NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Multidisciplinary artist Stacey Allen, who uses dance, history, theater and educational pedagogy to tell stories, is visiting Stephen F. Austin State University for a three-part event March 29-30 in collaboration with multiple areas across campus.
Allen’s multifaceted presentation, “The Fairytale Project,” is a historically inspired tale for children of a modern-day African American family reconnecting with their East Texas roots through peculiar encounters with the past. Based on the love story of Jim and Winnie Shankle — founders of the Texas Freedom Colony, Shankleville — their descendants reconnect with what's most important in life: family, faith, love and legacy.
Dr. Sarah Straub, associate professor in SFA’s Department of Education Studies, found funding for and organized the event, which includes assistance from employees in the James I. Perkins College of Education, the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“I was first introduced to Stacey when she presented at the Ethnic Studies Network of Texas’ Summer Convergence,” Straub said. “After seeing her passion for the arts, history and education, I immediately reached out. Stacey is compassionate and definitely an embodiment of community engagement and activism.
“What I am most excited about regarding these spring events is the cross-campus collaboration. History, dance and education have all come together to truly highlight the multifaceted and dynamic way in which Stacey draws her audiences into the silenced narratives that exist in deep East Texas.”
From 6 to 7 p.m. March 29, Allen will deliver a lecture titled “Freedom Towns and Multicultural Education” in the Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center. From 11 a.m. to noon March 30, Allen is leading the “Afro-Modern and Dunham Master Class” for students in SFA’s School of Theatre and Dance at the Norton HPE Complex. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. that same day, Allen will deliver the finale, "The Fairytale Project,” in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom.
The March 29 lecture and the March 30 finale are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Straub at email@example.com.