Massachusetts
Profile Type: Artist
Artist
Motoko

A native of Osaka, Japan, and a graduate of International Christian University in Tokyo, Motoko has made Massachusetts her home since 1986. Her early career included teaching Japanese at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for 10 years. She trained with late master mime Tony Montanaro (1927-2002). Her partner Eshu Bumpus, a nationally-known teller of African folktales, introduced her to the world of American storytelling. In recent years she has studied mime with Leland Faulkner and Robert Rivest, and storytelling with Elizabeth Ellis.

Since 1993, Motoko has performed professionally in K-12 schools, libraries, museums, universities and festivals across the U.S. Motoko’s repertoire includes Asian folktales, Zen tales, comical tales from rakugo (a Japanese traditional style of storytelling), funny mime vignettes, as well as personal stories from her childhood in Japan and her life as an immigrant in the U.S. She also offers K-12 classroom workshops and residencies on Japanese culture, ancient China, creative writing, origami geometry, and storytelling.

Motoko has appeared on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and an educational video by Harcourt, and also has been awarded numerous grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and New York State BOCES for her arts-in-education programs. In 2003, Motoko toured Miyazaki, Japan, as a part of CarnegieKids in Miyazaki Project, sponsored by Carnegie Hall.

Her debut CD, “The Promise of Chrysanthemums” won a 2002 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award, a 2003 Storytelling World Award, and a 2007 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA.) Her fourth CD, “In Ghostly Japan” was released in 2013. She is the author of A Year in Japan: Folktales, Songs and Art for the Classroom.

In October 2011 Motoko made her third featured appearance at the prestigious National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

References will be furnished upon request.

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I Have Worked With

  • October 2016

    Motoko regaled a family audience with Korean folktales and songs, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibit, “Heart & Seoul: Growing Up in Korea.”

  • October 2016

    Motoko was a Featured Teller at the 44th annual National Storytelling Festival, entertaining thousands of adult audiences with her traditional and original tales.

  • October 2016

    Motoko presented her Origami Adventure workshop to art teachers from all over CT in their annual Conference.

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  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Motoko
Job Title/Position: 
Storyteller
Physical Address: 
Amherst, MA 01002
Last Name: 
Dworkin
Phone: 
413-253-1664

About

Profile Type: 
Artist
Primary Discipline: 
Theater - Storytelling
Additional Disciplines: 
Literary Arts - General
Literary Arts - Spoken Word
Theater - Children's
Theater - Mime
Theater - Storytelling
Populations Served: 
Adults
Families
General Public
Immigrant Populations
School Groups
Teens
Languages Available: 
Japanese
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Performance / Concert / Reading
Professional Development / Training
Residency - In School
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
100
Seasons Active: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Geographic Reach: 
National
International

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Arts for Learning CT
CT Storytelling Center
Awards: 
2017 National Storytelling Network ORACLE AWARD-Circle of Excellence
2007 National Parenting Publications Award
2003 Storytelling World Award
2002 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Electric outlet
Fee Range Minimum: 
$500
Fee Range Maximum: 
$4,000
State of Residence: 
Massachusetts
Minimum Number of Performers: 
1
Maximum Number of Performers: 
2

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - Communications
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Arts Integration - Foreign Languages
Arts Integration - History and Social Science
Arts Integration - Mathematics
Theater
Visual/Crafts
Ages Served: 
Pre-Kindergarten-age
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
College-Age
Adults
Seniors
Fee Range Minimum: 
$500
Fee Range Maximum: 
$4,000