LEWISTON — L/A Arts will welcome back Antonio Rocha for a three-week artist residency teaching storytelling to Lewiston elementary students.

Feb. 27 begins storyteller Antonio Rocha’s artist residency at both Montello and Martel elementary schools in Lewiston. Rocha is a featured artist for L/A Arts’ Arts in Education initiative which pairs artists and area schools for an exceptional, professional arts experience.

Residencies begin with performances in the schools, with classes to follow in which students will create original stories based on family traditions. The workshop will include performance elements, teaching children to take the written work of their stories and bring them to life. The residencies will culminate in sharings where some students will share their stories for parents, invited friends and other classes on March 15 and 16.

Antonio Rocha, storyteller, mime and now author of a children’s book, began his career in the performing arts in 1985. In 1988 he received a Partners of the Americas grant to come to the USA from Brazil to perform and deepen his mime skills with Master Tony Montanaro. Since then he has earned a summa cum laude theater Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern Maine and studied with Master Marcel Marceau.

Rocha’s unique blend of verbal narrative and mime have received awards and earned him invitations to venues such as the National Storytelling Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Graz Festival in Austria, The Dunya Festival in The Netherlands, The Singapore Festival of Arts, The Rio de Janeiro Storytelling Festival and Conference, The Ljungby Festival in Sweden and many more from Canada to Japan in 14 countries on six continents.

Antonio is a member of the Maine Arts Commission, The National Storytelling Association, The League of the Advancement of New England Storytelling as well as a performer in the roster of Cirque du Soleil. For more information and video samples visit www.storyinmotion.com.

Antonio is very excited to be back in Lewiston at Montello and Martel Elementary schools. Storytelling is the shortest line between two people and a great tool not just for cultural awareness but also for literacy. He cannot wait to get the third and fourth graders to think of storytelling in a brand new way.

For more information regarding L/A Arts and Arts in Education, visit www.laarts.org.

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