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Love and Gratitude to the Senegal-America Project and other Positive Vibes!

February 8, 2017

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Hoping your new year is off to an inspiring start. Lots of changes happening around us that require our love and attention. Let’s stay focused, conscious and connected.

I spent the last week of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 in Senegal, West Africa with THE SENEGAL-AMERICA PROJECT (a non-profit sponsored network of partnerships to address our common issues, as well as a performance troupe featuring musicians, poets and dancers from Senegal, America and beyond). The primary goal of S.A.P. is to bring people together in meaningful collaborations that create transformational responses to what we share of common issues and common ground.

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It takes time to process the experiences and emotions of a journey to Senegal. Although this is not my first visit to Africa, each journey touches upon a special place of enlightenment and inspiration. The conversations and art that develop, are not centered upon our individuality, but upon how WE as a collective can grow together through art and culture. The generosity in Senegal is an everyday vibration, and I have much to be thankful for with gratitude to my travel companions, the artists and the people we met along the way.

On New Year’s Day, S.A.P. artists Tony Vacca, Massamba Diop, Abiodun Oyewole, Barou Sall, Backa Niang and yours truly, performed at Sobobade’s Festival Rhythmes et Formes du Monde. It was a spectacular event! People came from near and far to the gorgeous amphitheater designed by visionary, sculptor and founder of Sobobade, Gerard Genet. It was an incredible experience of music, dance and art from around the world. S.A.P. also facilitated workshops, performed at Cises in Dakar with Senegalese Hip-Hop luminaries Bideew Bou Bess, visited and performed at Malika Monkeys, spent time building with young people of Lycee Moderne High School, Papillon Bleu School, interview on Senegalese television by DTV (TMTC) and recorded two videos (African Embrace and Pelorinho) as well as audio studio recordings.

I am grateful for our families and friends for their love and support, and to Senegal for welcoming us with an open heart. There are so many people to thank, but here are a few that made this journey a magical experience: Special thanks to Tony Vacca and Massamba Diop – founders of S.A.P., Mayor Augustine Senghor/Goree Island, Gerard and Sylvaine Genet, staff and musicians of Sobobade, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Jean Butler – CEO Arts-Are-Essential, Bideew Bou Bess, Herma and Danny Bode and the staff of Malika Monkeys, Pape Sakho, Jason Buchea, Ibrahima Ndiaye, Master Nomila, Daouda Dia, Salef Ba, Donald Boucal, Barou Sall, Backa Niang, DTV (TMTC), Mouhammed Cherif Fadhel, Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Wantd, Issah, Laye Ndiaye Studios, Mor Sakho and Lycee Moderne High School. Thanks to our wonderful taxi drivers for their knowledge and expertise and to my manager Rescue Poetix. I look forward to our next adventure in world music, poetry, global citizenship, peace and love inshallah. We are the African Embrace!

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Look out for our new videos: African Embrace and Pelorinho produced by Tony Vacca with original music and poetry by collaborators of the Senegal-America Project – filmed in Senegal by Wantd.

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