Schoharie County Arts (SCA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $10,000 Audience Building Project grant by the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts to fund performances and workshops by West African musician Zorkie Nelson and his group of drummers and dancers, Gballoi.
A series of drumming and dance workshops will be held at libraries in Cobleskill, Middleburgh, Schoharie, and Sharon Springs during their summer programs in July, 2024. Participants will enjoy learning several traditional native Ghanaian tribal roots rhythms with 22 traditional drums. The Ghanaian dancer who accompanies Mr. Nelson will teach dances which go along with the rhythms.
Following the workshops, Mr. Nelson and Gballoi will perform at a central location in the County, to be determined, inviting audience participation. Mr. Nelson, who is from Ghana, also incorporates some West African/Ghana background and history into his performance.
“While Schoharie County has a robust arts community, there are certain art forms which are rarely seen here, and African dancing and drumming would be a new experience for most people in the area” says SCA board member Jennie Mosher.
“Zorkie Nelson and Gballoi presented an after-school program with students in the Middleburgh School in 2021, which was a wonderful experience for participants,” states Lisa Ovitt, president of the SCA board of directors. “Schoharie County Arts is excited to be partnering with area libraries to make this event available to a wider audience. All workshops and the performance will be free of charge.”
The grant will also fund a festival of experimental and progressive music at the Iroquois Museum in the summer of 2024. Several artists and bands will perform original music, potentially including progressive metal/rock, experimental jazz, and music which uses traditional or indigenous instruments and musical elements in innovative ways.
Both of these engagements are supported by The Audience Building Project, a program of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Governor and New York State Legislature.