Dunbar Project Summer Season

All young artists ages 12-18 are welcome!

Overall Goals of the Program


•  Increase access to long term arts instruction for children and youth living in low income households, and across racial and ethnic lines.


•  Cover the range of performing and technical arts that make up theatre arts.  This includes acting, dance, music (voice, and/or instruments, and drumming), spoken word, set design, and lighting and sound design.


•  Enrich cultural identity yielding self confidence and connectedness in students.


•  Increase self-awareness in students.


•  Improve character and spirit of cooperation.

The Dunbar Project

The Dunbar Project is dedicated to training children in the performance styles and traditions of their ancestors and providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through public performance. Interdisciplinary training in acting, music, dance, and technical theatre are provided by professional artists with significant performance and teaching experience. Previously focused on African American traditions, Dunbar has been re-formed after many years’ hiatus, and will expand to incorporate the diverse, and commonly underrepresented, cultures of Buffalo’s West Side. Moving forward, we will continue incorporating performing arts from a wide range of cultures. These may include: Burmese, Somali, Iraqi, Congolese, and Puerto Rican. We are developing relationships with various cultural groups, identifying appropriate teaching artists and art forms to fill out our existing curriculum. All of these groups once enjoyed a rich oral tradition, tracking their roots through centuries of life both outside of and in America and maintaining a sense of “connectedness” with the past. To be “connected” is to be engaged, to belong, to be known and affirmed, to have certain permanence in relationships, to be valued, and to be empowered to contribute. The Dunbar Project helps build and strengthen these connections in young people by providing workshops in the following areas:

Dunbar Project Logo.png

•  Acting and scene work – focusing on the strengths of the individual and the historical connections            between the performer and the character.


•  Dance – African, African American, and culturally specific dances with a focus on the meaning of the        dance and how it reflects the social and spiritual needs of the community that created it.


•  Music – taught with an emphasis on its purpose and its dramatic content.


•  Creation and performance – storytelling and creating performance pieces that reflect the experiences      and values of the students and their people.


•  Technical theatre – training in the fundamentals of light and sound design and operation.

For More Information contact our Program Director, Maria Ta, at maria@ujimacoinc.org