FUNDA FEST: A Celebration of Black Storytelling

January 31, 2020 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Stories inspire, foster empathy and understanding, encourage creativity, and connect us to the past and each other. Whether it comes in the form of a piece of art  by a visual artist, is written, or narrated by a skilled orator, stories have the power to mesmerize, embolden, and move us. In honor of the Martin Luther King holiday, and in partnership with the Newport Health Equity Zone, join us at the Museum for an epic evening of multigenerational storytelling featuring South African storyteller, freedom fighter, activist, playwright, and poet Dr. Gcina Mhlophe, special guest of the RI Black Storytellers 22nd annual FUNDA FEST: A Celebration of Black Storytelling. 

Come early and stay late! 

Before and after Dr. Mhlophe’s performance, the galleries will be alive with mini docent-led tours and interactive storytelling projects for all ages. After her performance, Dr. Mhlophe will facilitate  collaborative poetry writing inspired by artworks on display in the gallery, and micro-memoir writing and sharing. Settle in to craft a tall tale, yarn, anecdote, folk, allegorical, or cautionary tale… no matter your style preference, prepare to be transported as you enjoy listening to, crafting, and sharing stories with us!

This event is FREE
Space is limited, Reservations are recommended.
Light snacks will be available.

Schedule of Events

5:00 pm  Family-friendly storytelling activities and Mini-Tours in the galleries
6:00 pm  Dr. Gcina Mhlophe FUNDA FEST Storytelling performance
7:00 pm  Artwork-inspired collaborative poetry writing and micro-memoir writing facilitated by Dr. Gcina Mhlophe and more family-friendly activities in the galleries

About Dr. Gcina Mhlophe

Dr. Gcina Mhlophe is an author, poet, playwright, director, performer and storyteller. Influenced by her grandmother’s tales when she was a child, Mhlophe’s written and performance talent has transported her from South Africa to South and North America, Europe, Greenland and Japan. She has performed her stories in theatres such as Royal Albert Hall and the Kennedy Centre, and has collaborated with internationally renowned groups like Ladysmith Black Mambazo. She has received numerous awards including an OBIE, 7 Honorary Doctorate Awards, and the Kennedy Center International Artists Gold Award. She has worked tirelessly on the NOZINCWADI Mother of Books Literacy Campaign since 2001, to help make Africa a Reading Nation. She has released several award winning music CD’s and performed in several films, including the award winning film by Aaron Kopp called Liyana, which screened at the Newport Art Museum in 2019. Finally, October 24, Dr. Mhlophe’s birthday, is recognized as National Storytelling Day in South Africa in honor of her contributions to celebrating the heritage of African Storytelling.

About the RI Black Storytellers

Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the awareness, appreciation, and application of Black Storytelling in Rhode Island through performance, as well as through educational and cultural experiences. Throughout the year, the organization offers workshops in storytelling, writing, and related arts as a part of the development of the next generation of storytellers along with professional development workshops for those interested in enhancing cultural awareness, and improving their performances and communication skills. All these elements come together to create Funda Fest.