Stories are the threads that connect us to the past, and to each other. We share our experiences, often overcoming obstacles to find, and become our best selves.

group photo at DCCA

Program leader Ruben McElrath and students from the Mother Africa Union Church visiting The Delaware Contemporary. See here at Spirit House Revisited, the Willie Cole installation.

This is the motivation behind an exciting project I am honored to be a part of.  As a teaching artist with The Delaware Contemporary I have an extended residency with middle school students involved in a Rites of Passage program at the Mother Africa Union Church in Wilmington, DE.

photo of MAUC facade

Historic Mother Africa Union Church, Wilmington, Delware

The goal of the project is to collaborate with the boys of the Harambee Experience and the girls, the Sisters of Imani, to research and design an illustrated text on the life of the church’s historic founder, Peter Spencer. Spencer, born a slave in Kent County, Maryland in 1782, was freed at the age of 13 when his owner died. He found his way to Wilmington, DE where he attended private school, learning to read and write. His education and deep desire to help his African-American community were the driving force behind his words and actions for the rest of his life. The Mother Africa Union Church is part of his legacy.

Silhouette tableaus with students from MAUC, Wilmington

Creating silhouette tableaus to tell parts of the Peter Spencer Story.

Our bimonthly workshops include various art projects, writing activities and field trips, allowing his story- and our journey, to unfold with each session.

Block printing workshop at MAUC, Wilmington, DE

Block printing personal symbols inspired by Ashanti prints from West Africa

The illustrated book will go to print and be ready for distribution at the August Quarterly.




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