“Hip Hop Kingdom” is set as the program’s theme, and students will learn about the many political and social impacts of Hip Hop in New York City
Kofi Osei Williams, Executive Director of Brooklyn-based Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has been offering youth ages 3-18 an opportunity to learn, study, and experience the history, movement and beauty of African Diaspora dance, music and culture at its highest level for over 20 years, announced that Asase Yaa’s School of the Arts, Arts Outreach Program is partnering with 19 schools (public, charter, and private) throughout the New York area for the 2023-2024 school year.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to join forces with these incredible NYC DOE Public and Charter Schools,” said Kofi Osei Williams, Executive Director of the Foundation. “From dance and drumming to arts and crafts, and even theater, it’s an electrifying experience to share the vibrant language of the arts with thousands of students!”
In addition, Williams announced that Asase Yaa has named Kwesi Nkroma as the new Managing Director of the Arts Outreach Program, effective immediately. Nkroma will oversee the programs in-school and after-school activities, as well as create and sustain a culturally relevant and efficient art enrichment curriculum that its teaching artists will present to their partner schools. The program services high school, middle, and elementary schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.
The theme for this year’s program is Hip Hop Kingdom, which is inspired by an original theater work that was written and produced by Kofi Osei Williams in 2018. Students will learn about the many historical, political, social, advocacy, and artistic influences Hip Hop has had on the evolution of Black and popular culture in New York and throughout the world. They will tailor the Hip Hop Kingdom theater classes for each school. The program’s other curriculum includes Afrobeat music, dancing, drumming, choir singing, arts and crafts, and mentorship. The Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble will present a special performance of Hip Hop Kingdom during Black History Month in 2024.
ABOUT THE ASASE YAA CULTURAL ARTS FOUNDATION
Asase Yaa (“Mother Earth”) Cultural Arts Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to fulfilling its core tenets to Enrich, Educate, Entertain, and promote the importance of cultural performing arts to youth and adults in their community.
What began as the vision of brothers Kofi Osei Williams and Yao Ababio to start African dance and drumming workshops in the `90s, has grown into a thriving School of the Arts, for youth ages 3-18, an annual six weeks Children’s Summer Arts Camp, an Arts Outreach Program that serves many public and charter schools throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, and Queens, an internationally renowned and award-winning professional dance ensemble, Asase Yaa African-American Dance Theater, and a Youth Ensemble that features African dancers and drummers who perform throughout the greater New York metropolitan area.
Asase Yaa aspires to empower and strengthen youth by offering them an opportunity to learn, study and experience the history, movement and beauty of African Diasporic dance, music, and culture at its highest level. Their programs are designed to ensure that youth understand the roots and value of culture in the arts, which they hope will inspire and propel them to become strong leaders capable of preserving and elevating their culture and communities in the future.
For more information, visit www.asaseyaaent.org.
ABOUT ASASE YAA ARTS OUTREACH PROGRAM
Our Asase Yaa Arts Outreach programs were originally founded as T.E.A.C.H in September 2012, which was changed to Arts Outreach in 2018. Our mission has always been to offer in-school instruction for students within the City of New York public and charter school system. We designed our curriculum designed for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade and features instruction in multiple performing arts genres, including African and African Diaspora dance, African drumming, musical theater, vocal, ballet, tap, martial arts, hip hop, modern dance, acting, visual arts, and instrumental performance.
Our Arts Outreach programs include in-school Residency Programs in dance, drumming visual arts, and theater. We also offer special performances for schools and community events that feature our abbreviated dance and drum ensembles and presentations of original musical theater productions performed by youth casts from our School of the Arts.
ABOUT KWESI NKROMA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ASASE YAA ARTS OUTREACH
Kwesi Nkroma is a second-generation African-American percussionist. Over the past 30 years, he studied with master musicians from around the globe and continues to research a wide range of percussion styles and traditions. Kwesi began his studies under the tutelage of world-renowned musician/drummer Kimati Dinizulu. He has continued studying the culture and musical traditions with other master-level drummers in Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Cuba, and the West Indies.
For more information, visit www.asaseyaaent.org/school/#arts-outreach-program