Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong)

Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong) Logo

Basic Information

Address: P.O. Box 178153, Chicago, IL 60617
Phone Number: (773) 879-6773
Fax Number: N/A
Director: Mama Edie McLoud Armstrong

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Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong)
Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong)
Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong)
Mama Edie Armstrong (Edith C. Armstrong)

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Additional Information

Focus: Storytelling for Personal Empowerment, Language, Literacy & Cultural Pride
Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-5
Length: 45 minute performances; 90 minute workshops
Travel:

Unlimited

Pricing: $300 minimum for most elementary school settings. Total cost dependent upon numbers and distance. Somewhat higher fee for high schools, libraries, universities, cultural arts festivals, corporate and social service sectors. (These are individually negotiated.) For presentations more than 30 mi from the Chicago office, travel costs will be requested. If flight or other travel and overnight accommodations are required, costs may be significantly minimized if additional performances are encouraged and booked for the same day or within 2 days of the main event either by the originating client or recommended others. Tours may also be planned that may be extend for a week or weekend at either one or more than one venue. Residencies are also available as well as evening performances, such as Family Literacy Nights.
Workshops:

Exploring Language & Literacy through Storytelling and Song
Fun and Phonics through Storytelling, Music & Movement
I Love Myself! (stories that explore the empowerment of truly loving yourself and others)
Boca Linda, the Shrinking Girl (original stories inspired by traditional song from Trinidad)
Tropical Dreams (imaginative stories inspired by Caribbean and African lands)
El Dia de los Tres Reyes (Three Kings Day: Puerto Rico, Cuba)
Tribute to African, Latin & Native American Cousins of the Caribbean, Europe & the Americas
Of Beauties and Beasts (stories that suggest what true beauty is)
When the Animals in Africa Could Speak (Ananse stories and more!)
It’s Kwanzaa Time!!
Embracing Diversity and Loving It (workshop for corporate and other professional entities)
Celebrating el Cinco de Mayo (May 5th, Mexico)
Bringing History to Life through Rhythm, Story and Rhyme!
Rhythmical Rhyming Tribute to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Ballin’ the Jack, Langston Hughes & the Revival of the Harlem Renaissance
Dream a Little Dream with Me (participatory stories and songs for our elders)
Finding the Light Inside (stories that celebrate the discovery and importance of our uniqueness)
Long Live Planet Earth!
Spiritual, Healing Stories and Songs from Around the World
Finding the Stories That Need to be Told (workshop for older children and adults)
Original Story of the Cherokee Cradleboard (Inspired by John York’s Cherokee Cradleboard Song)
The Trail of Tears: How Escaped, Enslaved Africans and the Seminole and Cherokee Became Family
Healing through Intentional Language, Silence and Sound (may include guided meditation)
Exploring Stories Behind Works of Art (for art museums and special exhibits)
Speech and Language Development (What’s normal? What’s Not? What Can I Do?)
So, Who Speaks the King’s English Anyway? (Understanding the Potential Power of Cultural Dialects and the
Ability to Code-Switch)
Messages from the Native American Medicine Wheel: Wisdom of the Animals and All of our Relations
Honoring el Dia de los Muertos
The Message is in the Music (analytical workshop for adolescents and young adults)
Joy Will Come in the Morning! On-Site One Day Educators Retreat for Self-Awareness and Personal Power
through Silence and Sound

Residencies: Any of the workshops listed may be developed as residencies as well.
Setup: 15 minutes
Takedown: 15 minutes
Equipment: 4' - 6' rectangular table (requested of hosting venue); multi-cultural musical instruments; multi-cultural dolls; age-appropriate books for reference and display; microphone and mic stand; power point (for designated programs)
Special Requirements: Assistance with presentation materials from and back to car
Highlights:

These performances highlight:

BRINGING OUT THE STORYTELLER IN YOU!!!
These performances of various stories allow children to experience how they can BECOME the story! How they can BECOME King George, III, the Red Coats AND the Native Americans - all at once! Or what mystically happens in the quiet room of a little girl from Trinidad called Boca Linda, as she learns through the magic of her closet door mirror the secret of why she keeps shrinking! And what she needs to do about it!

