Back to School Beats-Drum & Dance After School Program at Prairie Mountain School

Starting on Monday sounds of drumming will be heard filling the hallways of Prairie Mountain School once students are dismissed from their school day. West African Cultural Arts Institute will partner with Prairie Mountain School to offer an arts educational program focusing on drum, dance, and culture from Guinea, West Africa to students grades 5-8.

This program offers an intensive look at Guinea's cultural arts through 20 hands-on, interactive music and dance classes, Monday-Thursday for the next five weeks. It will include poly-rhythmic drumming, traditional and contemporary group dancing, call and response singing and other percussion music like shakers, rhythm sticks, and clapping exercises as well as  the opportunity to perform at a Culminating Event. The Culminating Event will feature West African Cultural Arts Institute's authentic and dynamic group of professional Guinean performers who'll really raise the roof with their powerful drumming, beautiful dances and songs, and over the top acrobatics!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation WACAI is able to offer this enriching program free of charge to Prairie Mountain families. The Oregon Community Foundation's mission is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon.

Providing this program for free is an integral part of its success because, according to principal Carey Killen "63% are identified as qualifying for free or reduced lunch and having a fee associated program would prohibit many students from being able to attend."