Trelani Duncan

Over the past four years, Trelani has instructed elementary, middle, high school, and college students on subjects ranging from creative writing to grammar. In the last two years, she has also transitioned her 11-year-old son into a home-based, self-directed learning environment. These opportunities allowed her to teach all styles of learners and foster meaningful and engaging learning environments that promote autonomy, self-efficacy, critical thinking, and collaboration. Her greatest strength as a teaching artist is helping students release shame around personal experiences and begin seeing those experiences as fundamental building blocks for community-based expertise.

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Arts Disciplines: Storytelling, Poetry/Spoken Word, Creative Writing

Core Content Curriculum Areas: English/Language Arts, Social Studies/History 

Specialized Content Areas: Literacy, Arts Integration

Grade Levels: 1-5, 6-8, 9-12 

Special Populations: At-Risk Students

Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Professional Development for Teaching Artists

Geographic Availability: South Georgia

Program Fees:

  • Workshops:
    • $100-$150 per 90-minute workshop or going rate
    • Up to 30 students
    • $0.20/mile roundtrip for over 25 miles traveled
  • Residencies:
    • $350 per day (up to 7 hours per day)
    • Up to 30 students
    • $0.20/mile roundtrip for over 25 miles traveled 

Artistic Profile:

Trelani Duncan believes that moving forward as a people requires the wisdom of the elders and the energy of the youth, so she’s devoted her career to expanding perspectives through poetry and prose; recording elders’ memories to preserve black history; and creating safe spaces–online and in person–for youth to explore and express their voice and rights as writers. She graduated from Savannah State in 2012 with a degree in Political Science, then from SCAD in 2016 with a Master’s in Writing. In addition to teaching the art of storytelling, she’s published five books and ghost wrote a few more. She’s worked with various organizations, including The Deep Center, Savannah State University, Jepson Center for the Arts, The City of Savannah, The Life Design Agency, and The Life Balance and Wellness Institute, assisting over 1,500 people in writing and showcasing their stories.

Teaching Experience:

Trelani facilitated creative writing and grammar workshops for students, faculty, and staff of Savannah State University through the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) from 2012-2014. She volunteered as a writing fellow for 11 weeks in 2013 through a local nonprofit, Deep Center, co-facilitating creative writing workshops for middle-school students. She graduated with a Masters in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design in June 2016. Trelani partnered with Loop it Up and The City of Savannah, facilitating creative writing and art classes with youth between the ages of 6-12 between May 2016 and August 2016. She partnered with Telfair Museum’s Jepson Center for the Arts, facilitating creative writing and art workshops with the elderly and disabled in a program called “I Have Marks to Make” from August 2016 to December 2016. In October of 2016, she started as a Teaching Artist with the Deep Center’s Block by Block program for high school students, fostering vivid and fearless community-based creative writing. As a Teaching Artist, her goal and approach includes creating safe spaces for youth to more radically explore and express who they are and to take full ownership of their history and experiences, which have influenced their shaping. Furthermore, she wants students to realize that studying their communities with a critical eye, boldly writing their narratives, and blending personality with performance to give voice to their pieces is a form of resisting oppression, as well. Lesson plans include relationship-building between everyone in the room, the development of student self-awareness, and culturally sensitive and relevant pedagogy.

Sample Programs:

  • Creative Writing
    • Fostering vivid and fearless community-based creative writing while putting our city’s youth and families at the center of neighborhood research, planning, and redevelopment
    • Art form: Creative Writing
    • Content area: English and Social Studies/History
    • Grade levels: 9th-12th graders
  • Power Figures
    • Helping children identify power figures through writing, then visually recreate them as dolls. Power figures, in short, are people and characters who are impacting the local/national/international community in a positive way.
    • Art form: Visual Art
    • Content area: Visual Art
    • Grade levels: 1st-8th graders

Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides:

Program Photos: