Our Purpose

Black Arts Development Program

The Black Arts Development (BAD) Program consists of six sections that focus on Theatre and Film for Script Writers and Actors, Dance, Visual Arts, Media and Music. The two primary aspects of the BAD Program are training and mentorship. The Program was designed with the intent of providing emerging and pre-professional Black artists the tools and practical knowledge to take the next step in their artistic journey and generate an environment where African, Caribbean, and Black Diaspora culture can flourish in Calgary. 

Woezo Africa has partnered with arts organizations, institutions, universities, and businesses in Calgary to reform old systems and move into a place of renewed support that will help contribute to a thriving presence of Black Theatre, Film, Dance, Media, Music, and Visual arts in Calgary. Our ultimate goal is to acclimate and nurture the African Diaspora cache of creative artists to the performing and visual arts sector.

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Next Program: Black Arts Development Mentorship Program in Partnership with the Rozsa Foundation

Program Begins January 9, 2023

In 2021, the Theatre and Film section of the BAD Program trained 33 African, Caribbean and Black adult artists virtually between two cohorts with a focus on Script Writing and Acting support.  The Script Writing and Acting workshops served as an introductory course for up-and-coming playwrights and actors with ample collaborative opportunities between the virtual cohorts. The Black Arts Development Program teamed up with award-winning professional instructors Cheryl Foggo, Omatta Udalor from Calgary, Janelle Cooper and Fiona Clark from Toronto, and Jesse Lipscombe from Edmonton to offer 6 weeks (18 hours) of workshops. 

Successful applicants received a total of $16,500.00 upon completion of the workshops. The two script writing cohorts produced 10-min plays based on “the Black experience” with the aim of pitching and producing such scripts in collaboration with local theatre organizations in Calgary, using actors predominately sourced from the Program’s Acting workshop. 
 

Woezo Africa fostered connections with theatre companies in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.  Companies who publicly committed to the 35//50 Initiative and the pledge to supporting actions. This resulted in a minimum of 35% BIPOC and 50% women and gender variant folx in equitably paid, professional theatre industry positions by the conclusion of the 2024/2025 theatre season.

In July 2022 Woezo Africa concluded the BAD Program – 3 Week Dance Intensive. The dance component of the BAD Program was held in Calgary, Alberta. The program was offered to participants at no cost and they had the opportunity to train with:

  • Star Dixon | TAP
  • Enock “Brotha E” Kadima | Ndombolo/Hip Hop)
  • Akosua Akoto | Traditional Ivorian Rhythms
  • Willy Noir | Afro House
  • Mikhail “Venom” Morris | Dancehall

The instructors traveled from the Netherlands, USA (Denver, Chicago, Washington) and Vancouver, bringing their 20+ years of experience in African diasporic dance forms to Calgary. Woezo Africa was thrilled to create a space for 58 African, Caribbean and Black participants ranging from ages 5 – 57 years to gain insight into the historical and cultural context of dance movements and sequences in addition to the history associated with the dance genre.

Successful applicants received a total of $7,800.00 upon completion of the workshops.

Our Next Program. Why Should You Apply?

BLACK ARTS DEVELOPMENT MENTORSHIP PROGRAM IN PARTERNSHIP WITH ROSZA FOUNDATION

 

The Mentorship Program begins on January 9, 2023. This is a one year exclusive program that will support the development of five Calgary African, Caribbean and Black artists specializing in multiple artistic disciplines and arts leadership. This is the third iteration of the BAD Program. The last two iterations focused on providing training and support in Theatre, Film and Dance. Both were completed with great success. The Black Arts Development Program is now turning its attention to providing mentorship opportunities to:

  • increase the productivity of Black artists, artist producers, and arts managers in professional development.

  • develop the professionalism of local Black artists, artist producers, and arts managers so that they may increase their likelihood of career development and meaningful engagements.

  • promote the leadership potential of mentoring participants so that they may have ample opportunity to participate in local artistic leadership activities.

  • The participants will be partnered with an artist with an established career that will provide knowledge and guidance in their artistic discipline.

Woezo Africa is presenting this Mentorship Program in partnership with the Rozsa Foundation. An organization that supports artists with transformational arts leadership and management programs. Scholarships will be awarded to the five participants to the Rozsa Admin Fundamentals Training (RAFT) and Rozsa Arts Management Program (RAMP) Arts Leadership programs FREE of charge.

Woezo Africa is extending an invitation to you to apply to be one of the chosen participants. You will be mentored by a notable artist as a mentor in your discipline for a full year. You will receive guidance and support in areas you need help in. You will also receive mentorship in creating your next project. Join the 2023 BAD Mentorship Program.

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The Mentorship Program will 

consist of:

  • 4 hours per month from January 2023 – December 2023 with your mentor.
  • Scheduled meetings to suit your availability during the 12 month Mentorship Program.
  • Participate in the RAFT and RAMP Arts Leadership programs.
  • Complete accumulated assignments toward your artistic goals.
  • Meetings will be in-person if both mentee or mentor living in Calgary, or virtual via Zoom if Mentor lives outside of Calgary. 
  • Compensation for the mentees will be $1200/year for the 12 months commitment. 

Who Can Apply?

Application Requirements & Eligibility

The BAD Mentorship Program will focus on supporting 5 emerging and professional African, Caribbean, and Black community artists of multiple artistic disciplines. Artist must be over 18 years of age. You must have a minimum of 3 years dedication to your art via performances, completed projects, training etc. An application form MUST be submitted.

Note: Woezo Africa is only accepting applicants who are serious, committed, and passionate about learning and growing as a professional artist.

Eligibility: 

  • The BAD Mentorship Program is for the African, Caribbean, and Black community members.
  • Must have at least 3 years experience in your chosen Artistic discipline.

Important

Dates
*Rozsa Foundation Arts Leadership programs are online and in-person

Program ScheduleDates
Application opensSeptember 23, 2022
Application closed October 28, 2022
Letter of admission for successful applicants for the
Mentorship Program 
November 4, 2022
Mentorship Program beginsJanuary 9, 2023
Mentorship Program endsDecember 29, 2023