Objectives: expressive language development through storytelling; critical thinking skills; history; geography; character building

THE MAGIC OF THE TALKING DRUM!!
This program welcomes children to experience the famous Talking Drum of West Africa, HOW it is that a drum can talk, and will learn to play it so that they can actually make it SPEAK!! Stories from Ghana, West Africa, the Caribbean Islands, African Americans and First Nations of this country will be shared around the power of the drum.

Objectives: music appreciation; expressive language development; history; geography; cultural enrichment

CUENTOS Y CANCIONES! Ole'!!
These are bilingual performances blending Spanish and English in stories, games and songs from Latin American countries. Children may even learn the importance of the power of learning another language in stories such as the Cuban Folktale called "The Barking Mouse"! In this interactive presentation, English and Spanish-speakers will come to see that learning the other language isn't as hard as they might have thought it would be! And such fun!!

Objectives: cultural enrichment; expressive language development; comprehensive language development; geography; cultural literature/folklore

FINDING THE LIGHT INSIDE OF ME
These stories can help audiences to see how a child born with polio, and was often teased, later learned to walk, saved his country from its conquerors, became king and the first emperor of Mali, West Africa! Mansa Sundiata Keita was called the Lion King!! These stories also explore the lives of children who could not see their beauty, power or light - but then in amazing ways, came to find the light inside of themselves - and learned to let it shine!

Objectives: comprehensive language development; history through storytelling; geography; critical thinking skills; disability sensitivity;

Mission Statement:

Mama Edie is the Singing, SIGNING, Spanish-Speaking, Storytelling, Percussion Playing Speech Pathologist who is on a mission to excite a love, wonder and appreciation for the power of story and words, of silence and sound, and the many fun ways they can learn to ignite their own imaginings in order to create the world they want to live in.

Philosophy/Belief Statement: Mama Edie believes that we are all of one same family. Through the power of our words, we can build bridges that move us beyond any perceptions of our differences to the creation of a world that we will all treasure, protect and enjoy.
Program History:

Mama Edie Productions have been provided for more than 25 years, evolving from a profession as a speech and language pathologist in the schools after coming to realize that her children needed much more than articulation and language therapy. So, she began writing stories, songs, poetry and plays that spoke to her children's apparent needs as she incorporated the focus of her IEP (Individualized Education Plan) objectives into the creation of these stimulus materials.

When Mama Edie left the Chicago Public School system in 1989, colleagues began to ask her to provide for a fee what she had done for 11 years simply as part of her language therapy programs, which featured her therapy students in assembly programs and engaged them on various field trips around the city. Mama Edie has performed in museums, universities, cultural arts festivals; been featured at national storytelling festivals and on PBS TV and radio programs; was interviewed by and is now archived with The History Makers. Some of her original stories have been published, as well as various articles on topics such as speech and language development, literacy and cultural pride through storytelling and music; techniques on how to reach multi-lingual audiences; and of a storyteller's experience as an invited guest to an international peace conference in 2017 in Iraq. She has performed in countries such as Ghana, West Africa; Trinidad; India; Mexico; South Africa; Togo; Benin and throughout the US. She serves as a university guest lecturer for children's literature courses and uses the power of story and song to walk through life situations to move her listeners to a place of personal empowerment who are in temporary housing. Mama Edie has received grants and fellowships in order to advance her programs in scope and depth in order to accommodate an increasingly stimulating world.

Testimonials: “Your sensitivity to the kids is palpable in your close interactions with them, in your choice of activities and in your storytelling. “ - Kay Berkson, Founder, Changing Worlds, Arts in Education Organization April 2016 “That was an amazing assembly! Mama Edie is something! What a wonderful real life perspective. Bravo to you and your (planning) team!” - L. Barnes, Lake Forest Country Day School - January 2019 (per Nicky Pitman, Lake Forest Drama Teacher) “That was AMAZING!!!!!” - Louisa, 8th Grade Parent, Lake Forest Country Day School “Louisa, who seldom sings high praises, loved the time with Mama Edie.” Well done.” -M, Teacher at Lake Forest Country Day School "It is sometimes hard to appeal to such a massive and diverse audience. However, you had the entire IMSA Community on the edge of their seats, yearning to hear more and walk in your shoes, if only for a few minutes. You definitely made IMSA’s MLK Celebration very special! Thank you again and welcome you back at any time!" - Adrienne Coleman, Multicultural Education Specialist, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora, IL