WHO WE ARE
African Arts Academy® is a 501C3 non-profit international, performing arts organization that is also specialized, and dedicated to the teaching of arts and crafts originating in Africa, and the African Diaspora, based in San Francisco, CA USA.
Our mission is to preserve African cultural heritage through art education, performing arts, special event productions, fashion show, based on the spirit of cultural diversity, dynamic growth, sustainability, social justice, and the pursuit of intellectual entrepreneurship; and to establish a professional grade, state of the arts institution that, specializes in the doctrines of all art forms and crafts originating in Africa and the African diaspora.
To bridge ancient wisdom, and the modern world via new technology, where innovation meets tradition. To serve, and empower our community for generations to come.
African Arts Academy® is not only here just to help change the perception of the way the world view Africa, but we also want to help change the perspective of people of African descent, by producing a different narrative. Highlighting the beauty and values of African Art which has positively contributed in the artistic and economic development, and social growth in great nations around the world.
WHY AFRICAN ARTS ACADEMY®
We believe that our past determines our future, and African Arts Academy® is where innovation meets tradition. A way to preserve ancient wisdom through live performances, and education via new technology, based on the spirit of cultural diversity, dynamic growth, sustainability, social justice, and the pursuit of intellectual entrepreneurship, to serve, and empower the new generation to compete in the world’s growing job market, for generations to come.
Throughout history, many stories have been told and written about Africa, however some stories have been hidden which, leads to the misconception and the misunderstanding about the vast continent with so many different cultures. The past transatlantic, created today’s stereotypes against people of African descent, and encourages the illegal exploitation of the continent with corruptions, conflicts, economic war and greed, leaving the continent parted as pieces of bread among developed nations. We believe that it is only through art, and education that we can bring the puzzles back together, mostly focusing on the art. There was an ancient civilization and lifestyle in Africa which the world recognizes as the cradle of humanity. Before the Arabs and the European Invasions, what was Africa like? Before colonization, what kind of art form did they create, to communicate with? What type of food did they eat? These are the questions many people keep asking. Archeologists have proved that something, is missing, a link from the past has been broken, and this is the reason why til this day they are still digging in search of clues, and the truth. How to trace back, and reconnect that link to our modern society? This is where African Arts Academy comes handy. Behind every African Art, lies a history that goes back from generations, for thousands of years.
At African Arts Academy, we strongly believe that our past determines our future, reconnecting with our ancestors, to learn and understand the origin of things, which led us conclude that a corrupt devious mind, and a greedy body, will always lead our societies indifferences, such as racial discrimination, and a violation of human rights.
We are here to education and to empower through performing arts for generations to come.
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Devi Raman, wears many hats, quite efficiently. On the technical front, Devi, is an Electronics and Communication Engineer, who has worked as a database specialist, in the IT industry. She was also the Executive Vice President of the PTA, has held important board positions, and has been the chairperson for major fundraising events.
On the artistic front, Devi is a model, a singer and a dancer. She has performed as a dancer for celebrity events, has been the semi-finalist among 500 contestants, in a singing competition called ‘Galatta Idol’, and has been walking the ramp as a model for the last few years. As a philanthropist and a humanitarian, she is passionate about promoting minority women artists, and has joined hands with Fely Tchaco, to produce the Modern Ethnic Fashion Show Gala in 2016.
Fely Tchaco is an award-winning musical artist, singer-songwriter, performer, a Billboard Nominee, visual artist, fashion designer, and an entrepreneur. African Arts Academy was founded by Fely Tchaco, a multi talented award winning recording artist, singer songwriter, performer, visual artist and a fashion designer.
Based on her own experience, the idea came to Fely Tchaco in 2000 when she realized how hard it was to communicate her artistry when trying to put a band together with the musicians she intended to work with, but had no idea about the kind of music she was referring to… It was very difficult to assemble musicians to create a dinamic, harmonious flow with her unique style of music that is not accustomed to many. No one could understand her language which resulted in many frustrations and loosing some musicians and band members with great potentials. Instead of being angry and judgemental about it, Fely simply felt that her art was not appreciated, because of the lack of understanding. This is where the idea of creating African Art Academy came.
It was her long time dream, to establish an educational program that will focus on arts and crafts originating in the African diaspora.
Rodney Jackson – Secretary General
Rodney Jackson, Jr. made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama and was last seen at Berkeley Rep in the world premiere of “A’int too Proud: the life and times of the Temptations”, prior to that he was seen traveling North America in the first national tour of Motown: The Musical.
A San Francisco native who was discovered in his public elementary school at age nine by SFartsEd. Mr. Jackson, Jr. continued his theatre and performance education at San Francisco Recreation and Park’s Young People’s Teen Musical Theater Company; and graduated from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts’ theatre department.
He is now the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO), a non-profit Theatre Company comprised of San Francisco natives who support artists in all performing arts areas with productions, creative development, mentorship, and engaging a new generation of live theater supporters; Currently he is directing BATCO’s upcoming play, “How To Be A White Man” at the African American Art & Culture Complex in the heart of San Franciscans Haye’s Valley neighborhood. More info: SFbatco.org
Yves Bouele – Treasorer
A distinguish members of our community who serves with pride through African Arts Academy.