African Culture Connection's mission is to educate audiences about culture through School Residency Programs, workshops, and public performances focused on authentic African dance, drumming, and crafts in order to encourage an appreciation for the richness diversity brings to all. (Residency student quote - "My confidence has changed so much, I went from being that quiet kid to more involved.")
- The need to build overall community awareness of and respect for African culture and other diverse cultures.
- The need to provide opportunities for support and positive development for high-risk, primarily African-American
children and youth of low-income households living in the North Omaha and the nearby Council Bluffs areas.
ACC addresses a lack of cultural awareness and a lack of art education opportunities for low-income youth by providing culturally diverse, art-based residency programs and performances in the Greater Omaha community. The organization's programs are geared toward elementary school through high school-aged students from all socioeconomic backgrounds and are delivered throughout the year in workshops, in-school residencies, school assemblies, after-school programs, public performances and ongoing classes.
ACC's most recent student residency evaluation surveys show that...
- 83% of students say they really understood the meaning and history of traditional African music and dance following their residency programs.
- 75% of students agree that music, narrative dance, and art activities make everything in school more interesting.
- 64% felt better about themselves and had more confidence in their abilities because they participated in an ACC Special Residency Program.
Students we serve tell us we are making a difference.
- "I really like to dance, when I dance it feels like I matter and people care about me."
- "I've always wanted to play the drum and I finally got the opportunity."
- "Before ACC I was shy and quiet, then after ACC arrived I was more confident in myself, and became more helpful and nice."
- "My confidence has changed so much, I went from being that quiet kid to more involved."
- "We all had to work as a team to get it right, some of us found it hard but we did it. We all got better."
- "Now I can get up in front of others and do things I never thought I could."
- "This was different from normal teaching because we learned through moves instead of books."