Let’s talk Africa! Englewood students build cultural conversation through drums

Wow, check out the concentration on their faces (photos below)…after all, these Kershaw Elementary 6th-8th graders were learning from the expert, UG teaching artist Josh Guy. Also possible that they joshed around a bit (yes, admittedly, that was terrible), but hey, they’re teenagers. Let them have a little fun.

But here’s what really impresses us about this residency in Englewood: Josh used West African drumming, rhythm and art as a bridge to a much broader conversation about Africa. He focused on questions like, “What is the common conception of Africa?” and, “How can we achieve a more balanced view of a culture or the world through artistic practice?”

They are big questions, but crucial ones, especially surrounding a frequently misrepresented region. And to introduce these middle school students to cultural dialogue (and sometimes their own cultural roots) through the arts – that’s where fun and intellect collide.