Tem Jogo in Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana, California, USA
Sonia Velasquez started this project by creating a youth ensemble studying multiple forms of cultural dance including Capoeira. ContraMestre Versatil began the Capoeira portion of this program in early 2000. This project serves the youth of Santa Ana California, a city with a large Latino immigrant population. Arts and extracurricular programs have been missing from the school system here and matriculation rates are below average.
Currently instructors Chun-Sheng ‘Arisco’ Wang, Paul ‘Caboclo’ Natividad, and alumna Micol Celeste Issaithe also facilitate the program, all have experience working with social projects and relief efforts in Haiti.
Through community outreach, a large number of students that have been in the program have graduated high school and are attending college. For this fall, one former student was accepted to Yale. The leaders of this project believe in instilling values of global citizenship, self-love, self-respect in their students, and the knowledge that they can elevate themselves and their communities with these guiding principles.
Through the Academy of International Dance and Splendors of the World Dance Festival, the project has been able to expand to Rijeka, Croatia, a city with a large population of Muslim Romani and Muslims of Bosnian heritage. Their goal is for this aspect of the program to grow and bring the power of art and culture to many other places by partnering with groups in the ground who also work youth who are at risk.
Children and Youth development
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