Dear Friends of the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature, 

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you our dear Sister Beverly Cottman, transitioned into the village of ancestors on March 11, 2023. Beverly was traveling with friends in Egypt at the time of her transition.

Beverly was a Interdisciplinary Artist creating at the intersections of visual, performance, and literary arts.  Beverly shared her love for the oral tradition by presenting activities and experiences that were engaging, affirming, and supportive. 

Beverly was a long-time teaching artist with the Archie Givens Sr. Collection for African American Literature and The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, conducting residencies and workshops for all grade levels performing the works of African American authors and illustrators. Bringing stories, folktales and fables of the African Diaspora to audiences young and old as beloved Auntie Beverly’ the storyteller.”

Beverly had an amazing zest for life!! She was an active member and workshop presenter with Black Storytellers Alliance, Story Arts of Minnesota, National Storytellers Network, and National Association of Black Storytellers.

Beverly married the love of her life Bill Cottman (Bill transitioned December 2022), in 1966 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Within a year, they were married and relocated to Minnesota.

Beverly leaves behind daughter Kenna, a choreographer who founded Voice of Culture, a drum and dance group. Granddaughter, Yonci, works in many art forms, drumming, dancing and spoken word to name a iew. Grandson Ebrima Sarge performs as a drummer and dancer.

A great loss for the Minneapolis arts community and for our entire village.