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'Talking Art' With Charlotte Blake Alston

Charlotte Blake Alston is a master storyteller, narrator, and librettist, and is spending two weeks in our community as a Quad City Arts Visiting Artist. She tells stories in the tradition of an African griot, interspersing both traditional and contemporary tales in a celebration of both African and African-American oral history and traditions.

Listen here to why the oral act of storytelling remains so important, and the forces and history behind the storytelling traditions, particularly in West Africa.

Credit Deborah Boardman / Courtesy Charlotte Blake Alston
Courtesy Charlotte Blake Alston

You can learn more about Charlotte Blake Alston, including an extensive biography detailing her work as a narrator and librettist with numerous organizations including the Philadelphia Orchestra among others, by clicking here.

A free public performance will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at the Butterworth Center in Moline (1105 8 th Street) at 7:00 p.m. She will also be presenting two informal 45-minute public performances on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at the Le Claire Community Library (323 Wisconsin Street) at 4:30 p.m., and at the Moline Public Library (3210 41 st St.) at 6:30 p.m.

Audio CD’s can be purchased on her website.

Trivia question: What is a griot?

A griot is a West African historian, storyteller, poet and/or musician, who keeps the past alive by remembering and articulating it for others.

Carolyn Martin joined WVIK as a host of Talking Art in 2017. A long-time fan of NPR programming with a love of storytelling and all art forms, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with creative people who beautify our community and make the Quad Cities region an even better place to live.