Profile Type: Artist
NEFA Grant Recipient
Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti

Living History programs introduces untapped accessible history that celebrates the rich diversity, ambitions, courage, determination, and inspiring heroism of American women. The sixty-minute Living History programs are suited for diverse audiences: adults, families, senior citizens, and students’ eight to eighteen with an Interactive Q&A. The program allows the audience to participate, discover new people, objects, attitudes, activities, dress and technology in the context of everyday life. The program highlights contact and conflicts making it more socially relevant and realistic. Listed below are the Living History Programs. "I Can’t Die but Once" – one of the most daring and effective spies during the Civil War were none other than Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman a woman of unique qualities and abilities even though she was illiterate, maintained an unblemished record of vigilance, legacy of sacrifice and struggle. Subjected to fictional treatments more than serious historical examinations, the elementary school version may be more palatable, but the real Tubman is far more inspiring. To John Brown, she was the General, for the enslaved she led to freedom, Moses. To slaveholders, she was a thief and a trickster. To abolitionist, she was a prophet. She recruited freedmen, and slaves, as scouts and spies. Illiterate as she was, her mental alertness and spiritual development were extraordinary. She was a fearless visionary. "If I am Not for Myself Who Will Be for Me" - During the fall of 1796, George Washington’s final months in office, Oney Judge Staines, a slave, escaped the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia. There is always an underside - hidden from sight the more unpleasant or reprehensible side that needs to surface to give an integral portrait of a historical event or person. Oney’s story is one such story. Her voice provides the informative accounts needed to appreciate her struggles, self-determination and triumphs of her life. Her account was not a stereotypical runaway account. Looking Things Over Zora Neale Hurston considered one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature, an American novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist. After going to Florida in 1927 to collect folklore, and after years of organizing her notes published Mules and Men in 1935. Zora, not only did she love writing the folklores she enjoyed telling them. Zora celebrated the African American culture of the rural South, because she believed that black people had wonderful stories that the world needed to hear and she told them proudly. I Promoted Myself She was an Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. She followed her dream, turning her life into a true “rages to riches” story. Mobilized a network of 20,000 African American women as sales agents, factory, and office workers. Her sales agents earned between $5.00 and $15.00 dollars a day when unskilled white laborers were earning $11.00 a week. More than a history lesson, she offers inspiration to women – regardless of race—on how to succeed against all odds. Madam Walker’s death was news all over the world, “the wealthiest Negro woman in the United States, if not the entire world.” Fee Negotiable..... Block Booking -available.

Additional Links: 
Madam CJ Walker filmed by JoJo LaRiccia SCAT-TV
Oney Judge telling her story
Arts for Learning Showcase
Connecticut Storytelling Festival

I Have Worked With

  • July 2019

    Solo Living History Performnce on the grounds and interactive at the Wheelwright House on the grounds.Portsmouth NH, Interacted with visitors one on one or in groups IN CHARACTER. Performed in character 4 to 5 hours in a day. Participated in the Annual American Celebration. Engaging Audiences for the past three years, 2017, 2018, 2019

    Alena Shellenbean, Manager V & Special Events   <>

  • April 2019

    Solo-Living History Programs for Schools and Adult audiences, I engage participants of all ages and abilities in learning creatively through the arts, Elder Learning Programs, Schools, Community Centers and Corporations.  Interative Theatre Programs, and visual Art crafts.


  • April 2019

    On the Artist roster for the Humanities to GO!  Currently performing. One of my characters who  lived and died in Greenland, New Hampshire - runaway slave of George Washington, Oney Jude. The mission of the NH Humanities is to offer essential opportunities for discovery, self-reflection, and lifelong learning by fostering civil discourse and bringing ideas from the humanities to the people of NH. Susan Hatem Community Grants Director


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Storyteller/Living History Actor
Mailing Address: 
PO Box 380496
East Hartford, CT 06138-0496
Physical Address: 
41 Elmer Street
East Hartford, CT 06108
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Theater - Storytelling
Additional Disciplines: 
Humanities - Cultural Heritage
Humanities - History
Theater - Solo / One-Person Show
Theater - Storytelling
Visual/Crafts - General
Visual/Crafts - Dolls / Soft Sculpture
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Immigrant Populations
Incarcerated (or Formerly Incarcerated) Individuals
LGBTQ Populations
Native American Tribes
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Veteran/Active Duty Military Personnel
Institution/Business Type: 
Artists (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Performance / Concert / Reading
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region
Multi-State Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
National Museum of African American History & Culture
Museum of African American History
NCSS National Council for the Study of Social Studies
International Museum of Theatre Alliance
National Association of Interpretation
National Women's Alliancce Project
Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery
ALHFAM (The Association for Living History Farm & Agricultural Museums
Reaching Beyond the Classroom
The Connecticut Storytelling Center
New England Foundation for the Arts
ProTalent/Boston Casting Inc
Institute of Texan Cultures
Hartford Stage Company
The International Museum Theatre Alliance
Theatre in Museums/Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Connecticut Storytelling Center
Manchester Community College Theatre Improv
National Association of Interpretation
Tejas Storytelling Association
International Toastmasters
South Arts Federation
Theatre in Museums/Theater & Interpretation Techniques Certification at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Alliance Award for valuable service & support Institute of Texan Cultures of San Antonio
Epsilon Sigma alpha International - Keynote Speaker/regional
San Antonio Professional Tour Guide/Updated African American Studies Training
The Institute of Texan Cultures Director's Award for Excellence
Gift to New Hampshire Humanities in my Name
The New Boston Fund Individual Artist Fellowship through the Greater Hartford Arts Council
Certificate of Merit Office of Secretary of State Connecticut
Certificate Arts for Learning Signature Core Services
1st Place International Toastmaster/Interpretive Reading
Crowned Ms. Senior Connecticut 2010
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

I do not have control of accessibility of Services.

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Stage never required. Space for the performance along with two or three set pieces, provided by the actor is suited for library, multipurpose room, auditorium or a large classroom. Platform increases the viewing pleasure, for a large groups
Technical Rider provided with contract.
Allow time for set up and break down.
arrival time 1 hour prior to performance
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
Corporate Business
Healthcare Facility
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - Communications
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Arts Integration - History and Social Science
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
Certifications / Training: 
2010 Theatre in Museums - Theatre and Interpretations Techniques at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Signature Core Services Certificate/Arts for Learning Connecticut-
2011 Theatre in Museums - Theatre and Interpretations Techniques at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Hartford Stage Compamy
Alliance Award Institute of Texan Cultures San Antonio, Texas
Certificate of Merit Office of Secretary of State Connecticut
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: