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Free Family fun to spotlight African-American storyteller and musician Kala JoJo on Saturday


Nationally-recognized storyteller, vocalist and musician Kala JoJo is the featured guest on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History continues its Free Family Fun Day series at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Hands-on activities are geared for children; however, visitors of all ages are invited to discover something new by participating in the free event.

Participants will gather in the Great Hall for the day’s activities. Kala JoJo will be on hand to tell stories and teach kids about the traditions and styles of African and African-American music. He will have many different instruments from across the African continent.

Visitors will be able to create their own African-style maracas and rain sticks. The maracas, a percussion instrument, are made by applying paper-mache to balloons and then decorating them with paint and other objects. Rain sticks, also percussion instruments, will be made from cardboard tubes filled with beans. The rain sticks are then decorated with beads, feathers and cord.

Kala JoJo of Philadelphia, Pa., known as “The Tall Storyteller,” performs his songs, chants and stories with authentic African instruments, evoking African, African-American and Caribbean oral traditions. With his engaging voice, personality and sense of humor, Kala JoJo is in demand at storytelling showcases and festivals across the country. He is the associate director of the African Heritage Drumming Camp for Boys and the producer of Keswick Theatre Annual Kwanzaa Fest. He also is a member of both “Brother Story Drum,” a professional storytelling trio, and “Jubala,” a performing ensemble of storytellers, vocalists and musicians.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Due to the nature of the activities, children should wear play clothes.

For more information about Free Family Fun Day, call Bil Lepp, education coordinator for the Division at (304) 558-0220, ext. 131.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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