Several of our artists had the pleasure of leading programs at the Strathmore for their annual Discover Strathmore festival to kick off summer. As we head into a new academic year, let’s reflect on these events and get ready for what’s to come!
ST Artist Barbara Effron shares about her experience:
Discover Strathmore, a free, family-friendly festival, is an annual neighborhood tradition providing an up-close look at the many offerings of this multi-disciplinary arts center.
This year’s theme, “Discover Strathmore Off the Page,” presented in association with Story Tapestries, celebrated the “way we tell stories through various forms of artistic expression – like song, spoken word, puppetry, and film.”
Blog contributor, Barbara Effron, performing at Discover Strathmore
I was delighted to join with ten artists from the greater D.C. area for this wonderful family day. What a treat to hearJamaal Collier engage his audiences with his beatbox and rapping style, to watch so many children join Diane Macklin on stage to create an adaptation of an Aesop’s fable, and to listen to The Fourth Wall tell “The History of the Toy Soldier” – featuring a flutist dancing like a mechanical ballerina, and a trombonist simulating a sword.
I opened my storytelling set with a story song, “King Kong Kichie, Kichie Kimee-oh”, followed by my musical adaptations of two folktales — “Wide Mouth Frog,” told with puppets, and “The Old Woman and the Pumpkin.” Children and parents joined in the fun by singing to the accompaniment of my guitar. Next, I told a Native American tale, “Scunee Wundee and the Stone Giants,” and I concluded with “Clarissa the Butterfly,” using a paper prop to simulate the objects in the story.
Later, I provided a workshop for children and parents: “Spicing Up your Stories With a Dash of Music.” I began with the classic story song, “The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night.” With sign language we sampled some of “The Little Red Hen.” Then we rapped, chanted, and sang a favorite by Eric Carle —Brown Bear, Brown Bear — to the tunes of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Frère Jacques.” I followed up with a bit of “The Three Bears” using three different rhythm instruments to signify Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear, and the children did not want to stop! I concluded with ideas for using Mother Goose Rhymes as a jumping off point for creating stories at home.
My experience at Strathmore drew upon my thirty years of sharing music and stories with the young and young at heart. I tell at childcare centers, preschools, elementary schools, libraries, festivals, and retail town centers. I enjoy sharing my true, personal stories with “Better Said Than Done.” This September I will commence my sixth year providing a monthly inter-generational program that involves an assisted living center and a preschool.
Singing and accompanying myself with a variety of instruments has been a magical experience, focusing the attention of young listeners, inviting their participation, and breathing life into my stories. Thanks to Arianna Ross andStory Tapestries for inspiring a special day of storytelling and the arts at Strathmore.
– by Barbara Effron
WANT TO SEE MORE ACTION?!
In addition to their annual festival, Strathmore provides
incredible professional arts experiences year-round.
Visit their site for full upcoming event details!