Reposted from BroadwayWorld.com
Asase Yaa School of the Arts today announced a fundraising campaign to renovate their new home, a stand-alone 3,500-foot space at 1005 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn, NYC. To transform it into the dream space that Asase Yaa aspires to provide for their youth, they need support to raise $100,000. The initial campaign goal is to raise $10,000 by the ribbon cutting ceremony on September 1, 2022. To learn more and to donate, visit mightycause.com/story/Ayhome or text AYHOME to 844-844-6844.
As Asase Yaa celebrates their 20th anniversary, they look ahead to their next decade in this new space, which will be able to accommodate 250 students ages 3+. Renovations are scheduled to begin July 5, 2022, and the first day of classes will be September 15, 2022.
Highlights of the renovation plan include three dance studios with sprung wood Marley dance flooring, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, HVAC, Audio-visual systems, state-of the arts lighting and sound equipment, three office spaces, a meditation room, and event space.
With the new space, Asase Yaa will also begin hosting small events, such as a bi-weekly “Evening with the Artists” showcase, and performances of both their own new works and those of other companies.
“We’re incredibly excited to be celebrating our 20th Anniversary, It Was All a Dream, this year, after enduring tumultuous challenges in sustaining our School of the Arts, African-American Dance Theater, Community Arts Outreach program, and Children’s Summer Arts Camp due to the pandemic,” said K. Osei Williams, Executive Director, Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation. “Like so many other non-profits, we had to shutter our in-person activities, pivoting to all-virtual programs, and later a hybrid model. Thanks to the unwavering dedication of Asase Yaa’s extended family and community supporters, we’ve prevailed and returned to presenting in-person activities for all classes and activities.”
Recent highlights include an Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s annual DanceAfrica 2022, the School of the Arts’ first finale recital concert in over two years, and the Children’s Summer Arts Camp began its 15th year on June 28, 2022.
The School of the Arts was founded in 2010 with the mission to provide quality dance and drum instruction to boys and girls students ages 3 to 18. Through intensive study and technical training in various dance forms that include tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, and African, students become well versed in their genre over the course of the 37 week program (which typically runs from October to June).
The first three months of the program is focused on technique and the remaining months are focused around creating routines and choreography designed for a culminating recital annually held in June at a distinguished local venue.
Asase Yaa (“Mother Earth”) began life as the vision of brothers Kofi Osei Williams and Yao Ababio. They pooled teir from-childhood experiences, knowledge, community conscience and performance skills to start African dance and drumming workshops in the `90s that grew into thriving summer camps, art schools and spectacular concert performances with outreach to other like-minded dance companies. As the concept expanded, Kofi’s future wife Rubie, first joined their dance troupe as a dancer, and later took on a series of administrative positions. They pulled in professionals from all over Africa and the Caribbean to Broadway to participate as educators and consultants to create an affordable program for children, adults, seniors and entire families to partake.