The Pelham Art Center will celebrate Ghana with folklore performances plus an Adinkra Workshop free and open to all ages this Sunday, May 5 from 1:30 – 4:00 pm.
Visitors will learn about Ghana with traditional folklore, song, dance, and hands-on art making. Award-winning performer Therese Folkes Plair will transport audience members through the magic of storytelling. The narrative journey continues through a traditional dance performance by Dani Criss accompanied by drummer Dylan Greene. Teaching artist Becky Mills will then lead a workshop exploring Adinkra symbology.
Therese Folkes Plair is an award-winning performing artist and classically-trained singer specializing in world music and storytelling. Her research, teaching, and performances focus on the oral and written literature of people of African descent. Since 1990, Ms. Plair has regularly spent several months a year in West Africa researching oral traditions, language and women’s rituals. In 1996, she was selected for a Fulbright Research Award. Her ethnographic work in Ghana’s Asante region formed the basis for a one-woman performance work (“If It Doesn’t Crack, It Won’t Break”), for which she won the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Award in 1994. She has also been in the forefront of developing arts education in Westchester County and Tri-State New York areas since 1980.
Dani Criss is a dancer, actress, activist, creator, and writer. She is heavily influenced by the African diaspora, her heritage, and the history we stand on. Trained extensively in the dances of the African Diaspora, predominantly in West African and Congolese techniques, various stylings of modern, jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, and liturgical dances. Dani is a graduate of High Point University with a B.A. in Theatre Performance and Dance. As an actress, she studies authentic storytelling and uses techniques such as Misner to connect to true places of empathy. Dani strives to create and display authentic work that will ultimately touch, inspire, and change lives. Dani is currently a faculty member of the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Adinkra are symbols used extensively throughout the history of Ghana’s visual culture, conveying traditional wisdom related to life and the natural environment. Becky Mills will introduce various Adinkra symbols and invite participants to paint the ones that speak to them the most. Becky Mills is an artist who has a studio at High Brook. She is an art instructor for the French American School of NY, freelancer, art historian, and Adjunct Professor. She is also a co-supervisor in Guest Relations at the Katonah Museum of Art.
These events and programs are made possible, in part, by the ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government. Pelham Art Center also receives funding from: New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency; Westchester Community Foundation; Pelham Community Members and Annual Fund Donors.