Valerie Stephens is a multi-talented performing artist known for work in music, theater, storytelling and production. Valerie is also known for her commitment to Nina Simone’s Legacy having created a series celebratory concerts. The most recent is Nina Simone & Hip Hop. For her artistic work and community commitment Valerie has received a Brother Thomas Fellowship with an unrestricted award of $15,000. She has also received a Bridge Award in Arts, a Boston City Council Resolution for her community arts programming and performances, a Get Konnected! Boston Legends & Pioneers Award, a NAACP Image Award, an Urban Music Award in Blues and Citations of Appreciation from Boston, New Bedford and Springfield.
Valerie has created a number of concerts: WOMEN OF THE VILLAGE celebrating the female commonality in English, Spanish and Xhosa. SWEET & SALTY: DRESSED TO THE NINES is a tribute to classic Blues Women. She has produced a concert series dedicated to the musical icon Dr. Nina Simone and her commitment to social justice.
As an actor, Valerie, was cast in numerous productions and toured nationally for nine years, as lead actor with Underground Railway Theater. After 15 years, she returned to the stage in Company One’s controversial production of NEIGHBORS in the character role of Mammy Crow. She created a solo performance piece, The Mammy Diaries. In 2018, Valerie returned once again to stage in the Marblehead Little Theater’s production of Letters from War in the lead role as Mae, a 75 year old woman suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease.
As an Arts Educator, Valerie Stephens has worked for numerous schools and community-based arts organizations. Using history, art and self expression, she has developed integrated, interactive curriculum and productions. She has taught creative dramatics and improvisational theater techniques for Wheelock Family Theater, Springfield Museum of Natural History, the Children’s AIDS Project, Raw Arts of Lynn, MA, Germaine Lawrence School for Girls and Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center. She has served as Artistic Consultant & Teaching Artist for Wang Theater Performing Arts program. Valerie served as Director of Cultural Programming and Community Partnerships for the International House of Blues Foundation where she wrote and directed the interactive production The History of the Blues. She has conducted workshops entitled STORYTELLING AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL for teachers, and education specialists.