The Best Kwanzaa Yet

Teli runs kids' drum circle at KwanzaaFest 2014

Teli runs kids’ drum circle at KwanzaaFest 2014

“This was the best Kwanzaa season yet!” my husband Teli beamed after returning home from an evening at Holton Resource and Career Center. I too felt the totality of the holiday. The Magic of African Rhythm wore many hats during the week-long celebration.

Since moving to NC in 2003, the Hayti Heritage Center has remained my foundation of black culture in Durham, given its history.  I can’t imagine Kwanzaa without an event at the Hayti. It was an honor to step up as the organizer of their annual Hayti Heritage Kwanzaa celebration but mainly to serve my community and see the joy on their faces.

Known in the community as “Baba Teli”,  led the drummers and the procession of elders guided by Baba Chuck Davis at Holton’s Kwanzaa celebration. Unlike last year where both Teli and I performed while sick with the flu last Kwanzaa season, it was pure joy to watch Teli on stage this year. As the duo Balankora, Teli played kora and his sister Mabinti Shabu played  balaphon, both traditional griot instruments. Griots are the name for oral historians in Francophone Africa. But the highlight was when jazz trumpeter and arranger Al Strong invited Teli on stage, calling him “one of the baddest drummers I know”.

Teli putting head on a djembe

Teli putting head on a djembe

Every year, the seven-day Kwanzaa celebration culminates at the Durham Armory with KwanzaaFest hosted again by Baba Chuck Davis and The African American Dance Ensemble. Ezibu Muntu, a Virginia-based dance and drum ensemble, raised the roof off the armory this year. Their ranks have swelled with new hungry young drummers powering the dancers’ feet. Teli and I were in our glory. This time not as organizers or performers, but as a vendors. Teli had just released Balankora’s first album, not quite an EP, just three songs, but potent enough to call it “One Dose”. Our son Delacey was invaluable help that final day arranging our business cards, cds and a listening station. The Magic of African Rhythm also had an assortment of different shaped and sized mbiras for sale. Mbiras are commonly known as thumb pianos. Teli hand-makes these music boxes and has even customized them for child-sized hands as well because anyone can make these instruments sing.

My friends’ mother from California has been celebrating Kwanzaa for over 30 years. She shared with us the first traditions of families coming over to one another’s homes and sharing a feast (karamu). Our cohort of seven or so families have been honoring this part of Kwanzaa’s tradition for the past five years. Each family hosts a night and it’s accompanying Nguzo Saba, or Kwanzaa Principle. Ujima [Collective Works and Responsibility] was our night. We crowded around the kinara lit with flaming candles as we sang “Oh, oh oh. Joy has come to the earth today. Let’s celebrate. Our heritage. Our togetherness.”

Mabinti practicing balaphon for Kwanzaa

Mabinti practicing balaphon for Kwanzaa

“This was the best Kwanzaa season yet!” I agreed  with Teli and thought about the fullness of our lives this past year. As a family we had completed a 10 week no- sugar candida diet. As a couple we had fasted during the Winter Solstice. My yoga practice has been disciplined and I have more peace in my life as a result. And Teli was still riding the high from his 2013-2014 Emerging Artist Grant Award. We closed out 2014 with a lot to be thankful for.



Hayti Heritage Kwanzaa 2014

Bridging the Divide

Hayti Heritage Center’s Annual Kwanzaa

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Kwanzaa 2014 Hayti Heritage Center

Kwanzaa 2014 Hayti Heritage Center


The Hayti Heritage Center hosts its annual *Kwanzaa Celebration. Umoja is Swahili for Unity, the focus of this year’s event. Zayd Malik Shakur will lead dynamic Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Evening performances and activities include African diasporic music and dance from B Shak Rhythm & Soul, Collage Dance Company, The Magic of African Rhythm, and BUMP The Triangle. Interactive workshops for children, families, and seniors beginning at 5pm. Food, clothing, jewelry, and art available at the Marketplace. Suggested donation $1 kids/seniors, $3 adults; no one will be turned away.


