Events & Performances
Programs & Residences
Louis L
Redding Gallery



What is the Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency?

The 2023 Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency will be called Leaving Our Imprint.

This residency is based on the fundamental belief that Black Storytelling is Black Joy. The immersive learning environment of this seven-day residency was created to enable storytellers to deepen their understanding of the place of Black Storytelling as a tool to improve all aspects of the lived experiences of the Africans in the Diaspora.

OUR VISION… is to create a blackstorytelling residency known for encouraging and nurturing storytellers to use blackstorytelling to illuminate the African Diaspora experience (past and present), speak truth to power, and be of service to our community.

OUR MISSION… is to elevate the skills of emerging and experienced storytellers in story crafting and performance and to expand their knowledge of African Diaspora storytelling.

Who Should Participate?

We seek an intergenerational cohort of adult storytellers with a strong interest in African Diaspora history and a dedication to using their talents in service to Black folks. The ideal candidate will have proven experience in Blackstorytelling/Oral Performance. Performing artists experienced in the following African Diaspora Oral Art Forms are encouraged to apply

  • Storytellers
  • Spoken Word Artists
  • Folklorists

What to expect?

The Wilmington Black Storytelling Residency: Leaving Our Imprint is designed to give participants an intense seven-day learning experience that will help them to increase their knowledge of Black storytelling and train under the guidance of masters in the craft. The foundation of the training will be grounded in four aspects of culture:

  •  Storytelling
  •  History
  •  Music
  •  Movement

The learning format includes group instruction, independent study, and performance rehearsal, as well as scheduled time for research, collaboration with others in the residency, and to just hang with like-minded artists.

Program sessions are led by the faculty of internationally and nationally recognized performing and teaching artists. In addition to instructions in Blackstorytelling, elective workshops in African Dance and Djembe Drum circle are also included to ground participants in the understanding that blackstorytelling encompasses a variety of artistic and cultural expressions.

There will be semi-public performance opportunities during the residency and a final culminating performance.

Cityfest will provide participants with daily catered meals or a per diem to cover meal expenses. Housing will be provided. Transportation to and from Wilmington, DE, will be the responsibility of the residency participant.


The Residency will be held in Wilmington, DE, July 23 – 30, 2023.

Application Process

There is no application fee or tuition.

Please fill out the online application and submit the required documentation outlined in the application. The application deadline is April 17, 2023, at 11:59 pm. Notification will be made on May 5, 2023.

What 2022 WBSR Are Saying?
  • I have more knowledge of the history of Delaware; especially as it relates to the Black community. The residency has allowed me to take a more introspective look into the history of our people and the stories that are all around us every day. I have a better knowledge of the various sources to do research.
  • Has given me more depth and I returned with 2 new stories for my repertoire. As a Black Storyteller I feel more grounded and connected to the noun Blackstorytelling.
  • I received more knowledge and inspiration for my work. It challenged me to create in a short period of time. It allowed me to expand my network of people in a similar field as myself.
Check out Press from 2022 WBSR: