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Joe Castillo Brings New Light to UC


Williamsburg, KY.,- Joe Castillo, artist and storyteller, presented “SandStory” at University of the Cumberlands (UC) on October 4th as a part of the 125th anniversary and homecoming celebrations.

“SandStory” is a combination of sand, light, and sound to tell God’s love story through the art form he created ten years ago. According to Castillo, the unique storytelling is memorable for the audience.

“In the grand scheme of things, I’m just a grain of sand,” Castillo said. “I’m not representing myself; I have to be willing to represent Him well.”

For his performance at UC, he started with “The Creation Story” from Genesis. He followed with the story of “The Prodigal Son,” which is an example of God’s love for us. The last story he told was the first story he ever performed. “The Passion,” which told the story of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, was told through light, colors and dramatic music to evoke emotion.

Castillo has become accustomed to evoking emotion. During his stint on “America’s Got Talent,” a popular reality television show, Castillo received much praise from the judges and viewers for his performances of “God Bless the USA” and “The Prodigal Son.” Castillo was asked to audition for the show three times, finally giving in on the third request. His wife, Cindy Castillo, advised him that God might be opening a door for him.

“I didn’t realize how big of an impact an individual could have on TV,” Castillo said.

The experience that Castillo had on “America’s Got Talent” gave him a broader stage to share stories that would affect people’s lives. He became an internet sensation and has performed for seven years, traveling to 40 states and 18 countries.

On a trip to India, in which the audience was primarily Hindu, he received a standing ovation for his performance of “The Passion.”

“The great value of “SandStory” is that it requires no translation,” Castillo said.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit

Article provided by Lydia Huggins and Amanda Kelly, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Department