Shawn Merriman-Roberts
Haitian Folkloric Dance
Vivien Bassouamina
Congolese
Mandjou Kone
Mali, Burkina Faso
Arnaud Loubayi
Congolese
Oumou Faye
Senegalese
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May 15th – 16th | Ancestral Healing Ceremony | Evergreen Cemetery

When visiting Evergreen Cemetery, traditional Congolese dancer, Vivien Bassouamina and community healer, Luna Leo, were pulled and inspired by the story of London Nelson. Called to find out more about those buried at Evergreen, in their research they learned there are multiple Black people are buried in the plot surrounding London. For the third commission of Beyond the Grave, these artists have decided to honor these ancestors with traditional funerary practices through interactive storytelling and dance.

This event was created and funded in part by the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC), as it supports their Black Health Matters Initiative and Diaspora Performance Project.TWDCC facilitates a working home for the professional world & contemporary dance artists while providing dance education that is committed to access, equity, and excellence. Black Health Matters is a community initiative that promotes equity through a network of community trust, advocacy, and collaboration to improve the quality of life for black residents in Santa Cruz County. Diaspora Performance Project gives professional support to 5 selected cultural artists. This program seeks to support the thriving community of artists of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for the development of new work, a deep and meaningful connection to our community, and performance opportunity.

Diaspora Performance Project

2019-2020

Artists of the African Diaspora

Origins, Immigration, Creation

Diaspora Performance Project gives professional support to 5 selected cultural artists. Our program, launched in 2018, seeks to support our thriving community of Artists of the African Diaspora and provide opportunity for the development of new work, deep and meaningful connection to our community, and performance opportunity. 

Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center (TWDCC) has made it a priority through our mission to sustain a dance and cultural space that supports Santa Cruz and Bay Area professional artists, and specifically, artists who have left their country of origin or have second and third generation immigrant experiences that inform their work directly. This support is done through offering affordable dance space to teach out of, curating performance opportunities that present the work, encourage further development of the form, and provide opportunities for a new generation of students to learn from these artists.

 

The Tannery World Dance + Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is committed to equity, access and excellence in dance education and performance. Through our classes, scholarships, festivals and community events, TWDCC links artists, audiences and communities throughout Santa Cruz and the greater Bay Area.

 
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