October 2014 | Legacy Arts Newsletter

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Welcome to the newest edition of the Legacy Arts Project newsletter!
The purpose for this biweekly publication is to keep the community informed on the happenings of Legacy Arts.

In This Issue:
•  Get to know artist, Saihou Njie
•  Recap of Dance Africa 2014
•  Upcoming events
•  Four healing salves

Wednesdays With Saihou!

Art is in the air at Sankofa Village, especially on Wednesday evening. Our residency with Saihou Njie brings the spirit of art from the Diaspora to the doorstep of the Homewood studio. 

“I try to teach people how to see to draw,” Njie said.

This is one of Njie’s art principles that he demonstrates for his weekly class, where he lends his artistry to folks of all ages. Originally from Gambia, West Africa, Njie comes from a family of artists. Njie picked up many of his art traits by watching his brother, who he describes as a natural artist, and by helping his parents.

“My mother was a fiber artist and she used to get me to help her at her work after school,”

When Njie moved to the United States for school at the age of 21, he studied photography and fine arts. He realized after graduating that art was a career path he wanted to keep following. To separate himself from other artists, he decided to focus on an art form rarely practiced.

“I figured the only way I can have a chance at being recognized is by choosing a medium that is not widely used.”
Known as abstract art, batik is an old tradition practiced in various parts of the world. It’s a process in which dyes and waxes are used to create unique patterns. Along with batik painting, Njie is also a photographer, drawer and designer. 

Njie is teaching all the art forms he knows for his residency with Legacy Arts.

“I want to mix everything under one umbrella. I want to do the movement, almost like it is a meditative kind of movement. All it is, is just calming the mind because when the mind is calm everything goes right.”

The beginning of Njie’s classes start with everyone sitting around in a circle and mediating. Afterwards everyone shares any ideas or thoughts they may have. Njie says you never know what good ideas can come out from that. Njie enjoys bringing out the creative side in the kids he teaches. He hopes to be a teacher that makes an impact in at least one life of the children he teaches.

“Everybody has potential and you can see that in kids. I try to find that thing in kids and encourage them.” 

Fall Weekly Classes


Congolese Dance Class 

Sanokofa Village for the Arts
201 N. Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15208



Dance Creative Movement & Art

Sanokofa Village for the Arts
201 N. Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15208

Free Admission 

Dance Africa: Recap 

During the finale performance of Dance Africa
Photo by Gail Manker

This past April, Pittsburgh played host to it’s 3rd annual Dance Africa. Spanning from April 25 through the 27, this year’s events featured work from the Oyu Oro, Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble, Illstyle & Peace Productions, the Legacy Arts Project, as well as the Hill Dance Academy Theater.

The Legacy Arts Project Community Ensemble performed works of the African Diaspora, reflecting the linkages that exist between cultures.

Dancers from Legacy kicked off the celebration with a rhythm called ’Lamban’ from the old Mali Empire of Africa, welcoming everyone to the evenings festivities. The celebratory dance was followed by an ancestral memorial, which allowed the audience to participate by giving names of ancestors they wanted to acknowledge.

Along with the two shows that filled the bill, this year’s event integrated a fashion show into the intermission of the performance. Hosted by Wadria “StyleandSteel” Taylor to the tunes of DJ Paul Dang, fashions of the Ujamaa Collective, Fashion Africana, and Sofiya Mozley were gracefully worn down the runway, bringing a reflection of fashion from throughout the Diaspora.

Dance Africa: Pittsburgh 2014 was performed to an audience of approximately 540 people. Held at the August Wilson Center, the Legacy Arts Project served as a conduit to bridge local, national, and international arts to the city, demonstrating the power of culture, principles, and art for bringing people together.

The 8th Annual Keepers of The Flame event is already in progress. Scheduled for Saturday, November 15 @ 7:30pm and Sunday, November 16 @ 3:00pm at the Kaufmann Auditorium.
This year’s awards will be bestowed upon: Dr. and Mrs. Johnson (AAMI), Bill ‘Oba’ Wells, Poogie Bell, Joyce Meggerson-Moore, and Chico Butler.


The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary.
–Harper Collins

If you ever feel yourself feeling disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, take a moment to ask yourself these four questions.

When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are looked at as the four universal healing salves.

When we have stopped any of the four salves we have experienced the loss of soul.

CLICK HERE to read more from The Four-Fold Way

Help support The Legacy Arts Project by donating during the Arts Day of Giving! On Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6:00 a.m. ET until 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) ET, The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) and The Pittsburgh Foundation will match a percentage of any donation of $15 or more and each gift is 100% tax deductible! CLICK the IMAGE ABOVE to DONATE!

“May we dance our heart songs and move with the universal language of love.
May we inspire work of transformation.”
- Erin Perry

Help Support Black Arts in Pittsburgh. Donate to The Legacy Arts Project Today.
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The mission of the Legacy Arts Project, Inc. is to preserve the history and traditions of African art as represented throughout the diaspora through education, practice and performance. The organization strives to share the presen- tation of art throughout the community in order to inspire the upliftment of individuals within the urban neighbor- hoods of Pittsburgh. 

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