Joyce Grear served as artist in residence for the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation Department.  Under her guidance, the special populations department grew to include a wide range of community-based programs and projects. She founded and co-founded: The Wilmington’s Children’s Theatre, The Senior Players, Art Camp, and The Annual Youth Storytelling Festival; Grear has also toured Pender and Brunswick counties as a Living History Character and storyteller.


Grear has toured primarily throughout the Southeast and New England. Internationally, she has toured South Korea and Japan for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools.  She has appeared as a featured teller in many storytelling festivals, to include the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and the National Black Storytelling Festival in Oakland, California.

Joyce has served as an artist-in-residence, for The Family and Neighborhood Institute of North Carolina, Inc., a non-profit organization in Wilmington, NC, with emphasis on academics and character building programs for at-risk youth. The mission of the organization was to build stronger families and wholesome neighborhoods by implementing programs and service initiatives that maximize individual potential and overall community. It is this mission that brings Joyce Grear full circle.


In addition to her own performances, Grear teaches drama, writes plays, and directs instructional programs and workshops for educators and children.  She uses stories as a teaching tool. Joyce is the “griot” of Wilmington. She is a storyteller of her village, for she knows that storytelling is the oldest form of the village school.


"Our students were spellbound by Joyce Grear's performance. She took on the persona so convincingly that I overheard 12 year old students arguing about whether she was in fact the real Harriet Tubman after the performance."

-- Ethan D. Williamson, Head of School, Friends School of Wilmington