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Brooklyn Nonprofits Create the 'Dance and Beyond' Scholarship Program

Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation and The Stars of New York Dance are teaming up to give 60 students scholarships to take dance and drumming classes.
Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation. Photo: Provided/Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation.

Brooklyn-based and Black-owned nonprofit community arts programs, Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation and The Stars of New York Dance have partnered to establish The Dance and Beyond Scholarship Program. This tandem initiative has given 60 scholarships to students between the ages of 4 and 16 to attend Asase Yaa’s School of the Arts throughout the current school year.

The Stars of New York Dance has donated the full cost of the scholarships to Asase Yaa from a $500,000 federal Community Project Fund they received from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. The full grant of $500,000 is providing 250 children with a $2,000 dance scholarship with dance organizations within Jefferies' 8th Congressional District.

The groundbreaking initiative by The Stars of New York Dance and its founder and Executive Producer, Cheryl Todmann, is the largest scholarship fund in Asase Yaa's history.

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Cheryl Todmann for her visionary commitment to help us provide numerous youths of diverse ages and backgrounds with a chance to become a part of our vibrant artistic community and learn dance and drumming,” said Kofi Osei Williams, the Executive Director of Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation.

All participants of The Dance and Beyond Program are currently attending the Asase Yaa School of the Arts in Brooklyn. The $2000 scholarship pays for their tuition, which allows them to take classes in three genres of dance, African, Jazz, and Hip Hop. They also receive uniforms and costumes for each dance discipline, which they will wear for the school’s annual finale dance recital in June 2024.

Asase Yaa has supported The Stars of New York Dance since its inception in 2009 with scholarships totaling $1000 per year. The organization just celebrated its 14 annual gala and dance competition on Friday, November 17th. The Asase Yaa Youth Ensemble earned the dance competition’s grand prize, $5000.