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Storytelling Traditions in Africa

Storytelling is a universal art that exists in every culture to pass on cultural traditions, knowledge, history, and experiences from one generation to the next. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and also plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. This is accomplished by the gift of the storyteller who entertains, inspires, and engages their audience while educating them. In African story telling tradition, the storyteller does not merely share a story with their audience, they share an experience with them,  making creative use of their vocal range, facial expressions, gestures, instrumentation, etc.  The story may include songs, chants poems, prayers, etc. and the audience may be invited to chime in. Storytellers in West Africa are known as a Griots (pronounced “gree·ows”). The role of the Griot is traditionally a hereditary role passed from one generation to the next. Their role as the primary storyteller of their people was once also complimented with the role of serving as advisers to the king.

SAAM and Robertson Ask Participants:

“If words were a healing balm, which words would we bring to heal and re-unite us with each other and the world around us?”

Reflecting upon this question, each participant will select a word, a color, a movement, and a sound that best represents this “balm” creating a visual montage.

By combining various media such as colored construction paper, fabric, paints, or photos from magazines, each participant will select their “word” of healing. Everyone will assign a sound and a physical movement to their word. When completed, each mosaic is in turn a piece of a unique whole story, The Healing Tree.  With the visual words, sound, and movement combined, we see the complete visual story as an orchestrated presentation which will be videotaped.

At the conclusion of the workshop each participant will leave with their individual piece of art reflecting their telling of The Healing Tree. There  will also be a link posted on the SAAM website to access the group’s visual presentation embodying the full richness of the Storytelling experience.

This distinctive event will stimulate the imagination and encourage creativity while fostering a spirit of social consciousness, empathy, and unity. Participants are enriched and inspired to share this experience with family and friends!


Click here to register

for this Workshop

This workshop will be limited occupancy so to secure your seat you must register through the Eventbrite link below.

Seats are limited and we ask that if you do register that you please arrive on time for the workshop so that the space can be utilized. 



Masks and Social Distancing will be Required!

If you do not wish to participate in person a recorded

online option will be available.

The Healing Tree

A Visual Storytelling Workshop

Facilitated by Kat Robertson - Visual and Performing Artist and Teacher, Published Poet and Writer

Tree painting.png

Saturday, May 29, 2021  |  11:00 am - 12:30pm

See the workshop project outcome here

The global pandemic’s massive impact on the quality of our lives and all the events worldwide over this past year has revealed an especially important message. We as a nation and our planet as a whole need wellness; restoration and healing.

                                                                                                               - Kat Robertson

Meet our Facilitator!

Kat L. Robertson

Visual & Performing Artist   |   Teacher   |   Published Poet and Writer

Kat L. Robertson is a visual and performance artist as well as a published poet and writer with a broad range of experience in the artistic and communicative fields of theatre, film, and fashion.

Awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Community and Educational Theatre from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Ms. Robertson spent many years devoted to various theatre outreach programs for at-risk youth living in Boston, Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, and NYC. She created staged performances for children from age 7 through 18 for several Theatre Arts in-school and after-school programs. As an actor Robertson was in SAG/AFTRA with professional experience in stage and film. She is also in Local 798 as a professional make-up artist and teaches private make-up application workshops.

Workshop Facilitator, Kat Robertson -  H

With over 20 years of communicative skills Robertson uses fine art, theatre art, make-up artistry, and visual poetry as her expressions of choice. Her art constantly redefines who she is. Every day she listens for her unique voice to enjoy the change in pitch, timbre, or volume.  Robertson is both a work-in-progress and a progressive work.  She creates from painting with watercolors and writing poetry to playing the Terceiro Surdo Samba drum, singing, performance art and SFX make-up. Robertson is the seer as much as she who is seen; her existence is as much inspired as it is created. This begins the yin and yang of Kat L Robertson and who she is before God and the world.


See links below to learn more about Kat L. Robertson and check out her creations:

Light of Truth: A Love Journey – Poetry and Watercolors



Makeup Artistry


Wearable/Functional Art

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