African-style Marketplace

Early browsing is encouraged at the African-style Marketplace showcasing original artwork by local artists, black books, clothing, jewelry, and so much more!

Food Court

Dinner plates from a variety of local food vendors catering to an array of dietary preferences will be sold in the “food court”.


Intergenerational Workshop designed to connect community across generations

Ages: Preteens to Seniors 5 – 6pm

African Diasporic Music Education Workshop with BUMP: The Triangle

Children 5 and up unless accompanied by an adult 5 – 6pm






No one is turned away!!!!!


PLEASE CONTACT: Aya Shabu:                       Hayti Heritage Center: 919-683-1709 OR
*Kwanzaa is a  7-day celebration of family, community, and culture observed from December 26 through January 1. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase, “matunda ya kwanza” which translates in Swahili as “first fruits”. Started in 1969 by Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is centered around seven basic African values, The Nguzo Sabua, which in Swahili translates to The Seven Principles.  For more information on Kwanzaa please visit the Official Kwanzaa Website:



Chapel Hill Public Library Performance

Teli Shabu with his kora surrounded by singing friends.

Teli Shabu with his kora surrounded by singing friends.

Monday July 28th, 2014 TMOAR performs The Magic Calabash at Chapel Hill Public Library as part of the library’s summer series. The Magic Calabash is a performance of melodic gourd instruments and their cousins. This musical journey of percussion, melody and song is an introduction to traditional storytelling instruments: kora and balaphon. Gourds are just one of the many similarities between West Africa and North Carolina. Whether a bowl, an instrument or memory, the gourd is also a bridge.


Celebrate and Educate: Black History Month with PBS and TMOAR

PBS black history programming

Top: Alice Walker at London Premiere of “Beauty in Truth”; Credit: Brenda Lawley. Bottom: Credit: Eunique Jones Gibson for the Because of Them, We Can™


PBS Black Culture Connection Website Partners with Eunique Jones Gibson to Showcase the Making of the Because of Them, We Can™ Campaign

ARLINGTON, VA – January 16, 2014 – In commemoration of Black History Month and as part of its year-round commitment to provide diverse programming and resources for all Americans, PBS today announced new shows and online content celebrating the African American experience past, present and future. From an AMERICAN MASTERS profile of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, to an INDEPENDENT LENS documentary about the secret spy agency created to maintain segregation in 1950’s Mississippi, Black History Month on PBS will provide programs that educate, inform and inspire viewers to learn more about the rich culture of our nation.

The lineup begins on February 3 at 10:00 p.m. with “American Promise,” a powerful coming-of-age documentary from POV that follows the journey of two young African-American males from kindergarten through high school graduation as they attend a prestigious Manhattan private school. Confronting challenges from typical childhood growing pains to cultural identification within a predominantly white environment, the young men and their parents push toward success and discover their own individuality in the process.

Also airing in February are two programs that celebrate the contributions of artists such as Bobby McFerrin and Terence Blanchard in JAZZ AND THE PHILHARMONIC, and Bill T. Jones and Brian Stokes Mitchell in BECOMING AN ARTIST.

“PBS is committed to providing programming for diverse audiences all through the year, and Black History Month provides a special opportunity to shine a spotlight on the contributions of African Americans to our culture and history,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “We are proud to celebrate these contributions with an array of exceptional programming, during Black History Month and all year long.”

“Our Black History Month lineup delves deep into the stories of notable people and historical topics in a way that’s uniquely PBS,” says Donald Thoms, Vice President, Programming and Talent Management.  “We feature the work of diverse and independent producers, which remains a staple of our content offerings year round, and I think our viewers will enjoy and even find a little inspiration from our content this year.”

