"I am a living example of someone who celebrates his culture, delights in having two languages, and you know what I say to the kids? This is something you can do! My passion [for storytelling in this manner] is fueled by the need, but also by my family. I'm keeping my own family stories alive."
— Antonia Sacre speaking to Wyoming Public Radio
On Monday, January 30, renowned storyteller Antonio Sacre visited campus as part of the Voices III program. Sacre performed for children in grades 3-5 and then again for middle schoolers before digging into the nitty gritty of storytelling in workshops for students in grades 3 and 6. Sacre was born in Boston to a Cuban father and Irish-American mother and is an internationally touring bilingual storyteller, author, and solo performance artist, based in Los Angeles. He has performed at the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, to name a few.
His performances drew from an extensive repertoire including folktales and legends from around the world, focusing on Spanish-speaking countries. Sacre used personal experiences to weave into his tales and delighted with stories told in a mixture of English and Spanish like The Barking Mouse, Sacre's first children's book with an emphasis on the importance of speaking other languages; and La Noche Buena which captures the excitement of the holidays season from the perspective of a little girl celebrating with her Cuban relatives in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
During the workshops, Sacre walked each group through a workbook to make storytelling more tangible and he identified three things that students needed to know about telling stories:
- Each story needs at least one person, one place, and some sort of problem.
- The number of rewrites/revisions/rejections can be daunting, but storytellers shouldn't get deterred.
- Stories like his are from his real life. That's where the best stories come from.
It was also an enlightening day for SCDS parents, because Sacre provided a workshop on storytelling and a debrief of the day's events to a group of SCDS parents in the MPR that afternoon! This allowed parents the opportunity to take home questions and inspirations of their own to discuss with their young storytellers.
What is Voices III?
"Voices III is a nearly year-long project that brings professional talent to the school with the hope that by interacting with diverse voices, students will be inspired to express themselves in new ways," SCDS Librarian Debbie Pearson said. Read more about this exciting program on her blog.