THE Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation
The Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year (2021-2022), is a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization with a mission to enlighten, uplift and immerse the community at large in all things artful of Africa – in full – in America. The Foundation is the controlling entity of a broad range of arts & cultural services that comprise two primary programs, the Asase Yaa School of the Arts and the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater. Under the auspices of the School of the Arts, they also sponsor an annual Children’s Arts Camp, and have a thriving Arts Outreach educational program that services public and private schools throughout New York’s five boroughs including Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. It’s one of the few Black-owned and run African cultural arts organizations in Brooklyn, and its principals include; Kofi Osei Williams, Chief Executive Director, Rubie Inez Williams, Director of Operations of the Foundation and Yao Ababio, Founder and Artistic Director of the African American Dance Theater.
WHAT MAKES ASASE YAA UNIQUE?
We are one of the few Black-owned African cultural arts organizations in Brooklyn, spurred by a generational torch that has been passed on and maintained for over three and a half decades, which includes 17 years with our current organization.
Serving Low-Income families
We provide “minority” children, single parent households and lower income families in the New York metropolitan community and surrounding areas with exposure to quality cultural performing arts through performances, an arts camp, performing and visual arts classes, and cultural events for little or no cost.
We’re the only non-profit cultural arts organization in Brooklyn that offers and fuses education, African history, arts, dance, drum/percussion and live performance training to children and adults ranging from 3 – 65 years and older throughout the entire year.
We have provided 100 scholarships, (totally over $50,000) for low income students from our community to participate and experience our program curriculum.
ASASE YAA ALUMNI SUCCESS
In recent years, about 20 of our exceptionally gifted and talented program alumni have been accepted by major universities and colleges around the country, debuted on Broadway, are touring with major recording artists, or have appeared in several popular television programs and motion pictures.
School of the Arts
CHILDREN’S ARTS CAMP
ARTS OUTREACH PROGRAM
Our School of the Arts Outreach Program is one of the most robust in-school cultural arts programs in the city. Over the past five years, we’ve served some 10,000 students and presented live performances and teaching residencies in over 100 schools (K – 12) throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.
THE Asase Yaa AFRICAN AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
Our African American Dance Theater was the first US-based African dance company in history to be nominated for the highly-coveted Bessie Award for our production of the “Djembe in the New Millennium” (2014). In 2017, we shared our first Bessie Award with several other dance companies for our performance in Abdel Salaam’s play, “Healing Sevens,”which won for Outstanding Production. Since the inception of the Asaye Yaa African Dance Theater program we have self-produced and presented 18 original productions featuring dance and drums including our most recent production, “It Was All Dream” (2022). Over 1000 performers have graced our stages and we’ve collaborated with nearly two dozen of the most prestigious African dance companies in the nation. Many of our alumni have launched successful careers on Broadway and in other entertainment mediums, including actors Shahadi Wright-Joseph, Chinua Payne, and dancer/entertainer Vianka Winborne.