A SANKOFA celebration of Black Storytelling: Jan. 14-29, 2023

This year’s festival returns to its roots as a Catalyst for Community, as part of a Rhode Island Foundation initiative 25 years ago to support Black artists, arts and community. RIBS and FUNDA engage 10 community partners with shared mission to share stories and culture from the African diaspora. A Community Grant from the Rhode Island Foundation and Ocean Stage Charities Trust makes it possible for these partners:  includingHaus of Glitter, Stages of Freedom, Mixed Magic Theatre, W.A.R., Higher Ground, International, the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, Outspoken, Rhode Island Latino Arts, Sidy Maiga Music, Lydia Perez Yoruba 2

Funda Fest 25 TICKETS AND Passes are Good for in-person and broadcast performances!


Funda is a Zulu word, spoken by the people in South Africa. Long before there were books, the elders and griots and jaliyas—the storytellers-  were the keepers of the culture. They passed on stories and songs so the community would learn its history, values, and traditions, in the oral tradition. That’s what we offer here:  a place to learn.  Not only that, it looks like FUN!

Happy Birthday! You’re invited!

PS Programming by our Community Partners

Storytelling with Len Cabral, Valerie Tutson Sidy Maiga Drum

Sissieretta Jones Exhibit
& Frederick Douglass Forum

Program Sunday, Feb 5

Program Saturday, Feb 4

Frederick Douglass Forum
& Harriet Tubman by Janice Curtis Greene

Our Sponsors





Once Upon a Time….Time!

RIBS and invited guests from the African Diaspora bring the culture to the community—We bring the stories to you for an experience you won’t forget.  And, we aren’t the only ones who get to tell.  Join in our Table Talk or Liar’s Contest if you have the gift of gab and imagination, or some memories to share. 

STorytelling Packages

For Schools, Churches, Organizations, Businesses, Libraries

Our storytelling performances are suitable for grades preschool (ages 3 and up) through college.

Live Storytelling
on Zoom

We will have a 45 minute to 1-hour storytelling experience for your school or class(es) live on zoom with a live storyteller telling stories directly on the zoom call. The teller(s) will prepare 30 - 45 minutes of storytelling with a 5 -15-minute Q + A session with the storyteller(s) to immediately follow the stories.

(All packages come with an accompanying study guide tailored to the story content presented)

Pre-Recorded Stories

We will send you 30 minutes’ worth of storytelling for your school/classes to have access to for 1 week whenever you would like and for however many times you choose during that time frame. In addition, you will receive a 1-time Q + A session with the storyteller(s) for 15 minutes. Any additional Q + A session will add an extra 50.00 to the total package cost.

In-Person Storytelling

With this option, if COVID-19 and individual school guidelines permit, we will be able to bring a storyteller to your school for a small [insert a maximum number of people limit?] in-person storytelling session. There will be 30 - 45 minutes of storytelling with a 5 - 15-minute Q + A immediately to follow the stories. This session can also be streamed live to other classes and students in other locations. **

Preview our prerecorded stories:


*IN PERSON STORYTELLING* Social Distancing will be adhered to and masks will be required for all audience members. If outside (weather permitting), the storyteller can choose to wear a mask and/or shield at least 10 feet away from the audience. If inside, the storyteller will wear a mask in compliance with the CDC’s recommendations for indoor gatherings. *Please Note, this option may change and shift as time goes on and as covid-19 guidelines shift. At any point, either party may choose to swap this option for package 1 or 2 if deemed necessary. *


OVER 25 PERFORMERS From Around the World!

Experience the talents of performers from the African Diaspora. Our artists hail from the US, the UK, the Caribbean, and the African Continent.

Music, storytelling, spoken word and more

Because there are so many ways to tell a story! And in Black Storytelling all these genres have a place. Storytelling is not just “reading books to kids.”

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