Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative
The Afro-Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative (ABCAI) is an exciting new initiative which aims to celebrate African Brazilian food, art and heritage. Our goal is to bring communities together to learn about cultural differences while expanding people’s understanding of and appreciation for Brazil’s unique customs and traditions.
The ABCAI is a series of interactive educational experiences aimed at spreading awareness about Brazilian culture and tradition in school's, communities and public events throughout Northeast Ohio. Events, brought to life by Brazilian musician Moises Borges, who has African and Indigenous lineage will feature a variety of traditional components which includes:
- Keynote Speaker
- Capoeira - Afro-Brazilian body movement technique workshop
- Drummers - Interactive workshop on African/Brazilian rhythms
- Samba live music/ dancing workshop
- Afro-Brazilian Food
The keynote speaker on Brazilian culture at each event will bring up topics that may include history, current affairs, the arts, traditions, and more. Activities engage event attendees in an interactive, playful manner, giving them first hand experiences with African/Brazilian Heritage. Attendees join in on traditional music with live instruments, and more.
Your support will allow us to bring this cultural experience to life! All donations are tax deductible.
Please make a tax deductible donation, click the donation button below to donate via PayPal. Your donations will help us to put on these cultural experiences in the community for young children and people of all ages.
The Afro Brazilian Cultural Appreciation Initiative (ABCAI) is a series of interactive educational experiences aimed at spreading awareness and excitement about Brazilian culture. Our goal is to bring segments of the Cleveland community together, particularly students from school districts with low budget for arts education, to learn about cultural connections while expanding their understanding of and appreciation for Brazil’s unique customs and traditions.
The ABCAI event will be performed for a group of anywhere in between 150 to 300 students in elementary and/or secondary schools serving low income students in the East Cleveland neighborhood.
This educational experience will feature Brazilian culture components:
- Live samba music demonstration with a 5-piece band .
- One Keynote Speaker who will speak on Brazilian culture at the event, discussing Brazil’s history, its African roots, current affairs, the arts, customs and more.
- The students will be requested to do a research on Brazil's history and geography by two weeks prior to our presentation, developing acknowledge for discussion with the Keynote Speaker on the event's day.
- A Capoeira presentation and workshop (a Brazilian body movement technique with 5 practitioners)
- An Afro-Brazilian Drumline presentation and workshop - an interactive workshop and performance including 6 traditional Brazilian drummers.
- A samba dancer workshop for all.
- A sample of traditional Brazilian foods catered by Batuqui Brazilian Restaurant.
The 3.5 hour event will also include activities that engage in an interactive, playful manner, giving the students a first hand experience of Brazil’s unique cultural heritage. Attendees will have the opportunity to join event activities, playing instruments, dancing and learning Capoeira techniques. This interactive approach brings Brazil to Cleveland's youth like never before.
All our 23 performers have been in the team for years and have repeatedly done the presentations, we are all comfortable with each other and with working together as a group.
We are dedicated to bringing this lively and engaging art form as a way to connect local students to a culture that has kept and celebrated its African and indigenous roots and used them as tools for empowerment.
While public school budgets to support arts programming in Cleveland have been slashed in lieu of focusing on preparing students to pass tests, many students have not been exposed to a variety of international cultures.
The ABCAI initiative seeks to bridge these gaps in a fun, unique manner. It will also highlight the Brazilian culture and presence in Cleveland and help to identify the African and indigenous connections between Brazilian and American peoples. As many Cleveland students have Latin American and/or African roots, the ABCAI can offer them a sense of pride in their own heritage, teaching about the commonalities between the South and North American historical and cultural experiences.
The Afro Brazilian Culture Appreciation Initiative envisions that the students from the public school will discover music and dance as an empowering force in their lives, it also seeks to provide an alternative mode of learning, especially for children who may not response to traditional modes of teaching and learning.
By awakening in the student's mind the pleasure of learning about Afro-Brazilian culture, exposing them to new exciting music and drumming, inviting them in front of others to play drums in a unison beat, they will exercise their creativity, build lead and follow skills, and learn how to work together as a group to achieve one goal. In addition they will be part of something loud where the other participants will have to rely on ones good timing drum beat, so all of them together playing in a planned moment will have the result that only a group can achieve, and being part of this moment can be memorable, building creativity in group, defining leadership on the ones that could start their own projects.
The Capoeira body movement technique specifically, which is also a form of dancing, is particularly appealing to youth, it is a fun activity and interesting to watch. It involves two people at a time creating movement together, and this leads to building powerful partnerships in a playful way. Practicing dancing steps together also helps to promote the sense of discovery as a group and individuals, it improves memory, gives many benefits such as physical, on body conditioning and coordination, it fosters cognitive development specially in children, intensifying the human experience as a form of education, reducing tension and stress, liberates endorphins chemicals and hormones that encourage feelings of well-being. It helps to overcome shyness and provides a way to share with other people and improve social skills. These activities and lecture will help to build power in the students, making a change within each one that will be carried for a lifetime.
This project is important to me because as a young boy who grew up in a low income situation and faced hardships, learning to play the drums, dance samba and execute the Afro-Brazilian capoeira, was not just a way of releasing stress and finding an outlet, but finding a sense of belonging and empowering myself in my own body and heritage. I want to share the power of Afro-Brazilian music, dance and movement to create community and a sense of connection among youth from Cleveland's underserved, low income neighborhoods. Furthermore as a local Brazilian artist my work is about sharing my culture and building community in the multi-cultural context of Cuyahoga County.