The Fairytale Project Debuts at Discovery Green®

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“The Fairytale Project” Debuts at Discovery Green®

An historically inspired dance interpretation of a modern-day African American family


Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective, founded by dance artist and educator Stacey Allen presents “The Fairytale Project.” “The Fairytale Project” is a historically inspired tale for children of a modern-day African American family reconnecting with their East Texas roots with peculiar encounters with the past. Funded in part by Dance Source Houston and Houston Arts Alliance’s “Let Creativity Happen Grant.”, Allen has announced that the show will be co-produced by Discovery Green on Sunday, June 26th at 5pm.. The plot of“The Fairytale Project” follows the journey of a family with ancestral roots in Shankleville, TX, – one of Texas’ many Freedom Colonies – wherein newly emancipated African Americans began their independent towns.

“I wanted to create opportunities for black children to be able to see themselves on stage, especially in live dance theatre, outside of February,” said Allen, “… it’s a part of my artistic style to celebrate the contributions of black role models in our families and close-knit communities.” The collective plans to provide attendees with a visually dynamic experience, featuring originally scored music by Andre Cunnigham, set design by Ariel Bounds, and film/photography by Keda Sharber. Choreographed by Allen, she uses a fusion of modern/contemporary dance, jazz, musical theatre and dance styles inspired by the African Diaspora to tell the story of Jim Shankle, Winnie Shankle, and their descendants.

The “Fairytale Project,” a free, family-friendly event, is inspired by the historical accounts of Jim and Winnie Shankle. Jim, Winnie, and their children were separated when Winnie’s master sold her and their children to a slaveholder in East Texas. Unwilling to live without his family, Jim Shankle tested his faith by escaping slavery and making the journey to East Texas through dense forests and the Mississippi River. Reuniting under a Sycamore tree, the couple, along with other community members, founded “Shankleville” which is one of Texas’ many Freedom Colonies. Their descendants honor and commemorate their resilience, bravery, and LOVE.

Features original scored music by Andre Cunnigham, set design by Ariel Bounds, and film/photography by Keda Sharber. The Fairytale Project was funded in part by Dance Source Houston and a Houston Arts Alliance “Let Creativity Happen Grant”.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for their comfort. A variety of food vendors will also be in attendance.


Sunday, Jun 26, 2022
5 – 7 p.m.


Discovery Green 

Anheuser-Busch Stage
1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.


About Nia’s Daughter Movement Collective

Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective, founded in 2018, is a multigenerational group of like-minded black women dance and multidisciplinary artists. Stacey Allen, founder and artistic director, birthed Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective from a variety of life experiences including motherhood and education. Nia is Swahili for Purpose, and Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective creates with purpose. We hold sacred the knowledge and practices bestowed upon us by our foremothers, thus we will forever give reverence and honor that we are their daughters. Movements possess a duality- movement in the physical embodiment and movement in terms of progress and social action. Upon its founding, Nia’s Daughters was organized to perform culturally competent dance works while telling the stories of Black women and girls.

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More information about the Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective can be found at

Discovery Green® is a highly acclaimed 12-acre park created by a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the nonprofit Discovery Green Conservancy in downtown Houston, Texas. Since opening in April 2008, the park has welcomed more than 15 million visitors. Discovery Green ® features sprawling lawns, a one-acre lake, an interactive fountain, a playground, public art installations, gardens and an allée of century-old live oaks. The Discovery Green Conservancy works with hundreds of programming partners to present artistic, musical, educational, family-friendly and health-focused events each year, most of which are presented free to the public. The park also features two on-site restaurants, the award-winning destination restaurant The Grove and the fast-casual The Lake House, providing visitors with an array of dining options. As a nonprofit organization, the Conservancy raises all the funds needed for the programming that Houstonians enjoy. For more information, please visit Arts programming is made possible in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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