Academy to teach African-American
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
The African-American Arts & Heritage Academy is currently accepting applications for its Summer 2013 program.
From July 8-14, students ages 13-18 will spend the week at West Virginia University enhancing their talents in an artistic discipline of their choice.
Jacqueline Dooley, codirector of AAAHA and the WVU program director of student organizations, said she is excited for the unique opportunity found in the program.
"This program is different than most, because it gives the young students a chance to get another aspect of learning through being taught by someone of another race," Dooley said.
The academy, funded through grants and private donations, typically hosts between 40-45 students who decide prior to attending what area of expertise they would like to develop their skills in: dance, vocal, instrumental, creative writing, visual and theater arts, etc.
In the past, AAAHA has drawn in students and teachers from across the state and from other regions including Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Georgia and Puerto Rico.
"Since the academy came to WVU, it has grown. The experience for these kids on a college campus acts as a recruiting tool not only for this school but to attend college," Dooley said.
Students who attend the camp stay overnight for the week in the
Towers Residential Complex on the Evansdale campus.
Dooley said AAAHA’s faculty tries to pair up the students based on how long they’ve been practicing the expertise and tries to keep them balanced with their level of experience.
Dooley said though admittance to the program is not very competitive, the faculty likes to keep the group small enough that it’s manageable and more inclusive.
"We offer so many disciplines. We have those who are mainly focused on instrumental and bring their violins, flutes and trumpets. Then we have those who want to experience every type of discipline," she said.
Lionel Jordan, also known as rapper 6’6 240, known for his Mountaineer Football song "Gold ‘n’ Blue," will spend time working with the campers.
"(Jordan) teaches the students the concept of thinking, feeling, putting it on paper and creating their own music," Dooley said.
As well as working with 6’6 240 and other recognizable artists, such as WVU alumnus Ryan Frost who taught the students about African Drum and Dance in 2012, Dooley said she believes the students who attend will get to participate in activities they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to.
"In the past, students have had the opportunity to visit the football stadium and get a tour of the brand new men’s and women’s basketball facility from the players," Dooley said.
AAAHA has been hosted at WVU since 2001.
The academy strives to expose its students to African-American culture through a variety of methods.
At the end of the week, the students perform what they have learned in a showcase for their
"I think that students need experience and exposure in the arts and heritage of African -American culture," Dooley said. "Students aren’t always taught about this culture, and we’ve contributed to quite a bit of growth in the United States."