In addition to on-air programs, the PBS Black Culture Connection (BCC), an extension of featuring black films, stories and discussion across PBS, announces a digital partnership with the Because of Them, We Can™ campaign, which aims to educate and connect a new generation to heroes who paved the way. In an original blog series called “Behind the Lens,” hosted on, PBS will go behind the camera of cultural architect and campaign photographer Eunique Jones Gibson, and her powerful images, to tell the rich story and history of African-American icons through the eyes of our nation’s youth. During the month of February, the BCC will feature images from the Because of Them, We Can™ campaign including portraits of children inspired by Harriet Tubman, James Brown, Muhammad Ali and the Freedom Riders, along with a blog post by the photographer giving details of the subject, the shoot and the child/children who are pictured. “Behind the Lens” will be hosted on both the PBS Black Culture Connection and on

“Eunique has created a special link to our past through a campaign that’s inspired and powered by our youth, our future,” said Nicole Eley-Carr, editor, PBS Black Culture Connection. “In many ways, she’s contemporizing Black History, and PBS is excited to be a space for this evolving dialogue that empowers young people by honoring achievers of yesterday and today.”

“I am excited and honored to share a glimpse into the making of the Because of Them, We Can™ campaign with the PBS audience,” said Eunique Jones Gibson. “Through the ‘Behind the Lens’ blog series I hope to further the campaign’s mission of building the esteem of both children and adults, while helping them reflect on a living legacy of greatness.”

“Behind the Lens” will debut during Black History Month on, alongside more than 30 films that will be available for streaming online throughout the month of February. The full Black History Month programming lineup is listed below (check local listings) and will also be available for online streaming on the BCC after premiere:

POV “American Promise”
Monday, February 3, 2014, 10:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET

“American Promise” spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, New York, turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through Manhattan’s Dalton School, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. Winner, U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award, 2013 Sundance Film Festival

AMERICAN MASTERS “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”
Friday, February 7, 2014, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET 

Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple, writer/activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, she came of age during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th-century America. Her mother, poverty and participation in the Civil Rights Movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire, and Walker herself.

INDEPENDENT LENS “Spies of Mississippi”
Monday, February 10, 2014, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET

View the story of a secret spy agency formed during the 1950s and 60s by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy. Over a decade, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission employed a network of investigators and informants, including African Americans, to help infiltrate the NAACP, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). They were granted broad powers to investigate private citizens and organizations, keep secret files, make arrests and compel testimony. The program tracks the commission’s hidden role in important chapters of the Civil Rights Movement, including the integration of the University of Mississippi, the trial of Medgar Evers and the KKK murders of three civil rights workers in 1964.

Friday, February 28, 2014, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET

JAZZ AND THE PHILHARMONIC is a unique, generational and wholly American concert experience that highlights two of the greatest musical art forms the world has ever seen, classical and jazz. With performances by artists such as Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Terence Blanchard and Elizabeth Joy Roe, this special emphasizes the works of legendary past composers such as Bach and Mozart with these contemporary artists. Songs are performed with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra from the University of Miami Frost School of Music and National YoungArts Foundation alumni.

Friday, February 28, 2014, 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET

Enjoy an inspiring tribute to the power of mentoring and the vital role it plays in passing on our artistic cultural heritage from one generation to the next. The documentary features acclaimed artists across the disciplines, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert Redford, Rosie Perez, Bill T. Jones, Frank Gehry, Brian Stokes Mitchell, John Guare and Kathleen Turner working with some of the nation’s most talented students selected by the National YoungArts Foundation. BECOMING AN ARTIST is a celebration of our cultural vitality and the need to ensure its continuance.

The following is a sample of the more than 30 programs available for online streaming on the BCC in February:

•    The African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
•    The March
•    Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
•    Independent Lens – Daisy Bates, Black Power Mixtape, Soul Food Junkies
•    Memories of the March
•    Bill T. Jones: A Good Man (American Masters)
•    Cab Calloway: Sketches (American Masters)
•    Dreams of Obama (Frontline)
•    Endgame: AIDS in Black America (Frontline)
•    Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
•    Freedom Riders (American Experience)
•    Interrupters (Frontline)
•    Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A-Comin’ (American Masters)
•    Jesse Owens (American Experience)
•    “Roots” Special on Miniseries (Pioneers of TV)
•    Not in Our Town: Class Actions
•    Slavery by Another Name
•    Too Important to Fail (Tavis Smiley)
•    Underground Railroad: The William Still Story
•    Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll (American Masters)
•    James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket (American Masters)
•    POV – Black Male Achievement documentary special series: Teaching Fatherhood, The Jazz Ticket, The Algebra Ceiling

Other series that routinely offer programming to commemorate Black History Month include FRONTLINEGREAT PERFORMANCESPBS NEWSHOUR, TAVIS SMILEYand WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL.

