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The Art of Storytelling

May 7, 2013

If you stop by the DMA on a First Tuesday or Late Night, chances are you have encountered our resident storyteller Ann Marie Newman. She was a born storyteller, creating alternate worlds and narrating stories as a child. She has been a professional storyteller for nineteen years and has been at the DMA for six.

Anne Marie dispels the myth that storytellers only read stories to children; rather, she says they “carry on oral traditions of what it is to be human.” She believes storytelling unites people from all cultures. She performs stories as if they are a memory, allowing her to connect with the audience as they journey through the story together. She not only engages her audience through participation but also by incorporating the senses into her performance, which helps audience members imagine they are experiencing the same sensations as the characters.

Artworks from the DMA’s permanent collection and special exhibitions inspire the stories Anne Marie performs at the the Museum. For her, there is a very natural connection between stories and art. When preparing for a performance, she prefers to view the art first with little contextual information. This allows for her own interpretation and creative response to the art. She describes her mind working like a spider’s web, connecting stories and folktales to the art she views.

She says creativity is her greatest gift, because it allows her to visualize and verbalize her stories. She suggests that people “don’t give up being a kid–experience life in magical ways.”

Join Ann Marie Newman and her cast of characters inspired by our special exhibition The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece: Masterworks from the British Museum during our Late Night on May 17th at 7:30 p.m.

Holly York
McDermott Intern for Family Experiences

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