Co-founder, Associate Director Cheryl Smith

Yaboo Initiates

Yaboo Rites of Passge - Father and son

Artists Collective Programs

Our Schedule 2018-2019

Dance and Other Workshops | Music

The Artists Collective serves over 1,200 students per year in its training programs.

Other programs offered include:

Rite of Passage – Yaboo Ceremony: Serving 12 Hartford Schools two days/week. Serves over 200 students. Focuses on traditional African family values welcoming adolescents into adulthood.The Yaboo Ceremony was conceived and choreographed by "Aca" Lee Thompson in 1976. It utilizes the performing arts, the Collective’s “skills for living,” and history of the arts and culture as its basis.

Jackie McLean Youth Jazz Orchestra: outstanding young musicians 13 to 21 years of age are selected to audition for placement. The Orchestra performs regionally and its members are racially and economically diverse. They have performed for former President Clinton, Harvard University, the Congressional Arts Breakfast in Washington and jazz festivals throughout New England. The Orchestra was re-named in April 2006, after the passing of the Artists Collective's beloved founder, Jackie McLean.

Dance Ensembles: The Choreographer’s Workshop is comprised of selected advance dance students 9 to 17 years of age. The ensemble performs traditional African, modern, jazz and tap throughout Connecticut. Its members were featured in the Hartford Stage Company's production of Oedipus The King By Sophocles, directed by Jonathan Wilson. The Choreographer's Workshop performed for the Congressional Arts Breakfast, hosted by Americans for the Arts in Washington, DC.

Summer Youth Employment Training Program: Provides summer employment for Hartford youth and develops work readiness skills and training in the arts.

Rite of Passage Cultural Summer Program: 6 week, full day program, which serves over 200 children, many of whom receive scholarships.

All training programs culminate in a full stage production presented to the public.


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