Malawian artist leads community workshops

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Article Published: Oct. 11, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 20, 2012
Malawian artist leads community workshops

Malawian artist-in-residence Masankho Kamsisi Banda is coming to Appalachian State and Boone Oct. 15-19.

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Appalachian State’s Office of International Education and Development is bringing multi-disciplinary teaching artist and educator Masankho Kamsisi Banda to the Appalachian campus and Boone community for the week of Oct. 15 to 19.

Banda’s residency exemplifies the possibilities of connecting cultures and creating community through the arts. A native of Malawi and a certified Interplay facilitator, he will be leading workshops on campus using Interplay to develop cultures of peace. Interplay is an active creative process for personal and community transformation, honoring the human desire to be whole people leading whole lives in connection with each other.

These workshops are open and free to Appalachian students, faculty and staff. A student workshop will be offered Thursday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and two faculty and staff workshops will be on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 15 and 16, with registration required. Banda will also be participating as a guest lecturer in music education classes and collaborating with professor Keith McKutchen and Appalachian’s Gospel Choir.

While here, Banda will be working daily with Western Youth Network students as an LSS (LEAF in Schools and Streets) teaching artist, including a joint workshop session on Thursday, Oct. 8, with Watauga High School students in Mountain Alliance, featuring drumming.

WYN participants will be travelling to Black Mountain Oct. 20 to perform with Banda at the LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) and have the opportunity to attend the festival for the day free of charge. LEAF is a festival connecting cultures and creating community through the arts.

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Banda, in collaboration with Dr. Suzi Mills, will be facilitating a workshop for K-12 teachers from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Watauga High School. Repertoire and cultural context will be highlighted in the workshop, and opportunities to create lessons that address the new standards will be offered. This workshop is free, but requires prior registration.

Using the performing arts, Banda motivates and inspires people of all ages to work together to bring about peace, social justice and cultural understanding. In 1997, he started Ucandanc African Healing Arts to bring his passion for dance and storytelling to communities around the world.

Banda’s residency is co-sponsored by the following departments at Appalachian State University: The Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, the Hubbard Programs for Faculty Excellence, the Hayes School of Music, the Office of Multicultural Student Development and the Reich College of Education’s Public School Partnership.

For more information, contact Sarah Bergstedt at ( or (828) 262-8046.

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