I was born in a two-room house in a small fishing village on Paros, a Greek Island in the Aegean Sea. In every house, it seemed, there was a yia-yia – a grandmother – and I thought they were all mine. When my mother Margarita, my 9-year-old brother Yianni, my 3½-year-old sister Calypso, and my 2½-year-old self departed our island home to join my father Anastasios in America, I left with vivid images of teary-eyed villagers, young and old, lining narrow, winding streets, waving goodbye. I remember that day as though it were yesterday. Thus began my journey as a story-teller, story-listener. I dedicate this website to everyone who has told me a story or listened to mine, especially the students at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf (Bronx, NY), The Lexington School (Queens, NY), and Bernard Bragg and John Basinger of the National Theatre of the Deaf, who taught me new ways of listening to the world and telling my stories.
Barbara Aliprantis, an award-winning storyteller, is nationally known for performing and producing storytelling events in voice and/or sign language on television, in theaters, schools, libraries, community centers, and festivals. She can communicate with people of all ages, hearing and Deaf, including English Language Learners and those with special needs. Her programs encourage people to celebrate all cultures through the art of storytelling in all its forms: spoken word, sign/mime, dance, music, and visual art. Her performances, an ethnographic kaleidoscope of folklore around the globe, have been praised for their celebration of diversity. Her repertoire includes stories about her immigrant childhood and her adult life in the bustling multiethnic borough of Queens, anecdotes culled from 27 years of experience working with linguistically diverse groups of all ages, and, for the younger set, popular picture books adapted for telling center stage.
Since the spring of 2002 Barbara has facilitated on-going Story Sharing Workshops sponsored by the Flushing Jewish Community Council. During these gatherings she has exchanged stories with immigrants from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, The Caribbean and folks born and bred in the U.S.A.
Barbara holds a BA in Performing Arts from Empire State College (SUNY) with a concentration in Total Communication and Performance. She has studied with some of America’s leading storytellers, including Donald Davis, Doug Lipman, and Jay O’Callahan, as well as Bernard Bragg and John Basinger of the National Theatre of the Deaf.
Flushing Jewish Community Council
The Voelker-Orth Museum
The Poppenhusen Institute
National Storytelling Network
League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling
Elders Share the Arts
Music For Many, Inc.
African Folk Heritage Circle, Inc