Storytelling Workshop

Charlotte Blake Alston: The Power of your own Voice


Led by world renowned artist Charlotte Blake Alston, this workshop will help students learn even more the power of their own voice and unique perspective.  

We all have the power to tell stories anywhere.  It is a matter of honing those skills.  Students will learn techniques to better incorporate voice, music, movement, sound, and other base essentials that have been the heart of storytelling since its inception.

Workshop is funded by Quad City Arts and hosted in collaboration with Davenport Junior Theatre.


WHERE: Davenport Junior Theatre, Mainstage
DATE: Monday, February 19
TIME: 6:00 - 7:00 PM
AGE: 6th - 12th grade
COST: Free!
* No reservations required.  Please arrive 5 minutes early.

More about Charlotte

Charlotte Blake Alston is a storyteller, narrator, librettist, instrumentalist and singer who performs in venues throughout North America and abroad. Venues are wide and include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kimmel Cen­ter, the Women of the World Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, prisons, detention centers and a refugee camp in northern Senegal.

She breathes life into traditional and contemporary stories from African and African American oral and cultural traditions. Her solo perfor­mances are often enhanced with traditional instruments such as djembe, mbira, shekere or the 21-stringed kora. In 1999, Charlotte began studying the kora and the West African history-telling traditions of Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. Her teacher was the highly respected Senegalese griot (jali), the late Djimo Kouyate. She has recently resumed her studies with Malian Virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko.

Charlotte brings her stories and songs to national and regional festivals, schools, universities, museums, libraries and performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada, as well as local and national radio and television. Her repertoire is wide-ranging and programs are adapted to any grade level or age group.

Whether or not she accompanies a story with a thumb piano, djembe or 21-string kora, Charlotte Blake Alston’s most power­ful instrument is her melodic and mesmerizing voice. It is with that primary instrument that she breathes life into ancient and contemporary tales. In this electronic age, Charlotte does what stories have achieved for thousands of years and engage the imagination, underscore human commonalities and reiterate life lessons gained from centuries of human experience. All pro­grams draw on the rich source of stories, songs, games and rhythmic elements that are hallmarks of the African and African American oral traditions. Program content/story choices are geared to each age group.