Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

 Living History Artist

Home Programs Workshops Videos About Gwendolyn  Venues Reviews Links Contact

Gwendolyn is dedicated to studying the character, philosophy, courage and grace that have helped black American women survive and flourish.

Gwendolyn last night was a real triumph! You were so completely transformed from your own self that I hardly recognized you when you arrived in Council Chambers. Your performance was extraordinary. The standing ovation was only proper. I am so happy you brought your artistic skills to this library. Thank you for sharing Harriet Tubman with us!

Jane Schweinsburg, Assistant Director, Coventry Public Library, RI

Home Programs Workshops Videos About Gwendolyn  Venues Reviews Links Contact

(New England States Touring)  -funding for Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

New England States Touring (NEST) provides support to New England-based nonprofit organizations for public presentations and activities by New England artists listed on the Creative Ground directory.

 If I Am Not for Myself Who Will Be for Me   During the fall of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Oney Judge Staines, a slave, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia.  There is always an underside - hidden from sight the more unpleasant or reprehensible side that needs to surface to give an integral portrait of a historical event or person. Oney’s story is one such story. Her voice provides the informative accounts needed to appreciate her struggles, self-determination and triumphs of her life. Her account was not a stereotypical runaway account.

I Can’t Die but Once   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.

Looking Things Over       Zora Neale Hurston a woman of enormous talent, she rose to become one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. She was an outstanding novelist, journalist, folklorist and anthropologist.  Hurston believed in the beauty of black expressions and traditions. Although her work was praised by some, many attacked it, focusing on Hurston’s lifestyle and personality- her audaciousness, independence, and arrogance.   After going to Florida in 1927 to collect folklore, and after years of organizing her notes published Mules and Men in 1935.  Zora, not only did she love writing the folklores she enjoyed telling them.   Zora celebrated the African American culture of the rural South, because she believed that black people had wonderful stories that the world needed to hear, and she told them proudly.  


“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.”

Jim Crow Workshop - This thirty-piece traveling exhibition contains items of material culture from the late 19th century. Embodying the terrible effects of the Jim Crow legacy. In addition to items from popular and commercial culture, the traveling exhibit also contains images of violence against African Americans as well as the Civil Rights struggle for racial equality.  

The disturbing objects have been lifted from their original purposes to now serve as powerful reminders of America's racist past. But more importantly, the exhibition gives viewers new eyes with which to see present-day images of racial stereotyping that might otherwise pass unchallenged.

Group size: 10 to 20 (not exceeding 20)  

Morning workshops “only” between 10am and 3pm.  1hr.

Adults.       Stereotype Racist Memorabilia Displayed at Workshop


The Workshop will show historical racial stereotypes of African Americans and that many of these distorted images still exist in society today. Participants will talk about strategies for intervention and implications into racial stereotypes.

Middle School to Adults.       Stereotype Racist Memorabilia Displayed at Workshop