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Youth & Cultural Arts

Our youth programming provides experiences for pre-adulthood that contribute to healing the injustices in our community from a traditional and holistic lens. Body and self-awareness are necessary for true change and radical cultural transformation. These programs were created for youth to engage and interact with peers while also familiarizing and healing their bodies. We focus on African roots and culture through drum and dance, mindfulness, social-emotional learning, indigenous history and community support. We also facilitate programming for families, and intergenerational spaces. Using healing arts, we create cross cultural, emotional and intersectional experiences.

YCA's Ongoing Programs

Register for current programs >

Rootead in Youth

A program for 2 - 8 year olds on movement, songs, rhythms, and storytelling centering on the African Diaspora. All classes are held Saturday mornings (Oct. 16 - Dec. 18) and the cost for the full series is $80.

Rootead Youth Dance Company

In 2016, Rootead embarked on a journey to develop a youth dance company that would reflect the unique and rich cultural traditions within the spectrum of the black experience and beyond. This is a free program for 8-18 year olds, all genders/non gender binary, all races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. If youth have trained in Traditional West African Dance for a minimum of 1 year and are able to carry the responsibility that comes with being a member, then youth who are not within the age range can audition to join. Otherwise, youth younger than 8 years old can train in the Rootead in Youth Program until ready. Responsibilities include but are not limited to rehearsals twice a week, professional development once or twice a month, fundraising events, bonding events, showcases, and performances.

Community Drum & Dance

Always one of Rootead’s most popular programs, Community Drum and Dance is a multigenerational, traditional West African Dance celebration, which will be held at numerous locations throughout the Greater Kalamazoo area this summer. All ages and all levels are encouraged to attend these classes, which are accompanied with live drumming, and all events are pay-what-you-can and donation-based with online registration requested.

Rootead Youth Drum Ensemble

A pre-professional youth drum ensemble performs Black Diaspora music in the Kalamazoo area. This is a free program for 8-18 year olds, all genders/non gender binary, all races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The youth may join the ensemble if they can hold the rhythm of the Traditional West African drums and be able to carry the responsibilities that comes with being a member. Otherwise, youth younger than 8 years old can train in the Rootead in Youth Program until ready. Responsibilities include but are not limited to rehearsals twice a week, professional development once or twice a month, fundraising events, bonding events, showcases, and performances.

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