TAHIRA was Awarded the 2023 Master Fellows Award by the Delaware Division of the Arts

Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania is proud to announce that YA Teaching Artist TAHIRA has been selected by the Delaware Division of the Arts for the 2023 Master Fellows Award for her contribution to Folk Art: Oral Literature.

TAHIRA was recognized for her creative ability to weave poetry and music into stories inspired by African traditions. Her messages of strength, hope, and courage captivate students while also providing an immersive educational experience.



Inspired to write from a very young age and encouraged by the cultural teachings of her father, TAHIRA’s love for storytelling blossomed and grew. As a mother, she wanted to instill in her daughter the same sense of unapologetic pride in culture that she gained growing up. This encouraged a need to seek cultural knowledge that was deeper than what she had been provided by her family.

Her desire to learn provided her with the opportunity to not only rediscover the stories of her youth, but also to add a wealth of new cultural knowledge to share with the rest of the world.

“I have seen first-hand how my work as a storyteller has impacted people from all walks of life,” TAHIRA said. “My work has helped domestic violence victims reclaim their power, encouraged youth to re-examine their choices, and inspired senior citizens to reaffirm their commitment to passing on oral traditions in their families. “As I continue my work, I remain steadfast in my mission to use my voice to empower others to think critically, choose wisely, and believe fervently in their ability to succeed.”


About the 2023 Individual Artist Fellowship Awards

Every year, the individual artist fellowship awards recognize Delaware artists for their outstanding work and commitment to artistic excellence. The fellowship is open to a variety of artistic disciplines. The awards are then determined by an extensive review of the art samples by out-of-state professionals who considered each artist’s demonstrated creativity and skill in their respective form.

“The rigorous process of the selection committee for this fellowship, along with being evaluated by peers in my field throughout the Mid-Atlantic states, makes me feel like I have reached a pinnacle in my career as an artist” said TAHIRA. “Nearly three decades ago, I stepped out on faith and became a full-time performing and teaching artist. Over that time, I have had opportunities to work and be recognized nationally and internationally. Still, there is something special about receiving this high honor from my home state of Delaware.”

Click to learn more about the 2023 Individual Artist Fellowship or the Delaware Division of the Arts.