upcoming grant deadline: 03/01/2019

upcoming grant deadline: 03/01/2019

Kormassa Bobo

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(1) by Thomas B. Morton

2005 Leeway Transformation Award – $15,000

Growing up in Liberia, Kormassa’s family was once part of the National Cultural Troupe, where she learned to adapt the dances of village celebrations and ceremonies into choreography for the stage in order to share these dance traditions with others. Kormassa writes that in Liberia, “good dancers have special gifts passed on to them from their parents and ancestors;” this belief makes it important for her to pass these skills based in her Loma and Liberian lineage onto others through teaching and performing. Much of her approach to this work comes from her time studying at the Sande Society, a “bush school” in Kendeja for young girls. It is here that Kormassa learned how dance is a way to teach young people how to be “good citizens of their society, and the world.” In Philadelphia, she teaches dance to young Liberian refugees who have lived through war, refugee camps, migration to the U.S., and are now dealing with a new society. Her dance classes encourage the young people she works with to see the beauty and richness of their heritage, to balance the negative images many of them carry about their homeland. Kormassa believes that dance is one of the best ways to tell stories that change people’s lives; helping young people understand the importance of their elders, the land, and their important place in a community, learning how to stand up for themselves and take care of others. Kormassa has also performed in the ODUNDE festival, the Philadelphia Folklore Project’s Philly Dance Africa, and at various schools and festivals.


Leeway grant?

Art and Change Grant

The Art and Change Grant provides project-based grants of up to $2,500 to women and trans* artists and cultural producers in greater Philadelphia to fund art for social change projects. [read more]

deadline 03/01
Upcoming events
01/236:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Grant Info Session at Mt. Airy Arts Garage

[learn more]