Find more information and high-resolution images from these programs on PBS PressRoom.

About PBS Black Culture Connection
The PBS Black Culture Connection, featuring video from films, award-winning documentaries and popular series like AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, links the diverse national content found on PBS with local programs, interviews and discussions from PBS member stations and from around the web. In addition to aggregating more than 100 digital resources about black history and culture in one place within, the PBS Black Culture Connection features thematic film collections, biographies and profiles, original productions made just for the web and local station spotlights. After exploring the site, users are encouraged to connect with others through online discussion and to challenge themselves with a suite of quizzes. The PBS Black Culture Connection is made available through partnerships with member stations, including WNET and WGBH, and public media partners like the National Black Programming Consortium. It will also feature the works of producers like Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Stanley Nelson and Tavis Smiley.

About PBS
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by followingPBS Pressroom on Twitter.

– PBS –

Michaé Godwin, PBS, 703-739-8483;
Nicole Wells Foster, PBS, 703-739-5351;


“Hair Loving” Sessions for OFF LIMITS Hair


TMOAR Alum and natural hair salon owner Taji Shabu demos  a 20- minute "do" at I Love My Hair event

TMOAR Alum and natural hair salon owner Taji Shabu demos a 20- minute “do” at I Love My Hair event

I’ve been engaged in lots of conversation with my sistah-friends during the run of I Love My Hair The Play about what the piece is bringing up for them. Aya Shabu, our inspired choreographer, has identified the need for “hair loving” sessions. She’s observed that our hair is generally OFF LIMITS most of the time. Either it’s just been done and nobody (including our partner) can touch it. Or it’s not been done and nobody (including our partner) can see it, let alone touch it. We wonder… what are the long term physiological effects of not allowing our hair to be touched, other than by our trusted stylist? We believe that we need “hair loving” sessions where we gather together with the express purpose of letting our hair OUT without fear, shame, judgement, or a fiercely styled agenda. So, here is OUR assignment… 1) Purchase your tickets today to see I LOVE MY HAIR, 2) Host a “hair loving” session in your home with a handful of your closest sistah-friends and their daughters, 3) Engage in meaningful conversation. Together, we can transform the culture of black women and our hair with a simple loving touch.


Teli Shabu’s Students SHINE bright at Holton Kwanzaa

At Kwanzaa, sounds of drums and a trumpet

Dec. 30, 2013 @ 09:21 PM  Cliff Bellamy
Kwanzaa performance

Teli Shabu, center, rehearses with students before Monday’s Kwanzaa ceremony at Holton Career and Resource Center.

Kwanzaa celebrates African-Americans’ connections to their homeland, and seeks to pass down African traditions to the next generation.

Monday, the fifth day of Kwanzaa, an audience at Holton Career and Resource Center heard how those connections continue to operate musically. During the ceremony, the audience heard traditional drumming, modern hip-hop, and some forward-thinking jazz.

Teli Shabu, a percussionist who teaches a class in traditional African drumming at Holton, introduced some members of his class, who performed for the audience.

“They work very hard,” Shabu said. “Durham, this is your children.”

Shabu also performed with The Magic of African Rhythm, an ensemble he directs that is made up of members of the Shabu family. They received rousing applause after their set, which included drums such as the djembe, djun djun, the sangban and the balan, which Shabu said is a forerunner to the xylophone.

The dance troupe ReMyx’d Couture, which is part of Holton’s dance program, presented what teacher and dancer Tamika Murrill called “the urban side of Kwanzaa,” through hip-hop. Kwanzaa celebrates the history and heritage of African-Americans and how they built on those traditions in this country, Murrill said.

