ARTIST STATEMENT

Queens of Storytelling Quilt by MaryAnn Grayson of Ohio

Queens of Storytelling Quilt by Mary Ann Grayson of Ohio USA

"My greatest desire as a storyteller & poet, is to highlight the fruits of the spirit in all humankind: Love ~ Joy ~ Peace ~ Patience ~ Kindness ~ Goodness ~ Faith ~ Mildness ~ Self-control and I may add: Self Esteem...sprinkled with reflections on life lessons & laughter. 

I also enjoy re-telling & creating stories to connect local communities with world cultures for peace & understanding."  

Oni Lasana


"The wonderful song of the soul's high adventure" ... Joseph Campbell

The Power Of Myth.

Story time At Tobago Library Services 2019

New Jersey Storytelling Slam 2016

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In 2016, Oni Lasana came in 1st place in the Story Slam at the 24th Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival at Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey

"Oni, you rose the bar!"....

Denise McCormack, President of Patchwork, A Storytelling Guild

Keepers Of The Culture, Inc.

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Philadelphia's Afrocentric Storytelling Group, Pennsylvania

L-R: Caroliese Frink-Reed, Oni Lasana (President 2006), Charlotte Blake Alston, Jawara Bishop, Thelma Robinson, Abiodun, Pauline Cohen, Atiya Ola, Doni Johnson & Ron Carter


What's inside of you, will always shine thru!

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Telling "Little Apple Tree" @ New Jersey Storytelling Festival

Grounds For Sculpture, NJ 2016


"Cause your a shinning star, no matter who you are"   Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire


Featured Storyteller

 New Jersey Storytelling Network's  Festival at Grounds For Sculpture, New Jersey 2014. Photo: Oni found herself inside the art installation of Vincent Van Gogh's bedroom, how she got all artsy in the frame, is another story! 

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Grounds for sculpture, NJ

Reviews, Compliments & Kudos


"A wonderful storyteller!"


"We had Oni visit as the Storyteller and she was simply fantastic. The children were so enthralled and excited that many of them ran up to give Oni hugs following the performance. The variety of stories told was great and her ability to connect with the children was awesome."
John Zimmerman

Friends Select School 

Princeton, New Jersey


STETSON MIDDLE SCHOOL

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Dear Oni,                                                                                                           
     On behalf of the Diversity Committee & Black History Program Coordinating Committee at G. A. Stetson Middle School, we thank you for your performances in our assembly program "We Are Citizens of the World Offering Hope."
      Your presentation on Black American Inventors - "Did You Know?"...the Asian folktale, "War & Peace" and your original "Obama Rap" story gave our program a wonderful energy that was upbeat, yet with an informative message for all to enjoy. Your selections really connected with our theme.
    This was your second time as a presenter for our Black History Assembly Program and you continue to show your sincere love and commitment to your craft. You are truly a voice of hope in our world community today.  We are so pleased to know you.
Sincerely,
Angela Williams, Assistant Principal
cc: Dawn McNeil-McMillan, Co-Coordinator
G. A. Stetson Middle School, 

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Storytelling : May 2017 via Art-Reach, Inc.

"Thank you so much for coming to our group--you are truly a find and I am glad Philly's CSP (Community Support Program)  found you. You are a talented, warm and generous spirit and you were so understanding of our community.  Bless you.


Michelle Davis, MBA
Public Health Program Analyst Supervisor
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2018 Seba Enrichment Academy, West Chester, PA

Denise Ray, Co-founder of Seba Enrichment Academy

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Nana Oni shared tales from Liberia, Nigeria, & Gambia.  Also, a display of cultural artifacts from Zimbabwe & Ghana. 


Girls of Seba Academy

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Enjoyed hearing tales of Aesop, The African storyteller. Also,  learning about Anansi, who came from Africa to the Caribbean to America, sharing his wisdom with the world.

Nana Oni

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Enriching the lives of young scholar's everywhere!


Stories from Africa, Caribbean, Europe and America


Will customize a storytelling program program for a theme of your choice!

patchwork storytelling tellabration 2018

In a special tribute to librarian & storyteller, Barbara Baumgartner, 

Oni tells to a kid friendly audience.

The Rooster & The Golden Button, a folktale from Hungary, from the book "Good As Gold, stories of values from around the world"  edited by Barbara. 


