Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Inc.
Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy (Ifetayo) is a community-based arts and cultural organization dedicated to supporting the creative, educational, and professional development of disadvantaged youth and families primarily of African descent in Flatbush, Brooklyn and surrounding communities. Since its founding in 1989, Ifetayo has sought to improve the lives of young people by providing programs in the performing and visual arts, as well as academic instruction, health and wellness education, and professional and personal skills development. Through its experience with this underserved population, Ifetayo has created an innovative model for self-healing and life preparation through the arts and related activities.
Ifetayo's greatest strength and competitive advantage is strong African centered mission and programming. Few other programs in the country, if any have developed African Centered programming and delivered direct services through the arts and youth development for over 25 years and conducted research based on African Diaspora Rites programs and community development. The source of those programs are the long standing and interconnected community ties with families and their children and growing connections with an international community of traditional elders from throughout the Diaspora.
Ifetayo's programs reach youth 2-24 years old, young adults and their families. The organization delivers public performances, and seminars including, but not limited to international cultural exchange, community partnerships, school relationships, parent communications, volunteers, interns, visiting artists, scholars and projects to over 2000 youth and audiences of up to 5,000 each year.
Ifetayo currently has six integrated programs that exemplify our philosophy of youth development:
Rites of Passage Programs: Core programs Sisters in Sisterhood and I Am My Brother serve an average 400 young people of African descent into and through adolescence with personal and professional skill development.
Financial Education Institute (FEI) provides financial education workshops to 45 participants and the related Individual Development Accounts Program (IDA) provides students with the opportunity to participate in a college savings matching program. 60 students are currently saving for college through the program;
The Arts Education Program (AE) offers in-school programs in the arts to 1600 pre-K-12 students through partnerships with schools throughout Brooklyn;
The Cultural Arts Program (CAP) offers weekly classes in dance, voice, drumming, visual arts, drama, poetry and creative writing to an average 175 children ages 2-21;
The Ifetayo Youth Ensemble (IYE), a performing ensemble of 30 youth ages 12-19 produces original performance works about pressing social issues;
The Marcus Garvey Cultural Heritage Program provides historical and cultural instruction about the cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora and international travel programs for 65 students and parents.