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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DAY 3: THE STORY BEHIND THE ART...

Recently, I ran into my elders and shared with them the exciting news that I was invited to Ghana to teach, with Artists 2 Africa this October.   

We talked about their previous trips to various countries in Africa over the past 10 years. One thing that struck me was our conversation about the slave castles in Ghana. One of my elders shared her story about her first time visiting the castles and how emotional it was.  Many people visit the castles wanting to feel the pain and emotions of what it must have felt like to be ripped from the motherland.  She said it was important that I actually go with the intention of giving something to the spirit of our ancestors.  
Her words actually pushed me back a couple of steps.  My eyes welled up with tears at the gravity and significance of my newly assigned mission.  It was something that resonated deeply within my spirit.  I began to realize the impact and bigness of this experience.  I knew in that moment I wanted to give those who came before me something to rejoice about.  

At the time, I didn't know what that looked like.  Before experiencing my 31 Days of Art, perhaps I would have just written a letter to leave in the castle expressing my gratitude for all of their sacrifices.  But now, I know the greatest gift I could leave is my art.  
  
I talked with a fellow artist friend who was also invited to Ghana about my newly assigned mission. We knew we would need to raise the money to get to Ghana and that creating art could make it happen.

As we began brainstorming, an idea emerged!  We created a participatory public art project that makes it possible for people all over the world and especially those of the African Diaspora to give something to our ancestors to rejoice about!

July is African Heritage Month and 31at31 will be hosting and/or attending several art related events to celebrate and spread the word about this amazing international public art project!

African Market Day June 22, 2013
Gullah Festival, July 6, 2013
African Heritage Month Workshops July 27, 2013
African Diaspora Fashion Show July 28, 2013 
Yoga for Ghana, TBD
Healing Drumming Circle, TBD

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