“I believe in the complexity of the human story, and that there’s no way you can tell that story in one way and say, ‘This is it.’ Always, there will be someone who can tell it differently depending on where they are standing. This is the way I think the world’s stories should be told, from many different perspectives.” ~ Chinua Achebe
From pre-school age children to high school and university students and staff, J’miah Nabawi has presented arts-in-education programs, residencies, and workshops to a variety of audiences in both urban and rural communities. As a Teaching Artist Storyteller, he has served on approved artist rosters of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Harrisburg, PA; Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) of New York State; Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston, MA; Virginia Commission for the Arts, Richmond, VA; and Florida Council on Arts and Culture, Tallahassee, FL. J’miah is currently active as a roster artist with South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) in Columbia, SC and with Georgia Arts Council (GCA) in Atlanta, GA.
J’miah performs with his group of “Garden Hills Kinder-Tellers” created at Garden Hills Elementary School, Buckhead, GA during one of his Young Audiences of Atlanta (Arts for Learning) Arts-in-Education week-long residencies.
RESIDENCY PROGRAM: Anansesem Kyiri Kasa (Storytelling Does Not Like Idle Talk!)
“The students at Jasper Elementary love J’miah. (The teachers at our school find him to be a full partner in curricular planning and implementation of lessons and units.) J’miah can tell stories, write and direct plays that are performed school-wide, teach small groups and make children laugh and smile. If he had a cape, he could fly . . . at least the children think so.” ~ Dr. Kathleen Thompson, Retired Arts Educator/Director of Cultural Projects (Georgia Council for the Arts)
Artist Residency, Southside Middle School, Florence, SC. Drama II classes of eighth graders rehearsing “Bruh Tiger and The Big Wind” from The Days When the Animals Used to Talk, a collection of stories from oral traditions during American slavery, anecdotes, and historical references as witness by the late Reverend Dr. William J. Faulkner.
J’miah as “Quashee Alice-Accra,” a Gullah-Geechee elder with roots to Ghana, West Africa, presenting Pee Dee River (SC) area local history through “coded” Brer (Bruh) Rabbit folktales based on the late Reverend Dr. William J. Faulkner’s book, The Days When the Animals Talked.
Highlights. Unknown to Joel Chandler Harris’ collection and the Brer Rabbit/Uncle Remus story cycles, the book highlights rare “Bruh Rabbit” folktales that were protests against the system of slavery and shares anecdotes and riddles for survival within the system and how enslaved Africans helped one another. This artist residency was coordinated by Southside Middle School, Florence, SC and its Fine Arts and Drama Department Chair, Gloria Turner under the auspices of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).
Learn more about J’miah’s relationship with Reverend Dr. Faulkner’s family and how he kept Reverend Faulkner’s work and writings alive bringing it back into print with the founding of the William J. Faulkner Friends of Folklore, Inc. Historic markers came later as a result to honor Simon Brown, a once enslaved African who told “Lil Willie,” Reverend Faulkner as a child, coded Bruh Rabbit tales that denounced the system of slavery, while living with the Faulkner family in Society Hill, SC.
“Were You there (When the Animals Used to Talk)?”
An ensemble presentation and public performance based on Bruh Tiger and The Big Wind in The Days When The Animals Talked (by Reverend Dr. William J. Faulkner) and original material J’miah Nabawi were presented under the auspices of a NEA-supported Master Artist grant through Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA). Armstrong State University Student Choir and Pianist Angela Lindsay were invited by J’miah to assist in realizing an original work. (Photo courtesy of Professor Elliot, Savannah College of Art and Design)
Visiting-Artist Residencies/Music Concerts/Featured Artist
The Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, GA; The Savannah Children’s Book Festival, Savannah, GA; Telfair Museum Arts Academy, Savannah, GA; Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, Savannah, GA; Live Oak Public Libraries, Savannah, GA; Armstrong State University, Savannah, GA; Fulton County Public Schools and public libraries, Atlanta, GA; National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA; Charleston County Public Schools and public libraries, Charleston, SC; Florence School District, Florence, SC; North Charleston Arts Festival, N. Charleston, SC; MOJA Festival, Charleston, SC; Creative Spark, Charleston, SC; Miami Dade County Schools and public libraries; University of Miami Lowe Art Museum and City of Miami Park and Recreation, Miami, FL; Boston Public Schools and public libraries, Boston, MA; Philadelphia Public Schools and public libraries; John Coltrane Society, Philadelphia, PA; Blue Mountain School District, Orwigsburg, PA; Los Angeles Public Schools, Los Angeles, CA; Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston, MA; Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) of New York State (NY); Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Harrisburg, PA; South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), Columbia, SC; formerly known as the Southern Arts Federation artist registry (South Arts), Atlanta, GA; Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), Atlanta, GA; Florida Council on Arts and Culture, Tallahassee, FL.
Georgia Public Libraries Annual Service Convention, Macon, GA; Bryn Mawr College Drama Department, Bryn Mawr, PA; Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program, Savannah, GA; Florida International University, Miami, FL with renown dancer/choreographer Neri Torres and her Afro Cuban Dance and Music Ensemble, Miami, FL.