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Member Profile : Kucha Brownlee

Member Type:Individual
Member Name: Kucha Brownlee
Member Bio: Kucha brings over 25 years of performing to the storytelling arena. She toured the Midwest, acting with the Monarch Theatre and The Cultural Messengers; as well as, performing at the Barry Street Theatre, Victory Gardens and the Chicago Civic Theatre. She studied voice at the Chicago Conservatory then sang with such groups as Panama, Grand Slam, and Morning Noon &Night in Canada and the USA. In addition Kucha danced with Najwa Dance Corps.

In storytelling, Kucha combines her experience in the arts with her formal education (BA in English and MBA in Management). Though most performances are in Illinois, storytelling has taken Kucha to Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and Ghana.

Kucha's performance art includes stories from folktales and fables to literature to personal stories, accompanied by singing and shekere playing. She is a member of the National Storytelling Network, National Association of Black Storytellers, Illinois Storytelling, Inc., and Ase: The Chicago Association of Black Storytellers. In addition she is constantly honing her craft taking workshops.

Wishing to keep the art form alive, Kucha has taught storytelling for After School Matters, Mayor Daley's Book Club, ASE: The Chicago Association of Black Storytellers, Spirit Lights Foundation, Public Allies, and the Alliance Library System.
Member Email: Kuchaase@aol.com
Member Address: 7115 West North Ave. PMB 258,
  Oak Park`,
  Illinois,
  United States
Member Phone: 773-722-9786
Member Fax: 773-722-4377
Member Affiliations: NABS (National Association of Black Storytellers, NSN (National Storytelling Network, ISF (Illinois Storytelling Inc., and Co-founder of ASE: The Chicago Association of Black Storytellers
Audience: K-12 Schools, Libraries, Universities, Daycare Centers, Museums, Art Associations, Park Districts, Festivals, Senior Centers, Family Reunions, Corporations
Story Types: African, Original, Personal, Historical, Multicultural, Theme-based
Story Programs: Jumpin' Jambalaya: Diverse stories, folktales, call and response, dialect, "a little of this and a little of that."

The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: A 50 minute performance of works originated during the Harlem Renaissance with a brief explanation of the times. This performance incorporates stories, poetry and songs of this era.

A Kwanzaa Celebration: A highly energetic 50 minute performance that will introduce to some and make real for others the symbols and principles of Kwanzaa. In this performance we learn about the Nguzo Saba (the seven principles of Kwanzaa/first fruits. This joyous time is one in which we celebrate our first fruits (children) and begin to instill the Nguzo Saba.

The Talking Animals: A 50 minute performance of the most lovable animal characters from Brer Rabbit to the Coyote to El Mucaro. This folktale performance will leave you smiling.

Wondrous Wonders of Women: A 50 minute performance of stories by and/or about women, A celebration of our contributions and pioneering spirit.

Voice Your Choice: A custom-designed presentation. Do you have a favorite story? Author? Theme? This is the show for your organization.

Civil War Stories: This is a collection of stories about incidents occurring during the Civil War and important figures of that time.

A King's Legacy-Your Civil Rights: This is a celebration of Martin Luther King's life and his influential accomplishments that lead to having the Dream Become Reality.

Bringing Black History To Life: This is a taste of the many contributions and achievements of Africans and African-Americans making the difference in innovation and pioneering.

Earth Day Celebration: A 50 minute performance of nature, animal stories, and celebrating Earth Day through story. These stories will bring a natural appreciation for our earth as well as our animals.

Zora Neale Hurston: This performance brings to life some of the works of Zora Neale Hurston. We also explore her life and impact on African American and women's literature.

Juneteenth: The Celebration of Freedom: Dating back to 1865, it was June 19th that the news came that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This performance will take us on a journey from the Emancipation Proclamation executive order issued in 1863 to the actual implementation of freedom. The day is celebrated through stories, narratives, songs and music of that time.

The African Presence in Mexico: As early as 1537 Spain brought shiploads of captives from Africa to Mexico. One African, Gaspar Yango, from Gabon became a hero throughout Mexico by leading a rebellion.
Does Workshops?: Yes
Workshop Descriptions: Bringing the Story to Life: designed to guide participants in transforming stories from the written to the spoken, from bare bones to life.
Taking It To The Next Level: You can tell a story. Now explore audience participation techniques and character voice.
I'm Just Sayin'...: An intensive discovery for creative ways in which to address the written and oral aspects of storytelling. Participants will work in small groups to collaborate on the development of stories derived from life experiences. Strategies and techniques used in this experience have been designed t enhance the teaching and study of the Humanities and Sciences.
The Breath and Depth of Storytelling: Learn the seven steps to presenting stories in a manner that will create an atmosphere for literacy, imagination, fun, entertainment, education, culture and listening. You will leave knowing several techniques for involving the audience and as well as performance preparation and self-improvement exercises.
Age Range: Pre-K,K-5,6-8,9-12,Adults
Will Travel: Yes