Keep A Plugging Away

Sto'rytelling (poetic storytelling) a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Tobago Library Services, Children's Storytelling Room, Trinidad & Tobago 2017

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Oni retells a Nigerian Folktale

"Everything's Connected" & more stories from fabulous storytellers from around the world.

Listen to the whole series! Clik on the Story Story Podcast sign.

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National Association of Black Storytellers

Oni accepting the life membership award for her mentor, Diane Williams, the storyteller of Jackson, Mississippi, from founders, Mother Mary Carter Smith & Mama Linda Goss in Richmond, Virginia.  

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Oni with legendary actress & cultural icon RUBY DEE

2012 : At Ruth Ann's Restaurant in Harlem, New York, Oni presented "Doin' Dunbar as 'Lias' Mother" at a book signing for the iconic actress, civil rights activist and author, RUBY DEE. "In This Life Together" was written with her husband, OSSIE DAVIS. 


RUBY DEE is also author of the best seller, "Two Ways To Count To Ten, a Liberian Folktale" and "My One Good Nerve." Ms. Dee enjoyed hearing Oni interpret Dunbar's poetry so much, she exclaimed in her opening, "I want to be like Oni when I grow up!"  

re-telling of a Hispanic folktale, "Second Language"

Why A Storyteller?

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Martin Luther King Jr.

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Dr. King's stories, sermon's and speeches changed a nation.

Listen to Oni's spoken word tribute to MLK Jr.

West Chester Community Performers

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Oni's "Drama Mama's" have produced plays and reader's theater featuring African American literature for over 30 years. The West Chester Community Performers are based in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

For upcoming performances "like" us on Facebook!

Storytelling friends on The Power of Storytelling

Diane Williams, Jackson, MS

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"Storytelling can take you back to places you've never been before. So sit back and listen to a story."

Sharon Holley, Buffalo, NY

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"Storytelling is the lifeline to who I am, where I have come from and what road I will travel." 

Ife Gail Young, Brooklyn, NY

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 "I love stories that inspire, empower and teach, stories whisper a healing to the soul."  

Diane Ferlatte, San Francisco, CA

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"Storytelling is an opportunity for me to preserve, reclaim and pass on the history and culture of African Americans  and others through the oral tradition. For me, storytelling  is an intimate way to connect with people, which I love." 

Karima Amin, Buffalo, NY

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"Tell a story, 

save a life!"

Vicky Jackson, Tampa, FL

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"Storytelling is Big Medicine, and Storytellers are Healers.  Collected stories go into our mojo bag, and EVERYBODY loves it when the necessary medicine is laughter.  BUT some of our medicines initially offend the senses when swallowed.  But it's still the cure... " Ase!

Storytelling in Tobago!

THE MANY MUSES OF ONI LASANA

 A theatrical storytelling workshop & performance on how to engage and enrich all audiences with characters and story development.

Featured on November 20, 2016

               GARDEN STATE STORYTELLERS LEAGUE'S TELLABRATION 2016 

Presented

ONI LASANA 

in 

MUSES OF A STORYTELLER
A theatrical storytelling delight!

Oni presented excerpts on a historical timeline of storytelling as NANA AESOP, 'LIAS' MOTHER, GRANNY GOOSE, to "story activist" MAMA EARTH. 

She also introduced "Nyota Kungaa" from her "Girl Friends" program. 

This interactive workshop demonstrated Oni's secrets on the development of characters, story enhancements, and audience participation with the use of poetry, story, songs and props.

*!*

~ Storytelling Friends ~

Tobago Culture Festival

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Glenda-Rose Nassoma Layne, Storyteller & Director of Culture, Tobago 

Dr. Hugh "Brother Blue" Morgan Hill

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Oni, the Storyteller, with Brother Blue and his beloved wife, Dr. Ruth Hill of Cambridge, Mass. at The National Association of Black Storytellers Conference & Festival. Brother Blue (RIP) gone, but never forgotten.


Storytellers & Poets

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Diane Williams of Mississippi, Mitch "Grand Daddy" Capel of North Carolina with Oni & Performance Poet, Lamont " Napalm Da Bomb" Dixon of New Jersey.

Connect with Oni*!*

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Storytelling ~ Theatre ~ Language Arts ~ Music ~ History - Wellness

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Philadelphia ~ Coatesville, Pennsylvania