Skip to main content

Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Gwendolyn brings to life three important women in our history:

As Harriet Tubman she  follows Gen. Butler’s army as it marched through Maryland in her home country, a lesson in how individual leadership affected the outcome of the conflict from a different historical perspective.

As Madam C.J. Walker  she battled the society that relegated her to doing its laundry-yet rose from washerwoman to light the way for other black businesswomen, financed YMCAs and led an anti-lynching campaign all the way to the White House.  She created marketing campaigns, training opportunities and distribution strategies as innovative as many entrepreneurial men of her time.

 As Ona Judge in  1846 she is being interviewed regarding her life as an enslaved person living in the home of George and Martha Washington and her struggle to maintain a life in Greenland, NH.  She provides an alternative viewpoint and experience on the nation’s social, political and economic development and how it is at odds with the principles embodied in the nation’s founding documents.

About the Artist

Gwendolyn is an Artist-in-Residence at the Connecticut Historical Society Museum. She is an International Award Winning Toastmaster and the recipient of the Director’s Award for Excellence, from the Institute of Texan Cultures. She is also the 2006 recipient of the Boston Fund Artist Fellowship through the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

“Looking Things Over” The Collective Folklore of Zora Neale Hurston (Grades: 4-6; Adult) 

Acclaimed anthropologist, folklorist, and novelist Zora Neale Hurston traveled the back roads of the rural South, collecting stories from men, women, and children in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana so that the spirit and richness of the African American oral storytelling tradition could be shared and preserved. “Hurston’s personal literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life-public and private of an extraordinary artist.” And champion of the black experience in America. The setting is the 1950’s , Hurston has worked as a maid, writer for Saturday Evening Post, Reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier and a two year stint as a columnist for the Fort Pierce Chronicle.  Zora is addressing colleagues at a gathering.

Ona Judge Staines-Runaway Slave of George Washington (Grades 4-8)

Oney Judge telling her story- If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  A rich and compelling story of America’s past from the perspective of those enslaved from 1773 to 1848.  The setting is 1846 and Ona is being interviewed regarding her life as an enslaved person living in the home of George and Martha Washington and her struggle to maintain a life in Greenland, NH.  She provides an alternative viewpoint and experience on the nation’s social, political and economic development and how it is at odds with the principles embodied in the nation’s founding documents.

“I Promoted Myself”  Madam CJ Walker  

She was an Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist.  She followed her dream, turning her life into a true “rages to riches” story.  Mobilized a network of 20,000 African American women as sales agents, factory, and office workers. Her sales agents earned between $5.00 and $15.00 dollars a day when unskilled white laborers were earning $11.00 a week. More than a history lesson, she offers inspiration to women – regardless of race—on how to succeed against all odds. Madam Walker’s death was news all over the world, “the wealthiest Negro woman in the United States, if not the entire world.”

I Can’t Die but Once-Harriet Tubman   

Harriet Tubman a woman of unique qualities and abilities even though she was illiterate, maintained an unblemished record of vigilance, legacy of sacrifice and struggle.  Harriet Tubman weaves a tale of truth, pain; courage and determination that take the audience into her life - enslaved - eventual escape and the United States Government soliciting her unique talent - evading capture behind enemy lines. They enlisted her as a scout and spy for the Union cause and she battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War.  The elementary school version may be more palatable, but the real Tubman is far more inspiring.

Single Performance: $820
Back to Back Performances: $1,285

Make Your Own Cornhusk Doll-October and November only

2 Workshops: $820

SOME OF OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

  • Carolyn Foundation
    Carolyn Foundation
  • COA
    COA
  • Ion Bank
    Ion Bank
  • Community Chest
    Community Chest
  • CFGNH
    CFGNH
  • WQUN
    WQUN