rife, Composer
Christopher Rife has been a composer for film and television since graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has composed scores for a wide range of network and cable television and a number of independent features. Much of his time is spent composing for documentaries. His recent credits include the emmy nominated series 'The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow', "Ending Aids:The Search for a Vaccine" and "Nature-Can Animals Predict Disaster?" all for PBS.
Stephen Most, Consulting writer
Stephen Most is a playwright and scriptwriter. He has worked on numerous documentary films and videos. His credits include: Writer of the Great Wonders of the World series, which won an Emmy; Consulting Writer and Researcher on Promises which was also an Emmy winner; and Co-writer on Berkeley in the Sixties, which received an Academy Award nomination. He is currently writing a book about the Klamath River Basin and producing a documentary film on the same subject.
Ron Craig, Consulting Producer
Ron Craig is a documentary filmmaker. Through his production company, Filmworks Northwest, Craig tells stories of hidden heroes of history. He is currently working in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting to produce a film about York. Ron Craig has also started a second endeavor, Astoria Productions, to produce and showcase documentary films relating to environmental issues.
Scott Koué, Technical Consultant
Scott Koué provided in valuable assistance as a Technical Consultant on The Undiscovered Explorer. The primary focus of his work, however, is as a sound designer and audio engineer. Koué's work has been heard in notable films (Titanic, 1997 and The Legend of Drunken Master with Jackie Chan, 1998), independent films (American Gun, 2001 andAmerican Yearbook, 2003) as well as live theatrical producitons including, Maya Angelou'sAnd Still I Rise, productions at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center.
Dramatic readings by
J.S. Gilbert, Michael Johnson, Danny Shorago, Robert Black, Taylor Ray, Jovelyn Richards, Sam A. Mowry, Tim True, Tim Hill, and Darius Pierce.
Additional music by New World Records
Selections from the CD's "The Early Minstrel Show" and "Don't give the name a bad Place" courtesy of New World Records.
Special thanks to Eve Epstein