Art and Change Grant
Neighborhood: Southwest Philadelphia
Change Partner: Echo of Liberian Culture
Discipline: Folk Arts
Zaye is a mother, a traditional folk singer from Liberia, a songwriter, and a performer. Performing for the Liberian community since she was a child, she feels a responsibility to help youth find good paths in the lives that they are building here. To do this, she will create a Liberian performing ensemble for young people to keep Liberian music vital for the next generation and to teach them the values of peace and respect. Her goal is to give children the chance to know where they come from, to know and own their heritage, and to be able to use their voices through song to speak out about what is right and wrong. She will teach songs that she has written that call out wrongs such as the problems of tribalism and old hurts, and the abuse and mistreatment of elders and children. Furthermore, Zaye sees her project as an opportunity to unite Liberian musicians and performers here in the region to have their voices heard and to make opportunities for the next generation.