Diane Macklin

The Duncanson Society of the Taft Museum of Art has selected storyteller and educator Diane Macklin as the 2013 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence.

Macklin’s style of storytelling mingles theatre, rhythm, language, and movement to create a unique experience that has delighted audiences for more than fifteen years. As The Washington Post noted, “Macklin’s approach to entertaining audiences is dynamic . . . she engages children and parents alike.” During her residency, Macklin will give public performances and provide workshops and performances in schools and with various community organizations.

“Storytelling is a humbling tradition, where the teller serves the story and the audience, not the other way around. I tell where there is a need for story. Each telling offers an opportunity for me to grow and mature as a teller, mastering the art of positively connecting to one’s past, present, and future potential. I have had three tours in Cincinnati (through Playhouse in the Park) and continue to marvel at the audiences eager to hear a tale, and the support for local as well as visiting and touring artists. I would be delighted to continue in the traditions that transformed Belmont into the Taft Museum of Art, fueled a young housepainter [Robert S. Duncanson] to perfect his skill as a landscape artist, and inspired a former classroom educator to live each day as one who draws people together through story.” As a performer, educator, and orator, Macklin believes in “making a difference, one story at a time.”

Macklin specializes in audience participation, character education, and developmentally appropriate programming. She has a particular talent for telling stories to young listeners, ages three and up. Her training in dance and theatre, in addition to her experience as a classroom teacher and cultural awareness mediator, also influences her programs. Macklin
is the resident storyteller for the “Let’s Read About Africa” program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. She has performed for Discovery Theatre, National Air and Space Museum, Colonial Williamsburg Storytelling Festival, Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, the Rhode Island Black Storytellers’ Funda Fest, Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning in the Art’s Theatre-in-the-Woods program, and many other venues from Massachusetts to California.

Macklin is an experienced middle school math, social studies, and English teacher, holding a bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College and a Master of Arts in Teaching (English with a focus on writing) from Simmons College. As a teaching artist, Macklin conducts professional development workshops for educators, including through The Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program. She also leads workshops and residencies for children in Head Start through 11th grade. Macklin has trained with various organizations specializing in arts integration, such as Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts and The Kennedy Center.