Storyteller to weave tales at SWU
The free performance will be at the university's Newton Hobson Chapel and Fine Arts Center on the university's campus in Central.
Ferlatte, a native of New Orleans, can recall listening to stories on her grandparent's porch, capturing the oral history of generations of family history. She later moved to Oakland, Cal., and then married and adopted her son, Joey. And once again, Ferlatte became interested in storytelling.
Searching for creative ways to increase Joey's interest in books and lessen his interest in television, Ferlatte began to apply animation and characters while reading and telling stories to Joey and his sister. It worked! Joey started to enjoy books and stories, and Ferlatte started on her path to become a professional storyteller.
Now an internationally renowned storyteller, Ferlatte has traveled the globe, from Europe to Singapore and Malaysia, from Australia and New Zealand to Colombia and Senegal, and all over the United States.
Ferlatte views storytelling as a traditional art form that can promote literacy, imagination and values in the young. While emphasizing African American stories, she loves to tell stories that hold truths touching upon our common humanity, including personal stories as well as many tales from across the globe.
Having a background in music as well as American Sign Language, Ferlatte frequently incorporates both into her performances. Erik Pearson, her musical sidekick, accompanies Diane on banjo and guitar.
Ferlatte has received numerous honors including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award, the National Association of Black Storytellers' Zora Neale Hurston Award, as well as the California Arts Council's highest ranking.
In addition to receiving a 2008 Grammy nomination, all of her recordings have received other awards including Parents' Choice, American Library Association, National Parenting Publications, iParenting Media, Children's Music Web and Storytelling World Awards. Among her most exciting performances are her numerous appearances at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., the Tales of Graz, in Graz, Austria, the First International Festival to Commemorate the End of Slavery, on Goree Island, Senegal, as well as performing at President Clinton's first inauguration.
The event is part of Southern Wesleyan University's annual Fine Arts Series. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. For details, call (864) 644-5408.