Spinning History: Heroines on the Home Front

Artist: Nancy Bell
Type: Performance
Art Form: Storytelling
Grade Level: 3 - 12
Scheduling Request

For more than twenty years, storyteller, historian, and hand-spinner Nancy Bell has been delighting audiences all over New England at libraries, schools, museums, and festivals with her fun, hands-on, Historical “Edu-tainment.” Her “Spinning History” program is a visual arts and women’s history performance about the role the art of spinning played in the American Revolution. Dressed in carefully researched, hand-sewn, historically accurate clothing, she demonstrates three kinds of spinning from “the Great Wheel” to the “drop spindle” and sings propaganda songs, used during the Colonial Revolution, to entice young female rebels to learn to spin. Students learn that true “Independence” came about in part because women were instrumental in creating and replacing the existing textile economy in the colonies by learning to spin, something not many women did before the war.

Note: Available live and pre recorded for remote learning online.

Length: 45 minutes
Audience Limit: 300
Curriculum Connection: Colonial Era Commerce, Spinning, Textiles, U.S. History, US. Revolutionary War, Women's History

Video: Remote Arts Learning Showcase (Nancy begins at 42:06)

Remote Single (Live, or Pre Recorded including 2 Q+A Sessions): $450

Additional Remote Q+A Sessions, one per class: $70

Single Show: $550
Back-To-Back: $935
Three-In-A-Row: $1,320
Travel Fee: $50 per day
Note: pricing may vary for weekend/out-of-school time

Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts


1 reserved parking space

6x8 foot performance space, however larger is better

Electrical outlet
Arrival time before performance: 30 minutes
Strike time: 30 minutes
Time needed between performances: 15 minutes
Teachers should play an active role in ensuring appropriate audience behavior and are requested to sit with their classes. Teachers are further requested not to correct papers during the program. It is distracting to the performers and, we believe, gives students the wrong message about audience courtesy.

Please introduce the performer as a Young Audiences of Massachusetts artist.

More From Nancy Bell

Remote Learning Adaptation Coming Soon