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zamaleoACT - Centre of Artistic Excellence

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Diane Ferlatte

Diane FerlatteDiane Ferlatte steeped in oral tradition from a tender age, Diane Ferlatte has been researching, collecting and telling stories for over twenty years. Diane has toured internationally in Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Bermuda, Holland, Sweden, Singapore, Malaysia, France, Colombia and Senegal, amongst others. She has also frequently been featured as a storyteller at the annual National Storytelling Festival in the USA and in many other festivals in the world. She sees herself as a traditional preserver of folk history, culture and values. This widely traveled teller loves to tell stories that hold truths touching upon our common humanity while emphasizing the history, struggles and triumphs of the African American experience. She also weaves tales from other cultures granted the multicultural renaissance of the oral tradition. Her repertoire includes hundreds of stories and songs, folk tales, fables, legends, historical, contemporary and personal stories for all ages. In her performances she sings, signs (American Sign Language) and uses percussive instruments.

In addition to performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, as part of President Clinton’s first inauguration, Diane has received numerous honors. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award, the National Black Storyteller's Zora Neale Hurston Award have all availed her grants and she has previously been honored with the California Arts Council’s highest ranking. All her recordings have also won awards including those from Parents’ Choice, the American Library Association, National Parenting Publications, the National Youth Storytelling Pegasus Award, Storytelling World Awards, iParenting Media, as well as a 2008 Grammy nomination.

For Diane, storytelling is all about that time of intimate connection with the listener; the opportunity for a value to be learned, or encouragement to be gained, knowing that others before oneself have conquered fears and challenges similar to their own. The thought that the right story at the right time can enrich a person’s day, and even make the world a little better place keeps her storytelling. To crown it all, Ferlatte is profiled in "African American Voices of Triumph: Creative Fire", a Time/Life Books publication as well as a middle school textbook "The Language of Literature", published by McDougal Littell.

Diane comes to the 2010 Sigana International Storytelling Festival with her hands and spirit full of gifts of Tales to share. This is her first time coming to the east coast of Africa to re-unite with folks in very many ways!