“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” Harriet Tubman
Evette Evans is a weaver of dreams. Hailing from the US mid-Atlantic region, she was born into a family of storytellers. As a child, she was immersed in her own ancestral history through her grandmother’s improbable yarns of long-gone, but unforgettable family members. These vivid family narratives of bravery, determination, and perseverance were amplified by her mother’s daily animated readings of the works of Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and others. Her mother’s belief that stories are the histories of the soul and must be told with ‘truth and emotion’, gave birth to Evette’s deep respect for the spoken word and her passion to communicate in unique ways.
As an adult, Evette worked for 35 years in local government, but was always drawn to her first love, writing and telling stories. Adapting traditional and creating original tales, she began her path as a storyteller over three decades ago as a volunteer in the Washington DC area where she enchanted children with her persona as the ‘Sock Lady’. Believing that children are innately brilliant, she never talks down to them, instead she shares their boundless spirit, speaks to them as equals and listens carefully when they ask questions. She has learned that words have the power to transport young and old to places where only their hearts could take them. This realization lead her to change the direction of her life, and to devote herself to the delights of telling stories that bring a smile and capture the heart.
With an uncanny ear for language and chameleon-like ability to imitate accents and mannerisms, Evette takes listeners on exciting journeys around the world. From Jamaica to Ireland, too deep in the Bayou, she sinks into the personalities of her alter egos, respectfully giving them life and believability. Often adding songs or pulling in soft melodies on a kalimba, she draws her audience into an ageless world of warmth, beauty, and laughter. Her captivating tales and mischievous characters have been joyfully received by audiences of all ages. Her characters are never perfect, but are developed with human strengths and failings, traits that are designed to amuse, amaze, and engage listeners. Featured at schools and universities, community organizations, libraries, and national festivals, her stories dance with humor, crackle with mystery, and tug at the strings of the heart.
An award-winning writer, Evette received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 Jacobs/Jones African American Writer’s Contest. More recently, her short story captured first place in the 2022 North Carolina State Silver Arts Competition for Literary Arts. She is a member of the North Carolina Storytelling Guild, the National Association of Black Storytellers, and its North Carolina affiliate (NCABS), the North Carolina Writers’ Network, the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, and other state, regional and national organizations for storytellers and writers. She is also an External Associate of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
“We must dream, for dreams add color to the creative process and take us to places of wonder. They paint pictures of what the world could be if it cast off the burdens of prejudice, indifference, and despair, and instead grew in love, compassion, and joy. Dreams give us hope.” (Evette Evans)