Dr Joanne Kilgour Dowdy launched her book, Artful Stories: The Teacher, the Student and the Muse-and this time, it's all about men. Kilgour Dowdy has penned several books over the years, often exploring women's issues, empowerment, and issues concerning Caribbean and pan-African people.
Artful stories tells the story of four arts practitioners from Trinidad and Tobago-a lighting designer, a dancer, a jazz musician and a choreographer-who have made a name for themselves internationally. The work also centres on their role as educators in their fields. The launch took place on August 5, at the Audio Visual Room at Nalis on Abercromby Street in Port-of-Spain. Nalis' Gerarda Holder welcomed guests and praised Kilgour Dowdy's dedication to uplifting her homeland through her work: "She is living in the US, but her heart is always here in T&T-she is truly Trini to the bone."
UTT lecturer Judith Morrain Webb gave remarks on the new work. She said Kilgour Dowdy's latest work was not characteristically Joanne "because it's all about men." She said the book had been Inspired by the author's father, Lennox Kilgour, who won an Olympic medal in 1952. Morrain Webb also shared excerpts from reviews of the work: "The four artists' journeys exemplify the classic role artists have (always) played as teachers," said one. Another called the book "a timely and profound work that captures" the teacher-student dynamic. Another felt Kilgour Dowdy's book "helped fill the void" in terms of giving recognition to the contributions of Caribbean artists to US and European artistic scholarship." Dancer and choreographer Gregor Breedy performed a dramatic piece to the tune of We Are the Champions, before Holder introduced Kilgour Dowdy.
She said the Kilgour Dowdy had written nine books, all of which helped raise the consciousness of her people, and lauded her for her sense of social consciousness. Kilgour Dowdy said the journey to the creation of the book began seven years ago, when her father died. She said she had been inspired by his determination in the face of obstacles, relating how he would work out with "old pieces of railroad track, he found a way to train" in spite of "gyms that only allowed whites," eventually earning an Olympic bronze medal in 1952. She read from her new work, dedicating the reading to Nalis' Joan Osborne, and selecting the story of the dancer, Hugo, who danced his way through barriers, eventually becoming a respected professor emeritus at a Canada university. After the reading, guests were treated to refreshments.