Students at The View Learn "Gahu," Traditional Ghanaian Drumming and Dance

The Washington Middle School for Girls and Holton-Arms School, an independent school for girls in Bethesda, Maryland, have launched a pilot program to bring the two schools together in a collaborative experience involving the arts in Ghana. This project came about as a result of strategic initiatives on the part of both schools to forge meaningful connections with other schools in the Washington area. Both WMSG and Holton-Arms share overarching fifth grade themes of exploring individual identity and the place of the individual within a community of others. This is a rich theme with so much to consider, from the unique character of each individual student, to two distinct school communities, to the diverse communities of Anacostia and Bethesda within our larger Washington community, to the place of the arts in creating strong communities and bridging global cultural divides.WMSG and Holton girls are learning a piece called "Gahu," a traditional Ghanaian drumming, dancing, and singing piece that is frequently performed in Ghana. They are also participating in an art project where they learn about Adinkra, conceptual images important in Ghanaian culture and used especially in fabric design, and create their own personal symbols. To conclude the project, Holton-Arms students will come to THEARC and the students will perform Gahu together, and view an exhibit of their Adinkra art projects.