Festival and Conference Highlights



The 35th “In the Tradition...” 

Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference

“The African American Story: From Chains to Wings”
        November 8-12, 2017




altWICHITA AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE TOUR – The tour will begin at the historic  Kansas African
American Museum formerly Calvary Baptist Church. Built in 1917. The building stands as a monument to human
endurance and an unfailing spirit of our people. Parishioners who worshipped there endured painful racial
segregation and fought those conditions with dignity. Enjoy a tour of the Museum and a soul food buffet, especially prepared for NABS participants. Other sites of interests will include the Dockum Sit-In proposed site and the 1925 game between Wichita’s Black Monrovian baseball team and the Ku Klux Klan. The tour will conclude at the Ulrich Museum of Art on the campus of Wichita State University to view the exhibition “Looking at the Overlooked”.The work of three artists who employ the use of common, everyday items such as bed sheets, hair, plastic, drumsticks to create replicas of billy sticks and found objects to create works that comment on history, community and race. NABS participants will also have an opportunity to view photographs from the Museum’s Gordon Park’s collection,especially curated for this tour.


altOPENING GALA & MOTHER MARY CARTER SMITH LOVE CIRCLE – The official opening of the “In theTradition…” Festival includes libation followed by the opening storytelling concert. The sacred Mother Mary Carter  Smith Love Circle culminates the evening!


altSTORYTELLING CONCERTS – Every evening and Sunday morning the finest and the foremost storytellers in
the Blackstorytelling world perform traditional and contemporary stories that energize, electrify and
fortify heart and spirit


altSTORYTELLING WORKSHOPS - Dynamic workshops for the beginner, intermediate and  advanced tellers
including tips and techniques for performance, teaching, storytelling ethics, business and drumming.


altAKWABAA GATHERING - First-Time attendees, New Members and Old-Timers gather to get tips on how to
maximize the Festival & Conference experience and get the most out of their membership in NABS!


altAFRICAN AMERICAN MARKETPLACE with NABS RESOURCE CENTER - African imports, Afro-centric wearable art, African American literature, Black art, Karamu Corner, craft demonstrations and intriguing wares.


altSUNDAY SONG FEST & MAMA LINDA SPIRITUAL STORYTELLING BREAKFAST – “Get your Praise On!”, led by Elder Ami Jackson and hear stories that will embrace your spirit and heart and follow you home.


altJACKIE TORRENCE TALL TALES CONTESTS – In honor of Jackie Torrence, the Liars’ Contest has been renamed! Yet, is still the one place Big Mama won’t mind the children tellin’ a little tall tale! Then, the adults get a chance to test their lifetime practice of the art!


altYOUTH ACTIVITIES – NABS’ Youth will enjoy workshops and other activities as well as their annual Conversation with the Elders.




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