"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together"
Since 1991, storytellers and artists of Keepers Of The Culture, Philadelphia's Afrocentric Storytelling Group has served schools and organizations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with quality educational cultural enriching storytelling experiences.
Individually, we have represented as Keepers Of The Culture Storytellers for communities around the world.
Our members have performed and conducted workshops throughout America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.
Keepers Of The Culture artist/storytellers, offer customized storytelling, literary, educational and entertaining performance and workshops.
Thousands have enjoyed us individually and collectively in schools, organizations, festivals, museums, corporate and social gatherings.
Enjoy our journey, join our adventures and we look forward to meeting you in person!
Paul D. Best
Bernadine "Birdy" Davis
Atiya Ola Sankofa
Keepers Of The Culture, Inc. KOTC, or ("Khotsi") of Philadelphia is a non-profit, educational, cultural art organization which seeks to perpetuate the African and African-American oral tradition.
We recognize the traditional African storytellers - griot's - were the true "Keepers Of The Culture." The griot's role as historians of the community helped people maintain a strong, positive sense of self and a clear understanding of the values of the community and the individual's role in the community.
The storyteller/griot presence insured that the history, culture and values of a people would be passed on in their own words.
We intend to highlight, reinforce and pass on the history and culture of African-Americans and their antecedents, to educate and nurture individual and collective self-esteem and foster pride of culture in our community-especially in our children.
Our objective is to do this by offering performances, workshops, seminars, mini-festivals and collaborations with other cultural arts organizations and artists of various disciplines in the Philadelphia area.
We are Poets, Historians, Advisors, Spokespersons, Diplomats, Peace-makers, Praise-singers, Interpreters, Translators, Musicians, Composers, Teachers, Warriors, Witnesses.
A Griot is sometimes called a Jali in Mali.
Both men and women are griots.
"Our Sun Paul" is a professional storyteller, photographer, and an educator. Paul recently earned his Masters in Education degree. Congratulations Mr. Best! (for living up to your real name)
To our beloved co-founders and past presidents; Janice "Jawara" Bishop, Wanda Gigetts & Irma Gardner-Hammond
Our well deserved recipients of the National Association of Black Storytellers' BROTHER BLUE CIRCLE OF ELDERS AWARD 2019.
I am KOTC
Keeper Of The Culture
Keeper of the African culture.
I keep it through the telling
The telling of our stories.
Our Stories. Our Stories. Our Stories.
Reflecting our culture and
The history of our People, I say
The history of our People..
Throughout the entire world
Our mission is to
Entertain & Validate
Reinforce & Reinstate
The Truth of who WE are.
The Truth of who we are
The Truth of who we are
We are Keepers Of The Culture
(c) 2018 Wanda Gigetts, Founding Member
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In 2016 KOTC hosted The National Association of Black Storytellers 34th Annual Storytelling Festival and Conference!
We support Kwanzaa principals in our community year round!
KOTC's dynamic storytellers enrich, educate, enlighten & entertain, everyone, everywhere!
"In The Tradition..." The 37th Annual National Black Storytelling Festival & Conference
November 6-10, 2019 - Montgomery, Alabama
Check out this great video!
Asante Sana (thank you)...to
Joslyn Duncan of Griot Works for organizing and capturing this memorable storytelling event in Philadelphia. Featuring Keepers Of The Culture's storytellers, musicians and artists.
AYA the Adinkra symbol of endurance and resourcefulness. The fern is a hardy plant that can grow in difficult places.
"An individual who wears this symbol suggests that he has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty."
(Willis, The Adinkra Dictionary)
KOTC is a non-profit organization. Your generous tax-deductible donations will fund our mission.
Your support will also allow us to bring quality arts-in-education programs to under served schools and neighborhoods in Philadelphia and in the PA, NJ, DE tri-state area.
KOTC accept checks or money orders via KOTC P. O. Box 15083, Phila. PA 19130.
ALSO, for your convenience feel free to securely submit your debit or credit card membership payments or a donation by clicking on the PAY PAL button below.
Asante Sana - Thank you!
KEEPERS OF THE CULTURE, INC.
Philadelphia's Afrocentric Storytelling Group
"Telling Our Story, Claiming Our Glory"
Copyright © 2019 Keepers Of The Culture, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
KOTC P. O. BOX 15083 Philadelphia, PA 19130