By Carrie Reese
Marketing and Communications Intern
As the instructor featured for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Community Day on March 27, Sista Jewel will perform and teach youth how stories from Africa translate to dance and how dance translates back to life.
“Each dance has a meaning to it that comes from a social condition or a social event,” she says. The children she teaches learn two different dances. The first, the harvest dance called Koukou, speaks to the children and teaches them that they are the harvest of all hard work and their elders look to them to carry on traditions and give back to the community. The second dance is a welcome dance called Funga. This dance is to welcome new challenges but also remind the children that everyone in their life is there for a reason.
In just a few weeks, the museum will feature an exhibition of rare objects from Southern Africa. The Art of Daily Life: Portable Objects from Southeast Africa opens on April 16.
Sista Jewel has been to Africa five times, concentrating her experiences in Senegal and the Gambia. She has brought back the culture from Africa to teach youth and help them connect to their culture, using the stories from dance to not only make them better dancers, but help them lead the best lives possible. The lessons in these dances translate to the outside world and help the youth she teaches push the envelope of society to go above and beyond.
Community Day offers other experiences of art around the world. Make mini Japanese scrolls from 1-3pm, learn more about how Koreans and Japanese transformed the cultural influence from China into their own unique masterpieces in a special lecture with curator Dr. Seunghye Sun and enjoy free museum tours featureing highlights from our collection. All events are free!
We hope to see you there!