“What we’re trying to do here at Holton is to showcase that,” she said.

The headliner guest was trumpeter Al Strong, co-founder of The Art of Cool Project. Strong – playing in a quartet that included electric bass, guitar and drums – put a different kind of stamp on a Kanye West tune.

Kwanzaa ceremonies always begin with the procession of the elders. Chuck Davis, director of the African American Dance Ensemble, led the ritual in which the elders in the audience give permission for the ceremony to begin. “It is said that youth will lead, [but] youth cannot lead without knowing,” and that knowledge comes from the elders, Davis said.

Zayd Malik Shakur, a poet and musician, hosted Monday’s ceremony, and explained the principles and symbols of Kwanzaa. He stressed the need to respect elders in a modern culture that reveres youth. 

Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga, now chairman of Africana Studies at California State University at Long Beach, in 1966, as a way for African-Americans to understand and celebrate their African heritage. It grew out of the civil rights and political movements of the 1960s.

Shakur said that while Kwanzaa grew out of needs in the black community, it was never intended to exclude anyone, and “it’s not a replacement for Christmas.”

Each day of the holiday represents a different principle. The seven principles are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).

Durham Parks and Recreation presented Monday’s observance of Nia, or purpose.

The observance also included activities for children, and vendors selling African clothing. Zelda Lockhart, a former Piedmont Laureate, and her daughter Alex had a table with several of her books for sale, and information about LaVenson Press Studios, a writing workshop she runs in Hillsborough.

“I always see a lot of people that I’ve taught,” Lockhart said of Kwanzaa events.

Before Monday’s celebration, Shabu was rehearsing with some of his students in the music room at Holton. Some of the musicians were students of Baba Kerr, who teaches drumming at St. Sya Academy in Durham. As they rehearsed, Kerr explained how each drum played a different rhythmic pattern. Some of the students start on drums as early as ages 3 to 5, Kerr said. “They practice for years to become proficient,” he said.

Kwanzaa continues through New Year’s Day. 


Thanksgiving with Jack and Jill of America


Baba Igbo, TMOAR alum, makes and plays these beautiful instruments.

Thank you so much for being part of our Thanksgiving Dinner program. We loved The Magic Calabash. Everyone is still raving about how fun, engaging and interactive your performance was. What a beautiful sight to see the kids dancing along with you. Having you there made our evening even more special.

Kelly Lyons- Jack and Jill of America- Raleigh Wake Chapter


Choreographer Aya Shabu in the Mix Again

I Love My Hair on Good Days Then Again When It’s Defiant and Impressive is B-A-A-C-K! Aya Shabu joins cast and crew of last year’s sold out performance about hair, race, class, identity, and relationships for a spectacular re-mounting and run. ILMH2014-home

Come meet Durham choreographer Aya Shabu along with ILMH’s director, cast, and design team for food, music, and advance tickets this Saturday.

I Love My Hair – Special Insider Event

• Did you miss I LOVE MY HAIR last year because the tickets were sold out?
• Did you have to stand in a long line on the day of the show hoping to purchase a ticket?
• Did you want to bring someone but couldn’t because the show was full?
Well make sure that doesn’t happen again — Beat the crowd and get your tickets EARLY!
Join us for a special night:I LOVE MY HAIR INSIDER EVENT – FREE OPEN HOUSE
Hosted by FORTY / AM
WHEN: Saturday, October 26, 2013 – Between 6:00-9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, NC
WHAT: A free, open-house event — Drop in anytime!
• Meet the director and members of the cast
• Enjoy live music
• Have some good food (while it lasts!)
Provided by Chef Ricky from The Saltbox Seafood Joint.And while you’re here, buy special advance tickets for I Love My Hair, running January 16 – February 1, 2014. Official ticket sales don’t begin until November 11, but on October 26 ONLY you can buy in person at Manbites Dog from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. with cash, check, or credit card. (Can’t make it to Manbites? Advance tickets will also be available online at by credit card all day on October 26.) Sorry, no phone orders on October 26.

