Discipline: Theatre – performance

Sheila Arnold

Discipline: Theatre – performance
Region: Hampton, VA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2022

Sheila Arnold has been performing since age eight. She presents storytelling programs, historic character presentations, Christian monologues, professional development for educators and inspirational/motivational speaking for schools, churches, and organizations throughout the U.S. She also manages and contracts new business for History’s Alive!, which mentors and provides opportunities and guidance to performers. Ms. Sheila, as she is fondly called, has been performing full-time since 2003, and travels nationally each year. One of Sheila's greatest joys is being the co-founder and artistic director of Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST), which was begun during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, and continues to be a source of inspiration, strength, and action in the storytelling and artists’ worlds.

Sheila is also an historical consultant for museums, historical societies, and organizations. She also has received the honor of being selected as a Mt. Vernon Research Fellow where she continued her presentation and research work on Oney Judge, Martha Washington's maidservant, and a 2019 Hewnoaks Artist Colony summer residence Noted Artist, where her popular historical storytelling series, “Locks Opened,” was completed.

While at MacDowell, Sheila worked on at least two new storytelling projects: (1) a commissioned historical storytelling program about the desegregation of Oak Ridge, TN school district (the first one desegregated in Tennessee) that will be premiered at the Flatwater Tales Storytelling Festival in June 2022; and, (2) an adaptation of "Little Black Sambo" telling the story behind how a visual artist stole a beloved children's tale and helped create generations of racist cruelty.



Sheila Arnold worked in the Sorosis studio.

Sorosis Studio was funded by the New York Carol Club of Sorosis. The small, masonry studio was designed by F. Winsor, Jr., the architect who also designed Savidge Library (1926) and Mixter Studio (1927). At the time of construction, the large porch on the southeast facade offered a spectacular mountain view that has since been obscured…

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