Artist Connect: Clara Kamunde

In an effort to connect our communities and networks with our teaching artists, we are beginning a new blog series called "Artist Connect". Each week, we will feature one of our artists on our roster and dive deeper into their art form and history with Young Audiences. 

In honor of Black History Month, Young Audiences honors the many artistic and historic accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans. The first few "Artist Connect" posts will be of our artists that honor and celebrate the incredible stories of wisdom, courage and power of African-Americans through their art. 

 The power of creativity and play to catalyze personal change inspires Clara’s work as a performer, teacher, laughter yoga leader, and team builder. Clara brings her experiences to the classroom to encourage play-based self-realization and to enable individuals and communities to thrive.

The power of creativity and play to catalyze personal change inspires Clara’s work as a performer, teacher, laughter yoga leader, and team builder. Clara brings her experiences to the classroom to encourage play-based self-realization and to enable individuals and communities to thrive.

Getting to know...Clara Kamunde, Storyteller

Can you tell us a little bit about your art form?

The shortest distance between two people is a story. Storytelling is also a universal human trait. We make meaning through our constructed narratives and storytelling is an interactive process that brings people together to discover ourselves.

What is your teaching philosophy and how do you use that to approach each new audience/classroom?

I think of myself as a facilitator and believe that learning is an active, constructive process. My approach to an audience or a classroom is to invite investigation and discovery through process.

How does your art form help connect students to what they are learning in school?

Storytelling is the oldest educational tool and even in the digital age students love oral storytelling and narrative can be used across the curriculum to bring subjects/content to life.

How do the lessons and skills you teach students about or through your art form apply to their everyday life outside of the classroom?

Communication, collaboration and critical thinking are skills embedded in the art of storytelling. These skills are among the constellation of 21st century skills every student needs to thrive outside the classroom.

Why do you believe it is important for every student to have access to the arts?

In too many schools cognitive skills are emphasized over other learning domains. However, emerging research suggests that students learn best by integrating cognitive skills with effective and psychomotor skills. I believe that art’s learning is the best way to do this, so it’s essential that every student have access to the arts.

What are three words that describe your performances?

Engaging. Entertaining. Enlightening.

What has been the most memorable part of the programs you have brought to students with Young Audiences?

Story Telling and Story Acting with the second grade students at a school in San Jose. Their ability to tell and then re-enact their stories has been really profound. Even shy students have volunteered to tell their stories and it’s gratifying to provide a forum where students feel confident that their fantasies and ideas have value.

What is the most rewarding aspect of becoming a Young Audiences roster artist?

To be able to work with an organization that has a strong commitment to and that advocates for arts education.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you to Clara Kamunde for providing these responses. Learn more about her here!

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