Omope Carter Daboiku: Storyteller and Wordsmith


Provided by Daboiku in 2003:

A professional teller of tales, Omope Carter Daboiku has been affiliated with the Ohio Arts Council as an Artist-in-Education since 1990. She was among the first artists chosen for the Cincinnati Arts Association's "Artists On Tour" program and is a regular teller for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and the Cincinnati Storytellers Guild. Her company, Homeside Cultural Programming, is included in the Cincinnati-based Association for the Advancement of Arts in Education catalog.

As an actress, she received rave reviews for her creation and portrayal of Bessie Coleman, an African American flyer who predates Amelia Earhart. Her PBS television credits include "Dooley and Friends" (NCET/WCPO) and "Mountain Shadow: Four Appalachian Women Artists" (TV Image, Inc.). Radio credits include NPR station WMMR (Whitesburg, KY) "Place, Race and Identity" and "Seedtime on the Cumberland, 1998" (Appalshop). She is featured in the Urban Appalachian Council's traveling exhibit, "Perceptions of Home." A mother of two delightful girls and a Montessori teacher, Omope spends her "copious free time" lending a culturally sensitive ear/eye to local and regional institutions, developing strategies for arts inclusion, and writing multicultural curriculum.

Original Works and Adaptations

CD: Stories from Around the World, Lesson #1. Cincinnati, OH: Kaldy Studios, 2003. Five well-told stories from different countries, including the Appalachian tale "Jack's Wife." The CD stresses the lessons about life that are learned in each story.

Workshops and Circles

  • The Value of Storytelling
  • Identity, Place and Culture
  • Appalachia: A Diverse Population with a Common Culture
  • We're All Kin Somehow
  • Myth Making & Myth Keeping
  • The Value of Tradition & Respect
  • The Pain & The Glory ('Specially for Wimmen)

Thoughts on Storytelling and Self

Storytelling has been used traditionally by many cultures to maintain collective memory. Maturity was judged by the depth of understanding of stories told by community elders. Such stories taught proper social interaction, or explained spiritual principles and the wonders of creation. For me, stories have helped me define myself—a difficult task for an American of mixed ancestry born in the Appalachian hills of southeastern Ohio! Personal identity is crucial to "being grounded"—knowing who you are and what you were sent to do in this world. My performances focus on the commonality of humankind, respect, and personal responsibility as I strive to maintain the traditions of my ancestors. May they find me worthy.

Contact Information

Homeside Cultural Programming
1136 Homeside Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45224
Phone: (513) 542-0717


See also photo and information in Artist Directory, Arts in Education Program, Ohio Arts Council.

Applauding Appalachia. WOSU Public Media (Ohio State Univ. public radio). Program on five artists from southern Ohio. With resource guide and podcast at this site.

Cincinnati Arts Foundation. 2004-05 Arts Education Season lists new programs, including Omope's residencies in elementary schools that "will focus on the improvement of reading and writing levels through the use of story, oral history and biography."

Daboiku, Omope Carter. "3M: Just Posted After 50 Years. In "Tricksters, Truthtellers and Lost Souls." Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, vol. 17. Nicholasville, KY: Wind Publications, 2014.

Demaline, Jackie (The Cincinnati Enquirer). "Bugs on Parade: Madcap Puppets spins folk tales that star insects." Friday, March 12, 2004. Describes Omope playing a grandmother spider from African

Demaline, Jackie. " A  Minute with . . . : Omope Daboiku Appalachian Humor Fest Emcee Knows about the Best Medicine." Friday, July 15, 2005. Omope explains her background and approach to storytelling.

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio Resources Directory

"Frogtown Storytelling Guild Presents Tellabration 2009." 11 Your Morning (CBS). 15 Oct. 2009.

Gray, Barbara. "A Story and Conversation with Omope Carter Daboiku." Cincinnati Public Radio. 18 Jan. 2019. Video length: 14:41. "Omope Carter Daboiku is a local artist and storyteller, currently serving as the Artist-in-Residence at the Paul Laurence Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio. She joins our Barbara Gray to talk about the importance of storytelling and to share one of her stories with us." Includes discussion of Appalachian Ohio, growing up in Ironton, Ohio near West Virginia, civil rights and Martin Luther King's work in Appalachia, the importance of storytelling to share language and emotional experience, learning the tales of immigrants and other countries. Daboiku discusses the creation of and tells the original story she created with no particular cultural setting specified.

Gutierrez, Karen Samples. "Storytellers: Life as Art Breaks Boundaries." The Cincinnati Enquirer Online Edition. 30 Mar. 2002.

"Journey to Self." In Oya's Marketplace. Archives. Online magazine. Essay by Omope Carter Daboiku on travel to Nigeria in 1991.

Klaene, Robin. "Region's First Annual Storytelling Festival Features National Performers" Wednesday, April 26, 2006.

Mountain Shadow: Four Appalachian Artists. Videocassette. Producers Jane Goetzman and Dorothy Weil. Cincinnati, OH: TV Image, Inc., 1997. Film wins a Certificate of Honorable Mention at the Chris Awards, The Columbus International Film and Video Festival, 1997.

Northern Kentucky Storytelling Festival at the Kenton Public Library. Saturday, May 13 & Sunday, May 14, 2006. Picture and sketch of each storyteller.

Ohio Arts Council. Arts Learning Artist Directory, 2005-2006.

Omope Carter Daboiku Facebook page.

Pender, Rick. "Not the Usual Suspects: Fine Arts Fund's 'Sampler Weekend' Covers an Incredible Spectrum." City Beat 10-16 Feb. 2002. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Racial Legacies & Learning Town Meeting Looks at the Many Faces of Appalachia October 7, 2002." In What's New. Miami University–Hamilton web site.

"Speaker Proud to be Affrilachian." In What's New: a weekly publication for students of Miami University, Hamilton 17 Oct. 2002.

"Stephen Gordon Produces Video on Appalachian Oral Tradition for 2005 National History Day Project." Three articles reprinted in AppLit. Omope was one of the storytellers interviewed by Gordon for his award-winning video "Telling Tales: The Appalachian Oral Tradition."

Storytelling performance at Appalachian Women's Alliance Ironweed Festival, Sept. 20, 2003.

"Storytellers Help Youths Explore Roots." In "Tristate A.M. Report." The Cincinnati Enquirer Online Edition. 23 Mar. 2002.

"Voices from the Hood: Celebrating Affrilachian and Appalachian Cultures in Cincinnati." Sept. 29, 2002. Enjoy the Arts. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Most of this material was supplied by Omope Carter Daboiku in September 2003.
For questions or comments on this page, contact Tina L. Hanlon

This page created 9/27/03. Last update: 3/26/19 8:15 PM
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