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Facilitating Pandemic Healing

Facilitating Pandemic Healing and Wellness through the Arts

Community-based Residency at University of Central Arkansas
March 28 - April 5, 2022

In response to a changed and ever-changing world since COVID-19 entered our lives, this project brings together textile art, drumming, and dance/movement as tools to teach, to question, to connect, to inspire and, ultimately, to heal through the arts. Ever aware that more than two years of isolation, anxiety, frustration, and grief over lost loved ones have passed, we propose a series of workshops and public performances designed to assist teachers and students as well as essential workers in the healthcare professions—occupational therapists, and physical therapists—learn how to decompress through arts-based experiences and how to celebrate our humanity. During March 28-April 8, 2022, this project will bring to campus a trio of national and international artists: Nigerian fiber artist Gasali Adeyemo, Nigerian drum maker and drummer Akeem Ayanbisi Ayanniyi, and Core Dance led by choreographer Sue Schroeder.

Join us for the following events that are open to the public: ​

The Colors of Love/The Colors of Life Community Performance

  • When: April 7th at 1:30-2:30PM

  • WhereHarding Fountain Plaza, University of Central Arkansas

Click to view poems that will be shared during this live performance

Click to view the Know Before You Go guide

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The Colors of Love/The Colors of Life

Sue Schroeder, Artistic Director and UCA Artist in Residence

In collaboration with:

  • Akeem Ayanbisi Ayanniyi acclaimed drum maker and drummer and UCA Artist in Residence

  • Gasali Adeyemo, World renowned fiber artist and UCA Artist in Residence

  • Core Dance Artists: Humlao/Shawny Evans, Iman Siferllah-Griffin, Jaqueline Hinkson

  • Marcus Montgomery & Chauncey E. Williams-Wesley, Spoken Word Artists

 

Alongside students from:

  • UCA ‘s Gender, Race, and Class: Philosophical Issues taught by Dr. Taine Duncan 

  • UCA’s Honors Core IV: Theatre and Social Justice taught by Professor Adam Frank

  • UCA’s Music Appreciation: Music for Social Change taught by Jaimee Jensen-McDaniel

  • Morrilton High School Spanish IV class and officers of the Latino Student Association

  • Morrilton High School Band, Percussion Section

Indigo flags created by Dr. Trina Harlow and Gasali Adeyemo

Puppets are on loan from Ozark Living Newspaper Theatre Company

This project is generously funded by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Additional funding is provided by the Arkansas Arts Council, Delta Kappa Gamma Kappa State Education Foundation, and the UCA Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Ayanniyi and Adeyemo are supported by UCA Arts Fees through the Artists in Residence program administered by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

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These flags were created by BOST consumers under the guidance of Arts at BOST Creative Coordinator and Artist Cathy Mason and are utilized in the Planetary Dance event at Ft. Smith and The Colors of Love/The Colors of Life performance at UCA.  

 

  • Hope - Stephanie K. 

  • Happy - Jenny F. 

  • Family - Katrina N. 

  • Peace - Olivia R. 

  • Joy - Sean L. 

  • Freedom - Carolyn S. 

  • Love - Rose K. 

  • Unity - Josh M. 

  • Survive - Laura W. 

  • Party - Damion I. & Denise C. 

  • Bost - Cathy Mason

About the Artists

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Gasali Adeyamo

Nigerian-born Gasali Adeyamo is a world-renowned indigo fiber artist known for his work in batik, tie dye, and cassava paste resist methods. Beginning in 1990, he carried out six years of intensive training and teaching at the Nike Center for Arts and Culture in Osogbo, Nigeria. Adeyamo has taught workshops at the World Batik Conference (Boston), Cross Culture Collaborative Inc. (Ghana), Snow Farm (Williamsburg), and the New Mexico Fiber Arts Center (Española). 

Akeem Ayanbisi Ayanniyi

Akeem Ayanbisi Ayanniyi, an acclaimed drum maker and drummer, is from the Western Nigerian town of Erin Oshun, near the historic art center of Oshogbo. The “Ayan” prefix of his name indicates that he can trace his family lineage back 700 years to the Yoruba deity of drumming, Ayan Agalu. Ayanniyi is the ninth-generation member of his family to play the traditional Yoruba talking drum, having performed since the age of five. His fame as an artist and performer has led him to tour much of Africa as well as Germany, Brazil, Sweden and the United States. 

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Sue Schroeder and Core Dance

Sue Schroeder and Core Dance. In more than 40 years of work in the arts, Sue Schroeder has created 110 original dance works for theaters, museums, green spaces, architectural works, and water environments. Her work has appeared throughout the United States as well as Mexico, Israel, France, Germany, Poland, Georgia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Iceland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Guatemala, and Hungary. Schroeder is recognized as a leading arts activist and mentor, and the founding artistic director of Houston/Atlanta-based Core Dance. As a contemporary artist and dance maker, Schroeder focuses on the creative process, movement research & exploration, and dance-making as a catalyst for social change.

The Colors of Love/The Colors of Life Poems

 

Novel Strain, Novel Hope

by Chauncey E. Williams-Wesley
 

Blessed beyond measure
it is a pleasure to stand 

with you

arms and cognizance intertwined

flocking in unison; heart beats vein forth

the blood of ancestry
and snare rhythmic solutions of clarity 

into malleable minds, birthing 

new melodies, new causes
for celebration, new cures to heal 

broken nations, new methods 

of innovation - resurrecting 

our world from apathy
and healing

the scratches, cuts, nicks
countless losses caused
by COVID
and senseless war.
We are sore, seeking refuge 

as we ride wave lengths
of pulsating strings plucked 

poignant by angels' finger tips
played by essential workers
harping in the key
of sacrifice

as leaves rustle, tumbling into 

new shades as the change-winds 

croon in whispered syllables:


We will survive
Watch us thrive
We will survive
Watch us thrive
Selah!

TO THRIVE


by Gayle McMillan

I may have had much taken

But I still have much to give

Every kind deed I can possibly do

Gives life meaning, to live

To live beyond my sorrow

To be the best that I can be

The painful things, the hard things

Only made a stronger me

They added depth and character

They revealed what lies inside

The will to live, to love, to rise

When I let my heart be my guide

I opened up my heart to see

Expanded my whole world

When my life; Like a rosebud

Became unfurled

Now I live to see

To thrive, to be

To reach for dreams

Untethered and free.  

I Dream A World

by Marcus Montgomery

I Dream a world

Where there’s no Travon Martin and no George Floyd

Where people really mean it when they call on the Lord

I Dream a world

Where fathers are stars

I Dream a world

Where there’s no need for cars

I Dream a world

Where countries where at peace

So there’s no need for wars

I Dream a world

Where there were no terrorists

And there was no drama

I Dream a world

Where young boys grows up in house holds

With a daddy and not only a momma

I Dream a world

Where the truth outweighs the lie

I Dream a world

Where the world responds to the hurting people’s cry

I Dream a world

Where we can reach Stevie Wonder’s

Ribbon in the sky

I Dream a world

Were the sun was just about to rise

And you could see the light of hope shine on your dark skies

I Dream a world

Were the sun was still shining

And giving me the motivation to keep on rhyming

I Dream a world

Like Ray Charles

Where people see the truth

And use the light of love as a guide for our youth

I Dream a world

Where people graduate high school

And as freshmen enter college not knowing that over the next four years they’ll acquire much

more than merely book knowledge

I Dream a world

Were all of God's children weren’t pushed to conform

I Dream a world

Were hate was abnormal

And love is the norm

I Dream a world.