Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey Receives a Grant for $6,748 from the Missouri Arts Council

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey recently received a grant for $6,748 from the Missouri Arts Council, Education to the support Paseo Project (PP).  Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) will host four two-week residencies of dancers and choreographers at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts (PAFPA).

The artists-in-residence teach students ballet, modern dance, and jazz dance. Each artist also choreographs a work for their students to perform. The students learn vocabulary and elements of movement and take inspiration from the local environment from such elements as cultural institutions, historical landmarks, or artists. The PP culminates in Kaleidoscope, PAFPA’s two public spring performances of the students’ work throughout the residencies.

The purpose of the residencies is to bring professional artists to PAFPA to prepare students to compete in post-high school level dance. Artists serve as role models for students by helping them realize their potential to achieve their goals. These world-class artists-in-residence and the overall project contribute to learning in the arts by inspiring students who normally would not have access to such education and helping them develop skills in dance that lead to educational, artistic, and professional opportunities. Since KCFAA employs and is connected with world-class dancers, these local students are empowered to become some of the best artistic dancers in the world.

Alvin Ailey first brought his groundbreaking modern dance company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to Kansas City in 1968, initiating a decade of performances.  KCFAA encourages diversity of people and ideas through its organizational structure, uniting people across racial, ethnic and social barriers to promote awareness, respect, friendship, and ultimately, community-wide social change.  The PP fits into KCFAA’s overall mission by advancing our role as an educator, which is part of our three-part role as educator, facilitator, and presenter.  KCFAA events throughout Kansas City raise the exposure of Alvin Ailey as an arts educator, fulfilling our mission to reach the neediest children in the Kansas City area, both in and out of school, and teach critical life skills through dance.