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Virgin Islands Council on the Arts Sponsors Storytelling Family Events in October

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — October is National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)—a coast-to-coast collective recognition of the importance of culture in America.

This year, the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts will celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month by hosting a children’s book reading event and family fun day on October 13, 2018, at the Frederick D. Dorsch Center on St. Croix and October 20, 2018 at the Tutu Park Mall on St. Thomas.

The event will be held on St. Thomas and St. Croix, to foster an awareness of Arts and Humanities by engaging children, local story tellers, and authors. The Council has partnered with local authors Yohance Henley and Rick Grant to read their storybooks at this years’ event.


Rick S. Grant is a St. Kitts native who spent part of his life on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Rick is an educator, mentor, and supports the development of well-rounded and civic-minded individuals. He believes it is important to be part of the village that helps raise the children of the next generation. When I Grow Up is his first published book.
When I Grow Up is a poetic and colorful book that speaks to the dreamer in all of us and serves as a reminder that when searching for the best job in the world, the heart is the first place where we should look.

Yohance Henley was born and raised on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in communication at the University of the Virgin Islands. He resides in Charlotte Amalie and works for the Virgin Islands Department of Education as the community outreach manager for the Division of Cultural Education. At the age of eighteen, Henley was an esteemed apprentice storyteller under the mentorship of Glen “Kwabena” Davis, a well-known historian, storyteller, musician, and teacher in the Virgin Islands. Henley aims to inspire others through his own passion for the art form of storytelling, both as an exceptionally gifted performer and as an educator, happy to pass his knowledge to future storytellers.

Broo ‘Nansi and Sis Iwana is his first published book, which contributes to the revival of the ancient tradition. Broo ‘Nansi and Sis Iwana is a new version of Broo ‘Nansi and Broo Monkey as told and published by master storyteller Delta M. Jackson Dorsch (1915-2011) of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Henley decided to pay tribute to Dorsch by telling, and writing, her story in his personal style. Broo ‘Nansi and Sis Iwana are such good friends, they never leave each other’s side. But when it comes to the feast under the river, Broo ‘Nansi is determined not to share any food and he’ll go to any length to make sure he has it all to himself! However, Sis Iwana knows Broo ‘Nansi well enough and does not fall for his trick that easily.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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