Living History Artist
“Students were engaged -
Christie Gilluly, Principal -
“Our students listened intently. Afterwards, the level of sophisticated questions was astonishing -
Rose Herrick, Principal -
“You made history come alive yesterday for us in such a special way. Both of your performances were imbued with the humor, grace, reason and courage of the extraordinary women you were portraying.”
Paul Hammer, Elm City Cycling, Middletown, CT
“You gave a powerful and moving performance that the audience obviously learned a great deal from. Once I saw you, I knew we had to have you back for our ‘Black Hands Blue Seas’ Summer Teacher Institute.
Lisa Marcinkowski, Director of Education Mystic Seaport, CT.
“Truly enjoyed meeting you and I felt your performance was excellently done in the quality of past Chautauqua portrayers.”
“If yesterday’s storytelling performance had been a contest, you would have won hands down!”
Vivian Papson North Country Lantern, Plattsburgh, NY
“Magnificent performance at the Norman Rockwell Museum -
Stephanie Plunkett, deputy Director/Chief Curator Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA (Harriet Tubman)
“So alive she is in her portrayal. Harriet is here speaking to us! Inspiring.”
Anne of Stockbridge, MA
“What an honor to have introduced Harriet Tubman. Her spirit was right there with us -
Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, Executive Director BRIDGE, Housatonic, MA
“Thank you again for your marvelous stories that spellbound your audiences. Your were the perfect accompaniment to the Black Seminole exhibit and National Children’s Book Week.”
Donald P. Zuris, Head Curator, Corpis Christi Museum Science & History, Corpus Christi, TX
"I enjoyed your African-
Gary McGhee retired history teacher, Kerrville, Texas.
"Thank you again for your marvelous stories that spellbound your audiences. You were the perfect accompaniment to the Black Seminole exhibit and National Children's Book Week"
Donald P. Zuris, Head Curator, Corpus Christi Museum Science & History.
"Your participation in 'Fall at the Alamo' helped make it a tremendous success. I was mesmerized by your storytelling."
Mary T. Carmack, Alamo Committee Chairman.
"Gwendolyn's Passionate presentation of life as a slave was truly inspiring and thought provoking. She made history come to life!"
Laurie Lipari, House of Bread, Hartford, CT.
"Spellbinding, captivating and riveting performance that takes the audience back to the time of slavery in America. Her period clothing and candid storytelling enthrall each listener."
Elizabeth Santoro, teacher at Bucks Hill School, Waterbury, CT.
"Excellent job of melding the information you received from Diane along with your own extensive research at the Connecticut History Society, your stories were entrancing. You definitely became the old and wise Hagar, an African-
Jan Peake, Director of education, The Webb-
"Gwendolyn's commitment to history and her craft are evident each time she steps in front of an audience and I would highly recommend her, as an Artist in Residence, to anyone looking to add quality and dept to their educational programming."
Cindy Vengroff, Coordinator of Interdistrict Programs, Hartford, CT.
"Gwendolyn's understanding of the character and of the social constraints free black women had to endure in early 19Th century New England, brought an authenticity and complexity to her interpretation of Sarah Harris. She brought to life the rationale of one woman's hopes and aspirations. I feel very fortunate to have her as an invaluable part of the museum's interpretation."
Kazimiera Kozolowski, Museum Curator, Canterbury, CT.
"We all felt your warmth and passion in your performance. It is clear that you love what you do and that you very effectively convey an important message to your audience."
Glenn O'Neill, Social Studies teacher, Coleytown Middle School, Westport, CT.
"An inspirational performance. The students were captivated by your portrayal of Ruth with her pain and struggles. Your tears made some actually believe you were Ruth. Your presentation aligned perfectly with our social studies curriculum."
Mary Kay Rendock, teacher, Carmen Arace Intermediate School, Bloomfield, CT.
"I am greatly impressed with how you brought Ruth's story to life. Teaching in this way leaves an indelible mark on students and increases their joy in their learning of history, especially from the voices in history that have often been sadly neglected."
Barbara Simpson, teacher, Wheeler School, NO. Attlebora, MA.
"Many thanks for your superb performance in filming our tobacco trigger tapes!"
Karen Hudman, director, Michael O'Keefe Productions, Farmington, CT.