Storytellers at The Wren's Nest

Get to know The Wren's Nest's professional storytellers!


It starts with a tale...

The Wren's Nest would not exist without stories. They're at the heart of our history and mission. The Brer Rabbit stories that made Joel Chandler Harris a famous author in his time are part of a long tradition of oral folklore, particularly in African American and Native American cultures. For decades, The Wren's Nest has presented a weekly storytelling hour on Saturdays, allowing visitors to hear the tales in the spirit of their  original form. Four professionals perform at these sessions: Esther Culver, Chetter Galloway, Akbar Imhotep, and Gwendolyn J. Napier. All of them bring a unique style to their craft, making the old stories come to life for people of all ages. With their talents, we can share the stories that entertained, inspired and taught so many (including Joel Chandler Harris) and introduce them to new audiences.

Find out more about our storytellers

Interested in booking a storyteller performance?


The Storytellers

AKBAR IMHOTEP

Akbar Imhotep, a 2012 Governor’s Arts & Humanities awardee, has been affiliated with the Wren’s Nest since 1985 and served as the storyteller-in-residence from 1985 to 1999. He has also been a storytelling fixture for Zoo Atlanta and a resident puppeteer at the Center for Puppetry Arts. He’s originally from Perry, Georgia.

AUDIO: HOW BRER COON GETS HIS MEAT

AUDIO: HOW BRER BEAR LOST HIS TAIL

Gwendolyn J. Napier

AKA "Miss LuvDrop"
 
Storytelling from the Heart and inspired by her mother's stories as a young girl. Professional Storyteller for 15 years with a love for Drumming, Singing and Movement in her STORIES. Retired Educator from Fulton County Schools in Special Education. Always Keeping Georgia On Her Mind, an Original Georgia Peach and an Atlanta Grady Hospital Baby.. 
 
Storytelling continues to be the vacillating thumb in her heart with plans to change the lives and the future of the world with "One Story at a Time". . A future of HOPE and CHANGE.
 
Gwendolyn has performed in many Libraries, Performing Arts Centers, Festivals, Zoo Atlanta Wild Adventures Weekend, Atlanta National Archives History Center, Barrington Hall in Roswell, Historic Oakland Cemetery "Spirit Of Oakland", Stories in the Gardens at Hills and Dales, Fernbank Museum, Juneteenth Festival Parade and many others locally and out of state.
 
Currently serving an an Atlanta Early Education Ambassador for Georgia Early Education Alliance For Ready Students and a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, Southern Order Of Storytellers, Peach Seed Tellers, and the Northlands Storytelling Network. 
chetter-galloway

Chetter Galloway

Storyteller Chetter Galloway is as raconteur of African and African-American stories. He is a native of Suffolk, VA, the youngest of ten children and remembers his father telling stories on road trips. He first experienced the power of storytelling at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, VA. He honed his craft at East Tennessee State University in their Masters of Storytelling Program. His programs are perfect for schools, churches, family reunions, civic groups, holiday celebrations, assisted living homes, and more. Chetter is a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, National Storytelling Network, Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, and the Southern Order of Storytellers. Engaging and entertaining, Chetter invites you to Feel the Rhythm & Live the Story!

Esther Culver

Esther Culver

Esther Culver tells for the pure joy of telling. The side effects of listening to her may be fits of laughter, uncontrolled crying, and body movements like a chicken. You might relive history, or experience another person’s life. Various Programs:

Daycare and Pre-K
There are stories that captivate young minds simply with the use of voice, facial expression. and body language. Many of the stories are interactive and include props, music or finger play

Elementary/Middle High Schools
These programs range from folktales, tall tales, scary, inspirational, biographical, original, and more. The themes are crafted to be presented according to the student ’s age.

That Wonderful Senior Ear You name it! Do you want to laugh, reminisce, or be frightened? There is a program of stories for you, just ask!

 

See examples of our storytellers in action during virtual storytelling here


The Stories Behind the Storytellers

We sat down with each of our storytellers in one-on-one interviews to give them the opportunity to share their stories. Find out more about how they became professional storytellers, their connections to the stories themselves, and how they got started at The Wren's Nest in the videos below.


Interview with Akbar Imhotep

Interview with Gwendolyn J. Napier

Interview with Chetter Galloway


 

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