Giving Tuesday is TODAY-Donate to WACAI

You've heard of Black Friday and more recently Cyber Monday which kick off the holiday shopping season, but have you ever heard of Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday launches the charitable season at the end of the year and is about making a difference in our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. West African Cultural Arts Institute would like to invite you to participate! Your gift of $25 today will fund a week of after school drum and dance classes for a child from an underprivileged and under-represented community.

This fall West African Cultural Arts Institute ran a month long after school program for middle school kids at Prairie Mountain School in the Bethel District of Eugene, Oregon which culminated in a student performance. This program was generously funded by the Fred W. Fields Fund of Oregon Community Foundation and allowed WACAI to offer this program to kids and their families free of charge.

Over the course of our the program WACAI's teaching artists witnessed this group of kids completely transform from timid and apprehensive students to expressive and confident performers. A pair of sisters who participated confided that before they attended WACAI's program they were reticent to share their native Samoan culture with other because they are the only ones in the school. Learning the traditional dance steps from Guinea and hearing WACAI's teaching artists communicate with each other in the Guinean language Susu empowered and inspired these girls to embrace their uniqueness, demonstrate a traditional Samoan dance to the group, and speak to each other in Samoan outside of the home.

Students also shared that participating in WACAI's program really brought them together as a group and established lasting friendships. Iniloreta talks about how she used to see fellow students in the hallways, but really had no idea how profound her connection to them would become through collaborating on creating a dance sequence or overcoming the challenge of learning a tricky drum part by watching classmates' hands "to carry her through". WACAI's programs are powerful because through self-expression and collaboration in a fun and safe environment kids become empowered and transformed by the community building  these programs foster.

Help WACAI continue to offer after school programs at Prairie Mountain School as well as expand to other schools who's opportunities to experience the arts are limited by ethnicity, economics, or disability. Please renew your commitment to WACAI and make a generous gift today!

Donations can be made in three of the following ways:
1. Mail checks to
WACAI
PO Box 12279
Eugene, OR
97440

2. Visit online at http://www.westafricanculturalarts.org/support-our-mission

3. Call Executive Director Andrea DiPalma Yansane at 541.232.5471 for credit card donations