Valerie Tutson has been telling stories in schools, churches, libraries, festivals and conferences since 1991. She draws her stories from around the world with an emphasis on African traditions. Her repertoire includes stories and songs she learned in her travels to South Africa, her experiences in West Africa, stories from African American history. In addition, she is gaining quite a reputation for her exciting retelling of age-old Bible stories.
She graduated from Brown University with a Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts and a degree in a self-designed Major-Storytelling as A Communications Art.
V. Raffini, a self-made artist, actress, and teacher from the South Side of Providence has long been committed to the community, teaching Black History, and theatre, telling stories and nurturing the spiritual and creative abilities of youth.
Rochel Garner Coleman, actor, singer, storyteller, has been performing since he was 9 years old. He travels nationally and internationally sharing stories of Black historical legends such as Nat Love and Cool Papa Bell in shows developed using the research to performance method.
Len Cabral is an internationally acclaimed storyteller who has been enchanting audiences with his storytelling performances at schools, libraries, museums and festivals since 1976. A great grandson of a Cape Verdean whaler whose grandparents immigrated to America from the islands off the coast of West Africa, Len’s strong Cape Verdean ancestry comes alive in his exuberant retelling of African, Cape Verdean, and Caribbean folktales as well as original stories and tales from around the world.
Marlon Carey is a multitalented artist who is always looking for ways to help build community and inspire people to make positive changes to the world. As a storyteller, he weaves an intricate tapestry with words, using a variety of methods with respect to the Storyteller traditions of old. He is a full-time father of three remarkable children and three cats.
At 82, Ms. Soares is SAG-AFTRA, AEA, actress, poet, playwright, director, activist. Her mission is to deliver “entertaining education.” She performed at New York Public Theater, Negro Ensemble Company, for Woodie King, Jr., L.A. Shakespeare Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, regional theatres and Westerly Shakespeare Theatre. Her national tours include “No Place to Be Somebody” and “River Niger.” Her 70s LA television guest appearances include “Kojak,” “Good Times” and more. She returned to Providence in 1981 performing locally for charity. A volunteer for Amos House Shelter in ’89, she also helped build a school in Nicaragua with Providence-Niquinohomo Sister City Project. Sylvia Ann earned a CCRI AA ‘93 and a Brown ’95 Honors AB in Theatre, and then cared for her mother who had Alzheimer’s. In 2013, RI Council for the Humanities funded her to become Nancy Elizabeth Prophet in Living History and Sylvia Ann has performed thus numerously. She performs her ‘Silvy Tory’ an enslaved RI woman. Sylvia’s recent researched play is about the oppression in the 1850 village Snowtown, Providence, and represents citizens, Black, Indigenous and White. Over the past, she has enjoyed working with RIBS and Funda Fest.
"The Watermelon Lady", is a "story wheeler." Miss Ramona brings her traditions of storytelling from her Jamaican and Native American ancestry together with her formal education to create works that open up the treasury of healing and understanding. Watermelon is a fruit of peace, friendship and sharing good times - all around the world!
Rachel Briggs is an elementary school science teacher at The Croft School in Providence, Rhode Island. She is a mixture of city and country, old school and contemporary. Her urban roots are deeply planted in Rhode Island; growing up with her mother, father, and 16 siblings. She graduated from Mount Pleasant High School as part of the Health Magnet program and went on to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire.
She earned a certificate in child advocacy from the RI Parent Information Network. Rachel also completed The Rhode Island Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Other Related Disabilities (RI LEND) training program which is designed to provide graduate level, interdisciplinary training to individuals from diverse professional disciplines and cultural backgrounds.
In addition to science, she is passionate about the welfare of children. In 2015, she adopted her five children, now ranging in age from 9 to 17. They are a constant source of inspiration for her professional endeavors. Rachel sits on the Race and Equity Parent Leaders of New England (PLNE) subcommittee, the Kinship Advisory Council, the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Parent Advisory Council and The Office of the Child Advocate Advisory Committee. She is dedicated to building the self-esteem and empowerment of children and hopes that her advocacy and community engagement will serve as a catalyst for positive change in the systems focusing on children.
Rachel is a member of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, a non-profit based out of Providence, Rhode Island dedicated to promoting the awareness, appreciation, and application of Black storytelling. She considers herself a ‘culture keeper’ and adheres to the African tradition of oral storytelling to pass on wisdom, history, and cultural information to nurture a sense of community. Rachel is an emerging writer and spoken word poet. She is ‘solar powered’ and loves cookouts, gardening, camping and hiking. She is also known for dancing to live bands, and eating dessert before dinner! https://www.thecroftschool.org/rachelbriggs