Celebrated Trinidad-born arts practitioner and educator Dr Joanne Kilgour-Dowdy will launch her latest book Artful Stories: The Teacher, the Student and the Muse on August 5, at Nalis in Port-of-Spain. The book is an exploration of the role of the artist as teacher and relationship that evolves between the teacher and the student in the creation of new work, whether it is lighting design, drama, dance, or music. Kilgour-Dowdy left Trinidad in the 80s to study drama at the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance, and Drama with the support of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and then moved on to the Julliard School in New York. She continued her formal performance career which is carefully and poignantly documented in her photo autobiography 'In the Public Eye', which she also launched in Trinidad in 2010.
Professor Dowdy believes that she "must come to Trinidad to share every new book. Just like we introduce our new children to their family at home, I must bring my labours of love to my home island so people can meet their new relatives." In addition to a love for the stage, Kilgour Dowdy also has research interests in women and literacy, drama in education and video technology and qualitative research instruction. She has published her findings of the experiences of Black women involved in education from adult basic literacy to higher education.
Artful Stories, as described in the Foreword by Kent State University Professor William Kist, debunks the myth of art being a special skill, and artists being "special" people outside of our formal learning systems.
"Blood, sweat and tears of the teachers and students are evident in this book-this is not playtime. When one practices for five hours a day to master an intricate piece of choreography, or sweats through a couple of shirts labouring over the composing of just the right 500 words, one has a right to say what 'work' is." Friday's launch takes place at 6.30 pm in the Audio Visual Room of the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago.
Additional information on Dr Kilgour-Dowdy's work can be sourced at her Web site: