Samba Kidz: Building Stronger Communities One Beat at a Time
At Drum Artz Canada we believe that true community building requires the participation of all. Help us provide accessible arts education, leadership training opportunities and meaningful community engagement for the kids and youth in our Samba Kidz programs. Raising $6000 in 60 days allows us to offer subsidized spots in our 2013-2014 after-school program for up to 10 Samba Kidz, and makes the heart of our community beat stronger!
Drum Artz Canada and The Samba Kidz Program
Drum Artz Canada (DAC) is committed to promoting cultural diversity and community through the arts. DAC’s educational programs, led by professional artists, encourage creative expression through music and arts training, development of self-esteem, team building, leadership training and employment for children and youth.
The Samba Kidz Program provides young people with training in Samba music, Steel Pan, breakdancing, visual arts, stilt walking, theatre and more. The main focus of the program is on process and participation so that everyone is included and guaranteed success. Children receive a foundation in Samba music and the arts from professional artists, as well as develop the skills and attitudes to help them succeed and become good leaders. As Samba Kidz participants progress in their musicianship, they move on to become members of the Samba Kidz Performance Troupe. Through performance opportunities at various events and festivals around the city, Samba Kidz are able to build self-confidence as well as develop a broader sense of community. Samba Kidz programs offer kids and youth an environment where they can excel artistically, grow as individuals and contribute positively to the greater community.
Since its inception in 2004, DAC has offered subsidized arts education programs for hundreds of kids and families in Toronto’s underserved communities. The Samba Kidz Performing Troupe has performed at high profile events such as The Beaches Jazz Festival, Kensington Festival of Lights, Muhtadi International Drum Festival, Easter Seals Telethon on CBC, We Day, and at Dundas Square with Brazilian megastar Carlinhos Brown. In 2010, DAC was named Royal Bank of Canada’s charity of choice and in 2011, Executive Director Gili Zemer , was given the Community Cultural Champion Award by the city of Toronto. Most recently, Samba Youth Jade Shortte, received an honourable mention in the national competition for the 2013 Urban Leadership Awards for her work with Drum Artz and “her commitment, dedication and leadership in her community, serving as a role model to children and aspiring musicians”.
Participants in our programs come from over 25 cultural and language groups, and often share similar life experiences such as immigrant and/or low-income status. Our children (ages 6 – 12), youth (ages 13 – 18), and their families reside in some of the most culturally diverse and socio-economically challenged neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area. The youth who participate in our programs often come from “high-risk” communities where opportunities for recreational outlets, personal and professional development, and employment opportunities are limited. Our programs provide kids with accessible arts education, invaluable life and leadership skills, as well as personal and professional development. DAC's Youth Leadership and Employment programs offer youth practical job training skills and meaningful employment. Our youth have become positive role models and leaders in the Drum Arts community, as well as the community at large.
Samba as Equalizer
Samba represents a way of life; a culture based on celebration of community that includes the participation of each individual regardless of race, class, age or gender. DAC applies the core values of Samba by using music and artistic expression as ‘equalizers’ that break down barriers of race and class, fostering channels of communication among diverse groups in our society. People from all walks of life are compelled to collaborate and perform. As a result, new and powerful forms of collective identities are created. DAC creates a social space where meaningful exchanges between diverse groups can take place and where the success of the individual is critically dependent on the success of the group.
A Special Thanks to Motion Pantry for generously donating their time and services in making the video for this campaign. www.motionpantry.ca