African Queens Youth Performance Company
West African dance
About the Organization
African Queens Youth Performance Company has provided dance training, life skills training, and global travel experiences for over 150 girls, ages 8-18. The organization’s mission is to empower girls to become productive and responsible members of their communities. Through their participation in the African Queens, girls from underserved communities in Oakland are exposed to positive role models and opportunities to make healthy decisions about their future.
Living Cultures Grant Program
Funding from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grant Program supported the organization’s afterschool program for children and teenagers, teaching dance and drum rhythms from Haiti, Congo, and Senegal. In 2019, grant funds supported the significant addition of African drum instruction to its program. In 2020, the organization added African and hip hop fusion dance instruction to bridge the gap between traditional dance and drum and contemporary dance. The program continued in 2021, with the adaptation of instruction and performances via Zoom, to keep the program accessible and continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Traditional Arts Development Program
The African Queens applied ACTA funding to have consultant Denise Pate work with African Queens’ staff and board to create a fund development plan.