Tuzina is founded upon the idea that we do not know the best method of dancing. Instead, we hope to learn from the women and children what kind of dance springs up intuitively into their bodies and reflects their cultural values. Keeping this in mind, we plan to develop a connection with the community in order to establish a lasting arts exchange. This trip will be the first step of a long-term goal of beginning one or more arts schools in post-conflict zones of East Africa. Over the coming years, Tuzina will periodically return to the community in order to continue the work it has begun there. As soon as resources and artists are available, we will establish an arts school with the intention of empowering children affected by social and political conflicts to express themselves, remember their history, and celebrate their culture.
Relevance to New York City Communities: Tuzina is a program relevant to New York City communities because it brings deeper meaning to the simple act of enjoying a dance performance. Our long-term vision is to create a cross-cultural exchange in which company performances here in New York directly support and educate children of post-conflict regions through the establishment of arts schools. Thus empowerment is reached on two levels: we are empowering American audiences to promote social justice and renewal through attending performances while simultaneously empowering African children to use dance to celebrate their culture and work through trauma. Our hope is to found a company based out of the arts schools we develop that will perform internationally to keep the cross-cultural tradition of empowerment and storytelling alive.