Emily Hooper Lansana is a community builder, storyteller, arts administrator, and educator. For more than thirty years, she has performed as a storyteller, sharing her work with audiences throughout Chicago and across the country. She has been featured at the National Storytelling Festival, the National Association of Black Storytellers Festival, and at a variety of museums, colleges and performance venues. She often performs with Performance Duo: In the Spirit. She enjoys passing on traditions to young people as a coach and mentor with nationally recognized Rebirth Poetry Ensemble. She is the winner of a 3Arts award, an OX-Bow Inspirator award and a Community Service award from the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature. Her work seeks to honor those whose stories are often untold especially those of the African diaspora.
She teaches storytelling in a variety of venues from universities to community centers and is honored to have led storytelling workshops with MAMAS (Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity), SOL Collective: A Storytelling Collective for Women of Color, Housing Action Illinois, Americorps and several other organizations. She leads an ongoing series called Tell Open Stories. As an adjunct professor, she has taught at Columbia College, the University of Chicago, DePaul University and Chicago State University. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Black Storytellers and as President of the Chicago Association of Black Storytellers. She also serves as Senior Director of Community Arts for the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. She received her BA in Theater Studies from Yale University and an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.