Janeen Johnson

Congolese music and dance

Congolese music and dance
Johnson (right) with Master Artist Sandor Diabankouezi (left) at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in Oakland, in May 2023. Photo: nzoCALIFA.

Janeen Johnson of O.Y.A. Strategies is a versatile artist, director, and touring field technician with a global reach. Her journey in arts and culture spans over eleven years, marked by extensive study and training in African and African Diaspora Dance, Music, and Culture, and formal training in Congolese music and dance traditions with legacy company, Fua Dia Congo (Congolese Heritage). Her skills extend to teaching—developed under the tutelage of Master Artist Ta Malonga Casquelourd—and she has taught throughout the San Francisco, Oakland, and Palo Alto School Districts. Johnson is also a stagecraft maven, combining interdisciplinary skills in arts management and administration with a focus on traditional and folk arts of shared cultural heritages. She yields an impressive professional track record, contributing to projects that encompass a range of cultural and artistic expressions.


Living Cultures Grant


“From Whence I Came: Expressions of Congo”

Congolese Master Artists Ferdinand Batantou (left), Kiazi Malonga (back, center), and Hyacinte Massamba (right) pay respects to Elder Diabankouezi (front, center) at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts in May 2023. Photo: O.Y.A. Strategies.

Johnson will produce an oral history project centered on Pierre Sandor Diabankouezi, Master choreographer of traditional drum and dance from the Republic of Congo. The project will involve interviews, translated songs, and the transcription of cultural stories depicted in Diabankouezi’s Mikwe painting, preserving his contributions to African Dance in the San Francisco Bay Area for future generations.







Janeen E. Johnson | oyastrategies@gmail.com

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