The music and drumming of the Mandinka dates back to the 13th century in the Mali Empire. These century old traditions, songs and rhythms are related to various life cycles such as infant naming, agriculture and marriage ceremonies, as well as pertaining to specific social and religious societies. Central to…
As part of ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2006 Marcelo taught Isis Raele, his step-daughter, the art of capoeira. Capoeira is the only indigenous martial art of the Americas and was developed by enslaved Africans in Brazil. Mestre Pereira started playing capoeira on the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, as a child and…
Joti Singh studied Guinean dance with master artist Alseny Soumah as part of ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2007. Soumah’s family taught him to dance when he was a small child in Conakry, Guinea, and he performed with a neighborhood group before dancing professionally with Ballets Merveilles and Les…
African and African diaspora Arts and Culture
The William Grant Still Arts Center in Los Angeles has presented since 1980 an original exhibit of Black Dolls created by artists, collectors and the local community. The exhibit had auspicious beginnings and was a joint effort begun by Friends of the WGS Arts Center, under…
The West African Dunun and Djembe drumming tradition is an old performance art form of the Susu and Mandinka peoples of the region. Versions of these forms can be found throughout West African nations such as Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Gambia, and the Ivory Coast. Dunun, Sangbani, and the Kinkini are…
The California East Bay has become a host for many incredible West African artists and cultural expressions. Drumming and dance Senegal and Guinea, for example, have captured the heart of many communities in this region. There are a variety of musical expressions, forms, and instruments that have been transplanted from…
Bay Area Youth Arts is a nonprofit program with a mission to help at-risk, inner-city youth develop discipline and self-confidence necessary to lead positive and productive lives.  Offering African and jazz percussion, as well as classical and jazz violin, students learn listening and learning skills that…
The descendants of the Yoruba people of Nigeria continue to preserve their connection to their ancestral traditions and art forms through ritual song, dance, and drumming.  The nuances of these traditional elements are available only to those initiated, allowing for a robust spiritual knowledge and deeper understanding of the religious…
As a grantee of ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program in 2015, DelinaDreamProductions will receive support for the documentary Bare Soles Bare Soul.  Bare Soles Bare Soul will explore the sociocultural experience of eight African American women who have studied and practiced various traditional African dance styles…