African Arts Academy is a 501C3 not for profit international, art education program, based in San Francisco, CA USA.
It' s main focus is to combine ancient wisdom, traditional art with the new technology, and implement a professional grade, state of the arts institution that, specializes in the teaching doctrines of all art forms and crafts originating in Africa and the African diaspora.
To establish a State of The Arts institution that specializes in the doctrines of arts and crafts originating in Africa and the African diaspora and to preserve African cultural heritage, through art education for generations to come.
Our goal at African Arts Academy is not only that we want to help change the perception of the way the world views Africa, but we also want to help change the perspective of people of African descent, by producing a different narrative, in highlighting the beauty and values of African Art which has positively contributed in the artistic development and economic growth in great nations around the world.
We believe that our past determines our future, and A-A-A is an innovative way to preserve ancient wisdom through art education via new technology, based on the spirit of cultural diversity, dynamic growth, sustainability, social justice, and the pursuit of intellectual entrepreneurship, to serve, and empower the new generation to compete in the world's growing job market.
African Arts Academy is the bridge between ancient wisdom and the modern world, via new technology, where innovation meets tradition.
WHY AFRICAN ARTS ACADEMY?
Throughout history, many stories have been told and written about Africa, however some stories have lead to the misconception and the misunderstanding about the vast continent with so many different cultures, which led to a stereotype against people of African descent. As interior conflicts, economic war and greed left the continent parted, it is only through education that we can bring the puzzles back together, focusing on the art. There was an ancient civilization and lifestyle in Africa, before the Arab and European Invasions. What was Africa like, before colonization? What kind of art form did they make to communicate? What type of food did they eat? These are the questions many people keep asking. Archeologists have proved that something, a link from the past is either missing or has been broken. How to reconnect that link to our modern society? This is where African Arts Academy comes handy. Behind every African Art, lies a story that goes back from generations , for thousands of years. At African Arts Academy, we strongly believe that our past determines our future, reconnect with our ancestors, to learn and understand the origin of things. A devious, and a greedy mind, will lead societies to encourage, racial discrimination and human right abuse, this should no longer stand in the way of ART!
Meet Our Board of Directors
Fely Tchaco (AKA Leye Martin)
President Founder Executive Director
Fely Tchaco is an award-winning musical artist, singer-songwriter, performer, a Billboard Nominee, visual artist, fashion designer, and an entrepreneur. African Arts Academy was founded by Fely Tchaco, a multi talented award winning recording artist, singer songwriter, performer, visual artist and a fashion designer. Based on her own experience, the idea came to Fely Tchaco in 2000 when she realized how hard it was to communicate her artistry when trying to put a band together with the musicians she intended to work with, but had no idea about the kind of music she was referring to... It was very difficult to assemble musicians to create a dinamic, harmonious flow with her unique style of music that is not acustomed to many. No one could understand her language which resolted in many frustrations and loosing some musicians and band members with great potentials. Instead of being angry and judgemental about it, Fely simply felt that her art was not appreciated, because of the lack of understanding. This is where the idea of creating African Art Academy came. It was her long time dream, to establish an educational program that will focus on arts and crafts originating in the African diaspora.
Bishop Ishmael Bursh
Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama and was last seen at Berkeley Rep in the world premiere of “A’int too Proud: the life and times of the Temptations”, prior to that he was seen traveling North America in the first national tour of Motown: The Musical. A San Francisco native who was discovered in his public elementary schoo
Director - Secretary General
Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. made his Broadway debut in The Book of Mormon after graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama and was last seen at Berkeley Rep in the world premiere of “A’int too Proud: the life and times of the Temptations”, prior to that he was seen traveling North America in the first national tour of Motown: The Musical. A San Francisco native who was discovered in his public elementary school at age nine by SFartsEd. Mr. Jackson, Jr. continued his theatre and performance education at San Francisco Recreation and Park’s Young People’s Teen Musical Theater Company; and graduated from the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts’ theatre department. He is now the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company (BATCO), a non-profit Theatre Company comprised of San Francisco natives who support artists in all performing arts areas with productions, creative development, mentorship, and engaging a new generation of live theater supporters; Currently he is directing BATCO’s upcoming play, “How To Be A White Man” at the African American Art & Culture Complex in the heart of San Franciscans Haye’s Valley neighborhood. More info: SFbatco.org twitter: RodneyEJacksonJ insta: rodneyearljacksonjr
Director Board Member
Rachel is the Founder and President of BRAID Africa. She received her Diploma in Higher Education in Adult Nursing from King's College London, and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Health from Surrey University in the United Kingdom. Rachel worked for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK as a Registered Nurse (RN) and as a Freelance Occupational Health and Safety Consultant. In recent years, Rachel has devoted her time to humanitarian work and providing assistance to the Ivorian refugees and communities in remote Liberia
Director - Treasurer
Devi Raman, wears many hats, quite efficiently. On the technical front, Devi, is an Electronics and Communication Engineer, who has worked as a database specialist, in the IT industry. She was also the Executive Vice President of the PTA, has held important board positions, and has been the chairperson for major fundraising events. On the artistic front, Devi is a model, a singer and a dancer. She has performed as a dancer for celebrity events, has been the semi-finalist among 500 contestants, in a singing competition called 'Galatta Idol', and has been walking the ramp as a model for the last few years. As a philanthropist and a humanitarian, she is passionate about promoting minority women artists, and has joined hands with Fely Tchaco, to produce the Modern Ethnic Fashion Show Gala in 2016.