Lifting Inspirations was nominated for, and awarded, an Arts & Science Council seed grant which will fund Afro-Brazilian dance and drumming for boys at the Southview Recreation Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Moving Spirits, Inc., is the creative entity who will provide this artistic program.
Moving Spirits, Inc. is a non-profit, contemporary arts organization focusing on arts of the African diaspora. Art forms include modern, ballet, African diaspora dance forms (including African Brazilian), and contemporary West African dances. Moving Spirits uses these creative arts to bring awareness to injustices and other obstacles to community development. They are dedicated to social change through dance performance and community engagement. Bloco Afro is a community organization within Moving Spirits that reinforces pride in African heritage and culture through such activities as music (including drumming), dance, songs, cooking, and cultural education. Infused into these activities are discussions that address social issues such as racism, disenfranchisement in education, employment, health and wellness, and other areas of concern to Black and brown peoples.
Drumming and dance, [and Capoeira], will help with boys’ wellness and life skills as well as cardio-fitness. They will especially learn dances that connect to nature, and warrior dances where the strength and athleticism of boys is particularly powerful. Arts are another way to address trauma, enabling children and youth to express emotionally in ways they are not able to verbalize. Afro-Brazilian dance, in particular, provides individuals empowerment and strength to overcome insecurities, self-doubt and apprehension by telling their own story through the arts. It is particularly suited to children of the African Diaspora, for the stories provide them with the healing power of ancestral connection with the drum and with the stories behind each dance. The ancestral stories are then related to current-day issues facing Black and brown youth.
The Arts and Science Council supports the work of creatives through their motto: Culture for All. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg/ASC Public-Private Partnership for cultural affairs has enabled ASC to distribute funding throughout the region. This is a nationally recognized model that combines resources from the public sector with those of the private sector to maximize community impact. We are extremely grateful to the Arts and Science Council for the seed grant to support this programming.
Through Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, the program (information below) will be held at the Southview Recreation Center for youth living in surrounding neighborhoods.
Afro Brazilian Drumming taught by Luciano Xavier:
Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, September 6, 13, 20, 27
Afro Brazilian Dance and Culture taught by Tamara Williams:
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 pm, in October
Tuesday, November 1
Performance at Southview Recreation Center:
Tuesday, November 15 at 5:30 pm