The Arts Council’s Artists-in-the-Schools Program recently provided week long residencies in African Dance in Cartoogechaye and East Franklin Elementary Schools. Franklin native Jada Bryson developed and conducted the dance program for the schools’ physical education classes.
Teaching children to express themselves through dance is Bryson’s passion, and students were clearly excited and engaged by the experience. They learned the Kakilambe dance, which tells the story of planting and harvesting. On March 2, Bryson brought in five guest artists from Asheville to perform at both schools - dancers Kelly Davis, Jesse Willig, and Efia, and drummers Imhotep Dlanod and Ian. Some of Bryson’s advanced students also assisted in the program. The Arts Council plans to extend this project to other schools.