Featured Artist: Chetter Galloway » Uncategorized » Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington

Featured Artist: Chetter Galloway

by on September 16, 2015 » Add the first comment.

We’re so excited to welcome Chetter Galloway, a wonderful, expressive storyteller, to our roster! Chetter hails from Suffolk, VA and is no stranger to the Young Audiences family after working with a Young Audiences in Georgia. Learn more about him below and contact our School Liaison, Josephine, to schedule his performance at your school.

Professional storyteller Chetter Galloway tells tales during the kick off event for the Tuscaloosa Public Library's summer reading program "Make a Splash!" at the Brown Branch Monday, June 7, 2010. (Marion R Walding)

Professional storyteller Chetter Galloway tells tales during the kick off event for the Tuscaloosa Public Library’s summer reading program “Make a Splash!” at the Brown Branch Monday, June 7, 2010. (Marion R Walding)

What is your art practice outside of teaching?  As a member of the Portland Storytellers Guild, National Storytelling Network, and the National Association of Black Storytellers, I regularly attend conferences and workshops to improve my craft. Additionally, Portland’s diverse and vibrant storytelling community allows me to collaborate with others for various projects and presentations.

How long have you taught with Young Audiences?  I spent nine years with Young Audiences-Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, GA. This will be my first year with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington.

How does Oregon inspire your art making?  The natural beauty of Oregon is so overwhelming, that it’s hard not to be creative. Taking various aspects of its beautiful landscape and forming them into a story inspires me.

What fuels your creative practice?  Finding stories from the African diaspora and bringing them to life in a way to enlighten others fuels my creative practice.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?  I would love to be a cat because of their agility, elegance and easy going nature. And, I love the expression, “Dogs have owners, but cats have a staff!” MEOW!

Why is art important to kids?   Art allows children to explore their creativity and tap into their hidden potential.  It is also a gateway to another culture through which they can better understand and appreciate.

What teacher or artist was inspirational to you as a kid? My high school history teacher was passionate about his field of study and sparked my interest in the subject. I looked forward to attending his class because he was so dramatic when describing historical figures. He painted such vivid mental images, that we could easily visualize the characters in his story.

Who is your art hero now?  I have two heroes, both are storytellers.  One is the late Jackie Torrence and the other is Dr. Rex Ellis.  The first storytelling workshop I ever attended was with Jackie Torrence back in 1997. I learned a great deal from her and still have the notes I took during her workshop. My other hero, Dr. Rex Ellis, started the African American Interpretive Program at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  This program helps tell the story of the African Americans who lived in Williamsburg, VA during the 18th century.  It’s also where I got my start in storytelling.

Chetter Storython 2014

Chetter at the Portland Storytellers Guild’s Annual Storython

What is a favorite memory of creating or performing?  Telling stories at the Smithsonian in the National Museum of American History is by far my favorite memory. I remember walking into the museum and seeing several 2ft x 3ft promotional posters hanging up with my image on them.  And I thought to myself, “Wow, I am actually performing at the Smithsonian!”

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?  I would be an architect because of the creative nature of the profession. In some ways, designing a building is similar to constructing a great story. Architecture was also one of my majors in college along with Math and History.

What is next for Chetter?  Currently I am working on a one-man show of personal stories and developing a workshop on African American Storytelling.

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