We want to bring a day of celebration, connection, and creativity to the folks living in the Ledgewood Village Section 8 Housing Project in Asheville, NC. There are over 150 people living here, including many kids.
We will collaborate with members of Faerie Kin Enchanted Stiltwalkers and Nex Millen of ONEmic Studio.
Chakaba (pronounced shah-kah-bah) is the traditional African practice of wearing a sacred spirit mask while dancing on stilts. The practice goes by many names, depending on the African language that is spoken by the people. The tallness, the stilts, is a reminder to look up to the great things ancestors did. It also represents maintaining balance in life. The mask and costume contains objects that are flora (plant), fauna (animal), mineral (earth), and aqua (water, the sea). It brings forth the concept that these things are important, and a healthy world must strive to be in balance with nature for harmony, peace and continuity.
We will share and teach easy, earth-centered, and connecting songs to folks of all ages. We will also co-create simple dances to the songs with the participants. There will be the opportunity for youth to provide back beats to the songs on equipment provided by Nex Millen.
There will be a puppet artist who will offer easy instruction for folks to make spirit masks (materials will be provided).
We will put it all together in a parade led by the stiltwalkers that includes everyone singing, dancing, and wearing masks.
We'll conclude the celebration with a shared meal of healthy nutritious food and offer a song of gratitude (and a time for participants to offer their thanks).
Funded by Asheville, NC (July 2017)