Storytime at Adventure

Nana Akua Goes to School

With Tricia Elam Walker & Darlene Taylor
Hosted by Dannielle Hutchinson
February 21, 2021

It is Grandparents Day at Zura’s elementary school, and the students are excited to introduce their grandparents and share what makes them special. Aleja’s grandfather is a fisherman. Bisou’s grandmother is a dentist. But Zura’s Nana, who is her favorite person in the world, looks a little different from other grandmas. Nana Akua was raised in Ghana, and, following an old West African tradition, has tribal markings on her face. Worried that her classmates will be scared of Nana–or worse, make fun of her–Zura is hesitant to bring her to school. Nana Akua knows what to do, though. With a quilt of traditional African symbols and a bit of face paint, Nana Akua is able to explain what makes her special, and to make all of Zura’s classmates feel special, too.

Tune in!

Meet the Author

Tricia Elam Walker

Tricia Elam Walker is an award-winning author, recovered lawyer. and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University. Her children’s book, Nana Akua Goes to School, was published by Random House in June. She is the author of Breathing Room. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and EssenceTricia’s short stories are included in the O.Henry Prize StoriesNew Stories from the South and other anthologies. Her essays are published in Father’s SongsDream Me Home Safely, and It’s All About Love.

Meet the Guest

Darlene Taylor

Darlene Taylor is an advocate for literary arts, a lecturer at Howard University, and the founder and Executive Director of INKPEN, a nonprofit dedicated to literary citizenship and reading. Taylor is a fiction writer who explores the emotional politics of segregation and recovers lives historical records omit in their telling of the way things were. She is a recipient of fellowship grants from the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the American Association of University Women, and fiction fellowships at Kweli, Callaloo, and Kimbilio.

Meet the Host

Dannielle Hutchinson

Dannielle is the Associate Education Director at ATMTC Academy. Prior to coming to Adventure Theatre, she was a high school English and Drama teacher as well as a teaching artist for several theatre companies.

In addition to teaching, Dannielle is a local DMV actor and company member of Nu Sass theatre company. She has previously performed with Theatre Alliance, Adventure Theatre, and Pinky Swear Productions. She was most recently seen as the Cranky Penguin from The Cranky Penguin (Jingle in July 2020, Adventure Theatre).

Her favorite part of working at Adventure Theatre is working with the students in the Academy to assist them in their theatrical journey! She looks forward to inspiring the next generation of theatre artists and patrons.

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