KidFEST OUTDOORS @CMEE: Charlotte Blake Alston – Stories & Songs in the Oral Tradition

Charlotte Blake Alston. Photo: Annie Tiberio
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Recommended for ages 4+

4:30PM: Pre-show workshop
5-6:15PM: Performance

This program will take place outdoors.
Thursday, July 7

Whether or not she accompanies a story with a thumb piano, djembe, or 21-string kora, Charlotte Blake Alston’s most powerful instrument is her melodic and mesmerizing voice. It is with that primary instrument that she breathes life into ancient and contemporary tales. In this electronic age, Charlotte does what stories have achieved for thousands of years and engage the imagination, underscore human commonalities, and reiterate life lessons gained from centuries of human experience.

In her one-women production, Stories & Songs in the Oral Tradition, Charlotte weaves together stories from the West African countries of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and Mali for our youngest audiences. Exploring the lessons learned from and relationships between humans, animals, and our natural environments, Stories & Songs in the Oral Tradition is filled with moments of audience participation. Come ready to clap, sing, and help tell the stories! 

A ticket to Guild Hall’s KidFEST @CMEE provides entry into a free pre-show workshop beginning at 4:30pm. Designed and led by educators at both Guild Hall & CMEE, this workshop will have audience members create hand puppets of the characters and symbols explored in Charlotte Blake Alston’s, Stories & Songs in the Oral Tradition. A pre-show workshop designed and led by educators from both Guild Hall & CMEE will have participants creating hand puppets of the characters and symbols explored in Charlotte Blake Alston’s Stories & Songs in the Oral Tradition. Audience members will also receive a take-home kit with activities, reading recommendations, and an event-themed cookie from Citarella to continue and strengthen the lessons shared in Charlotte’s stories.

Click HERE for CMEE COVID-19 protocol.


Guild Hall’s KidFEST returns for the 2022 Summer Season. Designed specifically for our youngest audiences and their families, KidFEST connects our Hamptons communities to new cultures, new artists, and new stories through playful, participatory, and tailor-made performances.

The Summer 2022 KidFEST series is in collaboration with our sister organization, the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE). All performances will be held outdoors in the CMEE Amphitheater, 376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton.

  • Charlotte Blake Alston

    Charlotte Blake Alston is a nationally acclaimed storyteller, narrator, instrumentalist, librettist, and singer who has performed in venues throughout North America and abroad for over 30 years. She is committed to the preservation of African and African American oral storytelling traditions. Her stories include folktales, historical stories, and songs that highlight the richness of those traditions. Her presentation style is engaging and often participatory. She sometimes incorporates traditional instruments such as thumb piano, djembe, or the 21-string kora. Her wide range of talents includes collaborations with other arts institutions. This year marks her 31st consecutive season serving as host and narrator on family concerts for The Philadelphia Orchestra; her 28th as Host of Sound All Around, the orchestra’s preschool concert series. She has hosted family and school concerts at Carnegie Hall for 20 years and has performed for Lincoln Center Institute, and the Juilliard School digital learning platform. She has appeared in such venues as the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Storytelling Festival, and the National Festival of Black Storytelling.

    TEDx Talk:

    News Story on Longwood Gardens Installation:

    Narrations at:



KidFEST is sponsored, in part, by Dime Community Bank and Citarella.

This engagement of Charlotte Blake Alston is funded through the Mid Atlantic Tours program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Theater Programming supported in part by The Schaffner Family Foundation and funding from The Melville Straus Family Endowment. Music Programming is supported in part by The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming.

Learning & Public Engagement programming is supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, The Hearthland Foundation, Stephen Meringoff, Susan and Stephen Scherr, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.

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