A Message From The Artistic Director of The Watah School

d'bi masai warior princess by wade hudson high res


Dear Toronto

It is an incredible feeling to be home after living in the world for so many years. It is even more phenomenal to be creating The Watah School along with you. This dream of cultivating our very own version of Fame; remember that 80s performance show? Or Juilliard, an arts school with a serious legacy. The model is many; Edna Manley arts school in Jamaica and Toronto’s Fresh Arts Program, of which I am an alumni. The time has come to build a Black performing and visual arts training institute that can attract the phenomenally talented emerging artists we have in Canada and also set a new stage for world peoples’ growth and development as artists-healers-leaders. This is what our time needs. Ashe to all who have come before us; those who nurtured fertile soil for us to plant seeds in. We water these roots knowing that some of us will die before the first branches emerge to meet the morning sun. That is alright. Life is a cycle. Many came before and many more will come after; we continue to plant for 7 generations. The Watah School – grounded in African Oral Storytelling traditions – is a crossroads where the radical performance traditions of Dubpoetry, Caribbean theatrical storytelling and Black wombanist thought, intersect with critical Pan-Africanist theory-into-practice, Ifa-Tao-Buddhist principles, balanced by the global mind-body healing modalities of Ashtanga Yoga and Qi Gong. In this our inaugural year, we offer you an invitation to re-define artistic education. Welcome to The Watah School.

d’bi.young anitafrika, September 2014, The Watah School


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