Once again, we here at West African Cultural Arts Institute are sending warm wishes for you and your loved ones, hoping you are weathering this COVID-19 storm without any hardship and are experiencing great physical and mental health during this unsettling time! On a positive note, these “lock downs” have created the opportunity for WACAI to build an online platform for classes and potentially allow us to engage with even more people from all over! We will run our All-Levels African Drum 5 Week Course online with Zoom on Tuesdays from 5:30-7 pm PST, June 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30.

We’ve decided to use Zoom, a premiere video conferencing platform because it has live streaming which allows participants to see each other and interact a bit as well. It is user friendly and can be used with either a laptop, tablet, or smartphone!

As always, this class will be taught by Alseny Yansane, who has recently returned from a trip to Guinea and is excited to teach and connect with folks! Alseny will be joined by his prodigy son, Papa, who will help demonstrate how the different polyrhythmic parts are played together and by his wife, Andrea who will help moderate the class and handle any technical difficulties.

We really hope that you will join us for this online exploration as a way to not only keep up your drumming skills, but to connect to a larger community in this trying time and maintain a healthy mental, physical, and emotional state. This is an All-Levels class that will have something for everyone, regardless of level and experience, that is offered as a 5-week course. There are many benefits to committing to 5 weeks of  lessons whose material builds upon each class, but the biggest benefits will be witnessing noticeable improvement of skills, having an outlet for self-expression, and carving a day and time out of your schedule to engage in some of the best immune system boosting self-care around! You will also be supporting a family of artists who sole income depends on community classes and school programs!

We understand that this is a hard time for many who have either lost jobs or suffered a decrease in work hours so we want to offer this on donation basis. The suggested amount for the course is $75 for adults and $60 for students for 7.5 hours of instruction, but we ask that folks give what they can.

WACAI will be taking payment on Venmo: WestAfrican-CulturalArts and PayPal: [email protected]. To register and receive a link please email [email protected] or call/text 541.731.1278. Also, we know that getting set up with all these new digital platforms can be confusing so please don’t hesitate to contact Andrea to walk you through any of it and even do a Zoom test run! We are looking forward to connecting with you and thanks so much for your support!

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