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Della Burford

Discipline: Interdisciplinary, Storytelling, Visual Arts
Homebase: Nanaimo
Languages: English
Contact Me: (250) 751-2877 , Email

Della Burford, BSc, BEd, is an author, artist and storyteller. Her projects encourage creativity, using dreams as inspiration, and protecting our earth. She facilitates workshops world-wide. She has written and painted seven books for children. She has worked dozens of years through Inner City Angels and also artist in residence programs and is used to doing programs in schools. She can do storytelling in a classroom and then move into a mutually agreed project such as picture books or fun art. The students learn new techniques and build their confidence. Sharing with each other or another class is often done. Della can do storytelling for larger groups in the gym of 3 or 4 classes at a time.


Della is one of our original interdisciplinary artists in residence in dozens of schools where she combined art and writing and storytelling, often utilizing her own publications that have been shared. She has worked with young people and teachers all over the world. Della brings immense artistic talent and skill in art. Della incorporates mythology, poetry and real life environmental problems and moral values for healing into her work with young people and finding one's own personal myth. Jane Howard Baker, Executive Director, Inner City Angels
The story of Dodoland helped the children create their own imaginary world in which anything can happen. Each child wrote of their own world. These stories were typed and published. As a result of your visit we have spent a good four weeks developing and working on our own writing and art activities. Phoebe Rankin, Board of Education
Your efforts and interest in improving the quality of life for so many thousands of handicapped children have been fruitful. Office of the President of Guatemala

Project Examples

Author Visit: Storytelling

Author Della Burford tells the story of Dodoland and Magical Earth Secrets. Since Della is also the painter of her books she will tell the story with background visual images. The stories are combined starting with Dodoland, an imaginary land where you can "be what you want to be" and culminating in the story of Magical Earth Secrets which has an environmental message. An Eagle Child has lost power and color and finds secrets to get its strength back. Creativity and feeling empowered to help the environment are encouraged. Follow up activities suggested from the Environmental Activity Guide.

Choose Your Own Theme Picture Books

Using Della's picture Books as inspiration, students develop their own story and art using characters, setting, story development, conflict resolution and cover design. I often divide this project in three sessions or more. The first is an inspiration session seeing my work and developing characters and setting. The next is developing the story further and the last session is for cover design. I often leave time in between sessions for the teacher to develop, as beautiful books take time. Enthusiastic teachers are important in this project. The culmination is often a sharing with another class in the school and even with parents or community.

Creative Fun Art

Creative Fun Art encourages imagination and creativity. Because Della has many picture books, we can choose one and work around a theme. Dodoland encourages self-confidence and art projects that can be done, including painting life-size "body rainbows" or making an angel inspired by the Miracle Galaxy story, environmental posters inspired by Magical Earth Secrets, or travel art inspired by Journey to a Lotus. Della's book Dream Wheels inspires "dream painting." We will start with a short story and then let's have fun doing art together! Can be 1, 2 or 3 days.

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