Artist Statement

I am a storyteller.  The stories I tell are based on African and African-American folktales, myths, fables and traditions. The audiences are children and adults in venues as varied as libraries, birthday parties, theaters, conference rooms and school auditoriums. I practice the African Oral Tradition for education and entertainment.  The stories teach values, instill pride, evoke self love and celebrate culture. 


I use an ancient technique with a contemporary twist.  The language of the village is given city syntax; African rhythms are juxtaposed on urban beats; flowing traditional garments are transformed into hip outfits. I place old stories in modern settings keeping the themes of peace, love, friendship, culture and unity in tact.  I am a modern-day “griot” delivering wisdom of the ages in a voice of the present for the future.

© Beverly Cottman 2015