Akoma Unity center believes that one way to help today’s youth of color is through the arts. At Akoma, children are offered many afterschool programs of which one of the most popular is the African Drum and Dancers program.
In the program, children are taught African dance and culture along with the opportunity to learn an instrument like drums and keyboards. The children look forward to having fun practicing dance with their friends and learning to play songs on their instruments.
Dr Lawson Bush V, Co-Founder & Chair of Akoma Unity Center believes in the power of dance. According to Dr. Bush, “dance is so powerful, it is really what has kept us alive and has sustained us through some very terrible times and so to be able to give this gift to our children and just watch them smile and enjoy themselves, it just absolutely warms my heart”.
According to Kimberly Calvin, Executive Director of Akoma Unity Center, most school districts no longer provide fine arts as part of their curriculums and so they are thankful for organizations like the San Bernardino fine arts commission who gives them yearly grants to be able to provide these types of services.
Kimberly is proud of Akoma’s after school programs and considers the African Drum and Dancers to be their pride and joy. Kimberly also believes that the arts have a role to play in the lives of the children commenting that “as an afterschool program, we don’t just consider ourselves to be were we’re just watching someone’s children from 2:30 to 7, we’re enriching their lives, through arts”.
Akoma’s drum and dancers were showcased in Expressions of Art that aired in June on KVCR TV. The series will air again on KVCR in September. KVCR also produced 3-minute story of Akoma that is airing now on KVCR and will continue to air until December 2018.