Projects

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An Exhilarating History Lesson!
Join storytellers and actors, Mitch Capel and Sonny Kelly, for The Color of Courage, as they bring to life the gut-wrenching, untold stories of the African American soldiers who literally fought for freedom during the Civil War.  Mitch Capel and Sonny Kelly embody these soldiers through drama, song, poetry and a multi-media production that will thrill, empower, educate and elevate! This performance connects the battles from over 150 years ago to the battles facing our community today. Sponsored by the FTCC Foundation, Inc.
 
THE COLOR OF COURAGE MEDIA KIT 
 
Cumberland County Artists in Schools Link
The Talk Postcard Bulldog & Street Signs

The Talk 

by Sonny Kelly

Building Bridges with a Father's Love!
The Talk is a one-man performance that draws on the voices of ancestors, elders, youths, and intellectuals to engage in the difficult conversations that we must have with our children as we prepare them to survive and thrive in a polarized America. 
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL SHOW DESCRIPTION & MEDIA KIT
CLICK HERE FOR THE TALK WEB SITE!
THE TALKING THE TALK WORKSHOP
THE WALKING THE TALK WORKSHOP

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Artists in Schools Matching Grant Program

Artists in Schools Matching Grant Program

Artists in Schools Matching Grant Program

Professor READY at a School Near You!
Sonny Kelly (AKA “Professor READY”) is a master of storytelling, Shakespeare, theater arts, poetry and spoken word. He captures the attention and imaginations of audiences of all ages with the power of words. Whether he is speaking English or Spanish, this artist knows how to use humor, energy, drama and intellect to engage all crowds, both large and small. If you want to inspire your students/youth to reach for more in life, motivate them to strive for excellence in that they do, and engage them with dramatic arts, oratory and literacy, then Professor READY is the artist for the job. 
Cumberland County Schools Artists in Schools Link
 
My Life Matters Performance Aug 2016
IAAR Grad Lecture - Sonny Kelly - My Life Matters
My Life Matters Performance Fay Observer Justin 5Aug16
My Life Matters Sonny Selfie 5Aug16
FAF Sterling K Brown Visit Aug 2017
FAF Sterling K Brown Visit 19Aug17_2

My Life Matters

Participatory Action Research

Researcher and Artist in Residence
In collaboration with Fayetteville Urban Ministry's Find-A-Friend program (https://www.fayurbmin.org/find-a-friend), I worked with Shauna Hopkins, FAF Coordinator, to launch the My Life Matters project in June, 2016.  Each summer, I conduct self-expression workshops with kids ages 8 to 18, and we close out the summer with a public performance of their poetry, rap, storytelling, song, dance, photography, and other forms of creative expression.  The goal is to help these young people to find their voices, and to empower them to use their voices, expressing their lived experience.  In this way, the kids become the experts in a process that improves their self-concept, sense of self-efficacy and social engagement.  This project informs my dissertation - Pipelines to Pathways, Empowering Marginalized Youths of Color Through Embodied Performance

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Hope's Light

by Sonny Kelly

A Gospel Theater Experience!
This full-length gospel theater experience was written and directed by Sonny Kelly.  Full of comedy, tragedy, drama and a reckless optimism, this one hour, 45 minute piece is sure to inspire and connect audiences to God's hope in their lives.

 

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The CrossOver

Radio Host
Sonny created and co-hosted this vibrant and culturally relevant weekly radio show on WIDU Radio in Fayetteville, NC.  The CrossOver explores the Christian man's perspective on what it means to be a real person living a real life and keeping the cross over it all!
CLICK HERE TO TUNE INTO WIDU1600.COM FOR PROGRAM INFORMATION.
HAUNTED Poster.jpg
Sonny Kelly on stage_Frederick Douglass.

HAUNTED

by Sonny Kelly

What does a daddy say to his baby boy when the boogie man is real? Confronted by a surge in White supremacist activity and Confederate nostalgia in the nation that he calls home, one father struggles to explain this wave of hatred and bigotry to his son. In HAUNTED, actor and playwright, Sonny Kelly takes on the voices of historians, ancestors, elders, youths, politicians, pundits, and poets, as he traces the roots and routes of modern day anti-Black violence in America. Kelly recounts the roots of hatred and fear embedded in the story of the 1898 lynching of Manley McCauley in Orange County, North Carolina. He also tracks the routes of racialized violence in America as manifested in the colonial criminal justice system, the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, the 2015 shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and the 2020 lynching of Ahmaud Arberry in Brunswick, Georgia. Kelly digs deep to examine the impact that racial violence has historically had on our minds, bodies, and souls in the land of the free and the home of the brave. 
LEARN MORE AND WATCH THE SHOW!
HAUNTED was commissioned by the Orange County Remembrance Coalition and produced by the Orange County Arts Council. It's debut perforamance on Saturday, Marcy 27th at The Arts Center in  Carrboro, NC.