WHOis Akoma Arts (www.akomaarts.org)
Mission Statement - Encourage and strengthen the local community using Drumming, Dance and Song.
Vision Statement – Help create a connection of the world communities through Drumming, Dance and Song.
Founded in May of 2011 by Keith Hames, Akoma Arts is a collective of fifteen Musicians, Singers, Dancers and Spoken Word Artist, whose mission it is to enhance community and personal healing as well as promoting community unification through interactive performance. Our audiences are taken through several stages of the African and African American experience by utilizing African Drum, Dance and Praise songs, African American Folk Songs and Spirituals, Storytelling and Spoken Word. Our message is positive, informative and affirming.
We currently offer:
African Drumming and Dance (Afro-Fitness) Classes We sponsor two weekly Drum and Dance Classes in the South Bay Area (San Jose) Low cost and/or free to local residents, brings together the diverse communities of San Jose in a safe, mindful, respectful and healthy learning environment.
H.E.A.R. Program/Akoma Kids (Healthy, Energizing, Attitude and Rhythm) This new program will directly engage and train the kids we have been entertaining over the past four years and focuses on two primary age groups, 5 - 12 and 13 – 17. The cohorts use African dance and drumming as the basis for the H.E.A.R. program, as we combine monthly themes that recognize, enhance and build leadership upon their natural skills. We work within eight week modules that culminate with a session ending presentation to family and friends. Themes include, Self Management, Personal Responsibility, Integrity, Honesty, etc.
Akoma Arts Drum and Dance Performance Group We perform over 35 culturally based school assemblies and cultural events per year, with the intent of connecting and bringing together communities by introducing Drum, Dance, Songs and Stories from the African Diaspora. Our primary audience being the students from local community, and Drumming is the centerpiece, we involve our audiences with hands-on and feet-on (Interactive) opportunities to dance and sing along. Our program also serves as cultural edutainment, with performances of both West African Songs and Stories (in dialect) and African American Spirituals and Folk songs, which takes the audience on a five part journey from the African Village, through the Middle Passage, the Enslavement era, the Emancipation era, and back to the re-connection to Africa.
Group Drum Therapy We have programs to bring together youth of different ethnic and social backgrounds. We focus on connecting people though the medium of drumming to allow them to work harmoniously together. It's all about integration and connection and we have had great success in San Jose's High Schools and Juvenile Corrections Facility. The value of group drumming as a trans-formative and healing activity has been widely researched and endorsed by the health profession. Studies have demonstrated the calming, focusing and healing effects of drumming for Alzheimer’s patients, autistic children, emotionally unsettled teens, recovering addicts and trauma patients. This research reinforces what we’ve seen in our own experience: it simply just makes people feel good! Drumming programs are undoubtedly the best way to maximize these benefits.
Open Mic Lunch Program Through an MOU with the ESUHSD we provide an on-campus presence of caring African American men and women to serve as role models and active listeners to engage African American students in understanding the importance of hard work, self-management and personal responsibility in their future success. To enhance and add value to the high school experience of African American students with the intent to eliminate and surpass the known scholastic opportunity gaps.
Drumming for Special Needs and Abilities Workshops Partnering with Music Therapists, Akoma has experience working with children and adults with various levels of physical and mental abilities. Our drum and dance program is intended to enhance focus and build confidence, using positive reinforcement with structure. Our hope is to increase and improve socialization, reduce anxiety and behavioral problems. Experts say drumming helps access the right-brain which controls emotions, intuition, artistry and relaxation. This is a benefit to the child with autism and can provide a type of neurological re-patterning for a concrete thinker. Hand drumming increases hand/eye coordination, movement and visual perception. Where to strike the instruments and the necessary body movements are also part of the therapy. Drumming is also an activity that supports language skills such as categorization, sequencing, predicting, turn taking, listening, problem solving and following directions. The complexity of the “call and response” actions of drumming mimics and encourages human speech. The structure and repetition of drumming appeals to individuals on the autism spectrum and gives them an outlet for their emotions and an opportunity to channel their energy.
Corporate Team Building Drumming workshops are proven and effective fun filled team building exercises designed to improve productivity in the workplace. By creating a relaxed environment which inspires group participation and synergy, drumming breaks down social barriers and allows the participants to work efficiently and harmoniously together with increased focus and reduced stress. African Drumming will unite your group and have them drumming in harmony together in minutes. The ensemble nature of African Drumming is synergy in action; a live metaphor for the principles of teamwork, leadership and communication needed for groups to meet their potential. We’ll shake the rust off of team dynamics, get people connected and leave them feeling empowered and uplifted.
Why Choose Us?
We offer a wide range of cultural services to the community, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and corporations. Please contact us for a free consultation on how Akoma Arts can be your cultural or therapeutic resource.
Contact: Keith Hames Phone: 408.506.6988 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.akomaarts.org
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