LA Dance Chronicle was founded in 2017 with the mission to cover all things dance in the Los Angeles area and that continues to be our primary focus. During the Covid pandemic, however, the world’s dance community has discovered that it is suddenly able to reach a wider audience by using technology to share dance works online. Recently it came to my attention via Michelle Tabnick Public Relations that the Brooklyn, NY based Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, created to “Enrich, Educate, Entertain African history art forms and history through its programs for children to adults” was about to launch their year-long celebration with a “It Was All A Dream” – 20th Anniversary Virtual Special on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 7pm. Looking over the information, I decided that this was a story well-worth sharing with our readers.
The event will last approximately 30-minutes and feature performances by the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble, and vocalist Amma Whatt. It will also include guest speakers, Kofi Osei/Executive Director, Inez Williams/Director of Operations, Yao Ababio/Founder &Artistic Director, African American Dance Theater, Zakiya Harris/Artistic Director, School of the Arts, Jawana Johnson/Board Member, and a special 20th Anniversary Retrospective Video. The Special is produced by the Asase Cultural Arts Foundation Productions, and filmed and edited by Mickella Solutions, Inc.
“Over the past 20 years, our passion for art and culture has ensured we present it at the highest level in everything our Foundation represents to our local and global communities,” explained Inez Williams, Asase Yaa’s Director of Operations. “As we embark on our next chapter, we remain intensely focused on expanding our family and offering a welcoming space that encourages and educates minority youth to use their artistic creativity. We’re happy to see our dreams come true and to help them share the beauty of art and culture with the world for years to come,” she added.
For more than two decades Asase Yaa has had a positive and invaluable impact on minority youth and families in Brooklyn, something that every large city in the US could benefit from. Over 6000 students have attended their School of the Arts participating in programs, classes, workshops, events, and performances, and via all of its services, the Foundation has reached more than 300,000 people and families within the Brooklyn community. The Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater and Youth Ensemble have performed more than 5,000 performances, and most notably, 100% Asase Yaa’s participants have graduated from high school since its inception.
Asase Yaa will also take this opportunity to reveal details for several major projects that will anchor their 20th Anniversary event. Those will include producing a documentary film, the premiere of a new “It Was All A Dream” musical by the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater at the Tribeca, a School of The Arts entertainment variety concert at Prospect Park Picnic House, and a “Art is Alive” Festival spread over four days. The festival will include dance & drum classes, morning exercise classes, multiple art classes, and early dinners with movie screenings featuring films by one of Brooklyn’s most famous directors and filmmakers.
To visit the Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation website, click HERE.
To learn more about the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater, click HERE.
By Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater – Photo courtesy of the company.