Send Tara & Chris to Mali
Chris and I started Cape Cod African Dance & Drum in 2004. Collaborating closely with Issa Coulibaly, a master Malian drummer, we hold weekly classes and periodic intensive workshops in traditional African dance and drumming for the Cape Cod community. I have also taught an academic course in African dance, drumming and culture at Cape Cod Community College for the last 9 years. This has been an incredible experience of delving deeply with students into the traditional and contemporary cultures of Mali, which underlie the dance and drumming that we practice throughout the semester. Additionally in this course, we study the African diaspora in the New World -- African cultural retentions and creations in America, Haiti and Brazil.
Cape Cod African Dance & Drum includes a performing ensemble that gives many performances of traditional and contemporary African dance and drumming throughout Cape Cod and the New England area, for all ages of children, adults, seniors and people with special needs. Furthermore, I teach regular therapeutic dance and drumming for people with disabilities, children and senior groups. Our group has also volunteered giving therapeutic drum circles for people in addiction recovery, as well as for homeless shelters.
A trip to Mali would greatly enrich the quality and depth of our classes and performances on Cape Cod and the New England area. Our students and audiences, of all ages and abilities, will be able to learn more dances, songs and rhythms, as well as hear more cultural wisdom and folkloric stories about the dances and rhythms we teach. Students will learn about the contemporary cultures of Mali, as well as the rich layers of its history and cultural traditions. A trip to Mali would especially enrich our Cape Cod Community College course, and heighten my teaching credentials. Relaying our firsthand experiences in Mali, I will be able to give a greater understanding of the history, social and ritual purpose, healing benefit and spiritual traditions of the dances, rhythms and cultures. Overall, I am sure our experience in Mali will be greatly transformative, inspiring us to continue teaching cross-cultural education, understanding and communication through our classes in African dance and drumming.
While in Mali, we will take daily classes in traditional dance and drumming with artists from the professional
drum and dance companies of Bamako (the capital city). We will travel to the towns of Segou and Kita, the home of the djeli (storyteller) and djembe (drum). We will also travel to Kangaba to learn the history of the Mande people, as well as visit the famous open-air market of Soukuba. Additionally, I plan to participate in a service project with a nonprofit organization that helps empower women and girls through education in Mali. Chris and I will also enjoy attending local ceremonies and participate in social and cultural events throughout Bamako and the surrounding area. Every day will be a full opportunity for learning, observation and engagement in every aspect of Malian culture, from working with young students, to everyday dancing and drumming, to enjoying an evening concert.
The funds raised from this campaign will go entirely towards our trip expenses: round trip airfare for two from Boston to Bamako (capital city of Mali); room and board for three weeks; fees for daily dance, drum, music and history classes; and living and travel expenses while in Mali. Chris and I will stay in Moussa Traore's family compound just outside of Bamako. As the fees for our trip will be due in December 2017, we will need to raise the required funds in the next 3 months.
The financial support that we receive for this campaign means the world to us! It will enable us to manifest our dreams and take our knowledge of African dance and drumming to the next level. Like many working people, Chris and I don't often have the extra funds to make a trip like this happen. That is why we have only dreamed about this idea for so long. One morning I woke up with GoFundMe on my mind...It is the solution that enables us to reach out to our many friends and well wishers, and the wonderful people who have supported us and cheered us on wholeheartedly for all these years. We will be eternally grateful for the help people give us for this trip of a lifetime! It is a gift of support that in the long run, will affect many people in our community in positive, life-changing and inspiring ways.
Before we leave for Mali, we plan to hold a random raffle amongst all the donors of our campaign. If you are chosen, you will recieve a special gift of traditional clothing or art from Mali.
We still need to raise $4,500 more to reach our goal by late December. Will you consider donating to our campaign? We greatly appreciate any amount of contribution....thank you!!! xxoooo Tara & Chris