Shirley Mae Springer Staten, international keynoter, singer and workshop facilitator, moves people forward beyond their limiting ideas. A born storyteller and dynamic a capella vocalist, she brings an unrivaled blend of vision, passion and sheer virtuosity to her work.
From the age of five, Shirley Mae picked cotton in the fields of Georgia. Her transformation came with many challenges. A daydreamer and dyslexic, she graduated from high school not knowing how to read. By the early 1990s she had managed to work her way through college and earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Shirley Mae, like no one else, can weave words and music to empower her audience. She is a multitalented performing artist who motivates people to recognize and break through their self-imposed limitations. She can hold a group spellbound with stories of her struggles against the obstacles of the world. Her message will show you how to “keep movin’ forward.”
In her latest project, The Oh-ee-O childrens’ books, she recreates the characters and events that influenced her early years. Vividly illustrated by artist Dianne Barske, The Oh-ee-O Story reminds us that life is filled with choices – for both children and adults. Visit her website.
Dianne Barske says ahe has never decided whether she is an artist, writer or teacher, so she has been delighted that doing children’s books let her be all three. She has written and illustrated three children’s books, all related to animals at the Alaska Zoo and has taken them to classrooms to share with the children. This career path led her to many happy adventures, with short-term assignments to teach art in several Bush schools and some unusual art contracts.
She recently finished two big contracts for Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, which featured paintings of bed-bug prevention and the proper dumping of honey buckets. She was thrilled to teach both writing and art for three years to children in Shirley Mae Springer Staten’s Home Based After School Program in Fairview.
Currently, Dianne has a contract for a new children’s book for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, about their employees’ rescue of a baby musk ox along the Haul Road. Once done, she has the prospect of writing and illustrating books on lemurs in Madagascar, which she is sure will necessitate some exotic travel! Life is full of surprises!