October 28, 2015

Marguerite Mariama to present Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

Marguerite MariamaCARBONDALE, Ill. – The fall 2015 Charles D. Tenney Lecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be more performance than lecture with special guest Marguerite Mariama, lecturer, vocalist and dancer. 

Mariama presents “History, Dunham and Dance – Unwrapping the Legacy: A Multimedia Experience” on Nov. 3 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center. Her presentation will incorporate music and movement as well as lecture. 

Mariama is a multi-faceted expert in African American musical culture. As a vocalist, she has sung the blues – and jazz, too – with ensembles ranging from “big bands” to smaller ensembles, appearing at music festivals everywhere in the country, and contributing to “The Blues,” a PBS documentary on the history of blues music. She lent her voice as narrator of the documentary “70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green,” and appears elsewhere as an actress in film and commercials. And as a dancer and choreographer, she performed with Charles Moore’s Dancers and Drummers of Africa, and taught master classes in Europe. 

Mariama means it when she refers to “life as a classroom.” She’s turned her philosophy into Performance Pedagogy, a curriculum-based personal empowerment theory and methodology that incorporates critical thinking with professional presentation. 

Performance Pedagogy embraces a theory of “multiple intelligences,” a theory that sees intelligence blended from specific abilities rather than as one predominant condition. A person who doesn’t excel in traditional classroom subjects but who possesses a deep understanding of music composition, for example, has a particular form of high intelligence pertaining to music. Similarly, a person who does not relate well to others but who understands advanced mathematics may be lacking in interpersonal intelligence but showing high logical-mathematical intelligence. 

Mariama’s Performance Pedagogy® methodology has been particularly effective in urban populations. Students in this program not only perform better in school by becoming more engaged in learning, but also seem to accrue other benefits, such as confidence with public speaking. 

Mariama is also the founder and president of From the Inside Out, Inc., an experiential education program, and Tomorrow’s Village, Inc., a curriculum-based arts integration and personal empowerment production company that hosts workshops and seminars for teachers and others interested in using the arts in education. 

Her program has had wide influence. Her client list includes: boards of education in New York City and Chicago, the United Negro College Fund, City University of New York (where she was also a professor), the Chicago Urban League, Illinois Head Start Association, the Art Institute of Chicago and more. 

Mariama is an SIU College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni award recipient and an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar. She holds a doctorate in performance education with a specialization in African American musical culture from The Union Institute and University.