Find out more here about show dates, times, and ticket prices.



Mama and Baba Shabu Write for Liberian Online Newspaper


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Listening Like the Drummer

kawanzaaThe Talking Drum is placed in the midst of the community it will serve. By listening, it absorbs the language. But the drum cannot communicate without the drummer – except in special cases.

A Talking drummer’s grandfather gave his own personal Talking Drum to his grandson. It was done because the young drummer had become very skilled and it was time for the venerable old drummer to sit down. When the old man died, the drum spoke from inside the drum closet and the grandson, lying on his bed, knew.

In most cases, however, the drummer must be very skillful and an excellent listener for the drum to communicate through him or her. We believe there are “Levels of Listening” and the drummer must master them. In fact, for effective communication, we all should learn and practice them. To learn the first Level of Listening, you must practice full Attention to the message. And being Quiet is the only way to do that. Just imagine. You’re in a classroom where one hundred students are all quiet, giving full attention! That’s the first step to a true learning environment. So, the first level is being quiet to listen.

imagesThe next level follows the old school of drum instruction: Hear and Repeat – perfectly. Have you ever asked a child or an employee, “Did you hear what was said? Repeat what was said.” And the person couldn’t repeat it. It’s not easy because the message must be repeated in the same words and tones, the same speed, and the exact inflections – just as it was spoken. Otherwise, you didn’t hear it. Hear and repeat perfectly is Listening Level Two. Many quarrels and confusion – as in the Liberian legislature – could be avoided, time and money saved, if all concerned mastered Levels One and Two.

Mastery of Level Three makes you equivalent to a good drummer or communicator. Level Three consists of Retaining the message. It requires Focus. It means you can remember and repeat your message even in the midst of other distracting messages. If there are drummers all around you playing rhythms different from yours, you must maintain your rhythm, your message, just as it was given to you. Or, if your message is, “We don’t lie, steal or cheat,” and you are surrounded by corruption, you must retain your righteous message with strength and vigor as it was given to you.

Communicating or Sharing your message is Listening Level Four. What if you are sharing your message with a special person or audience like children or elders? What if you must share your message in another language? These situations require Creativity. You must understand your message so well that you can communicate the message at a very high level of clarity no matter what! Now you are like the master drummer or the master communicator.

 Study the “Art of Listening.” Let’s start communicating for Unity in Liberia.


CAPS Funding Available for DPS Schools


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Carrington Middle School used CAPS funding to secure The Magic of African Rhythm for a 13- day residency this September at their school.


Other Durham Public Schools: Merrick Moore, Sandy Ridge, and Spring Valley received CAPS funding for residencies and performance with The Magic of African Rhythm last year school year.

What is CAPS?
Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools (CAPS), provides an easy-to-use and effective way for educators to integrate the arts into the curriculum. Primarily a partnership between Durham Arts Council and Durham Public Schools, this 39-year program places professional artists in public and private classrooms throughout Durham, Orange, and Granville counties to provide creative and interactive residencies that:

  • Teach core subjects (Math, Science, Writing, Social Studies), Character education and a variety of life skills through the arts.
  • Meet the North Carolina and National Curriculum course of study requirements.
  • Provide students the opportunity to work with professional artists on a variety of visual, literary, and performing arts projects.
  • AND MORE! See link:

Funding for CAPS comes from a number of sources:

  • Durham Public Schools provides each school with a budget line item for CAPS programs ($2.00 per elementary and middle school student, $1.00 per high school student
  • Orange County Schools also provides money for CAPS programs
  • PTA’ss
  • Grants available through the CAPS office
  • Money collected from students
  • Grade level money for buses
  • Fundraisers or PTA Special Project Funds
  • Business sponsors from parent connections

The cost of each program covers the artist’s fee for preparing and presenting the residency, an Orientation meeting with the participating educators and artist, materials used in the program for students and educators, and an administrative fee to cover administrative costs (Guidebook, brochures, communication with schools, educational materials for PTA’s, principals and educators).