Performances: Bead for Life

Connie has been a Community Partner with the non-profit organization, Bead for Life, for over a decade. Bead for Life is an organization dedicated to teaching Ugandan women business and entrepreneurial skills. By crafting and selling jewelry, these women lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The women roll small strips of paper into beautiful, colorful beads which is in turn strung into bracelets, necklaces and earrings. This paper bead jewelry is distributed and sold all around the world. All of the proceeds from the jewelry sales directly benefit the women who create them.

Brush the Dust From My Heart

In 2007, Connie traveled to Kampala, Uganda to meet the women behind Bead for Life jewelry. “Brush the Dust From My Heart: A Storyteller’s Journey in Uganda” is Connie’s powerful tribute to these women. Her telling draws together and brings to life the many stories of tragedy and triumph, voices, faces and music of the Ugandan women she encountered during her trip. Namakasa Rose (pictured right) is one of these incredible women whose story greatly impacted Connie’s Bead For Life story and life. A creative blend of storytelling and visual imagery, this presentation elevates PowerPoint to a performance art.

Namakasa Rose, one of the beaders Connie met

As a Community Partner, Connie tells the stories of the beaders she has met, sells Bead for Life jewelry at storytelling events, encourages others to host bead parties, and raises awareness about the organization and its mission.

Examples of the BFL jewelry created by Ugandan women.

Sharing the Story

Connie shares her passion for Bead for Life through her storytelling work. From selling the organization’s jewelry at her merchandise table or incorporating a story of one of the women she met, Connie is always seeking new ways to share the organization’s story. Contact Connie if you want to learn more about Bead for Life, her role as a Community Partner, or the options for making the story of Bead For Life a part of your next event.

Watch Connie tell a story about her visit to Kampala on the video page.
Thank you for being you, for telling wonderful stories of remarkable women, for your ever-lasting beauty, for your grace, for your wisdom, for opening portals to infinite possibilities, for extending yourself again and again. I didn’t want to take off my beads.

Damaris Pierce

Connie’s performance of “Hope is back on me” changed the auditorium into a “neighborhood” with her pictures, voices, and stories about the African beaders. She told their stories of violence with grace and ease. Hearing her laugh along with these lovely women made the miles disappear.

Gwenda Ledbetter

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