FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 11, 2019) St. Paul, Minnesota – ARTS-Us is a community-based 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1992 by a group of African American artists, and multicultural educators. Using the experiences of the African Diaspora at its core and collaborating with artists, educators, and communities of other backgrounds and cultures, ARTS-Us provides “edutainment” programs to schools, business and community environments. ARTS-Us’ three major programs: Camp Teranga summer workshops, Timbuktu after-school programs, and the Civil Rights Research Experience help to develop young leaders through the Arts, culture, and sciences of the African Diaspora. In addition, ARTS-Us provides cultural performances, art and art resources for educators, students, community business and civic organizations through the lens of the African Diaspora.  

ARTS-Us Civil Rights Research Experience students just returned from a dizzying five cities, five days civil rights tour in the South.  CRRE students under the direction of award-winning cinematographer Bianca Rhodes, created a video of their journey that will be shown at the ARTS-Us Sankofa: Spirit of the Ancestors Celebration 2019 taking place on April 13th at Concordia University’s Buenger Education Center, from 5pm – 8pm. (Perspective by Monique Linder)

Sankofa: Spirit of the Ancestors Celebration 2019 is an opportunity to welcome the community to reflect on 26 years of developing youth leaders through African Arts, Culture, and Sciences featuring a heritage presentation of music, dance and video produced by ARTS-Us youth, followed by a keynote address by ARTS-Us alumnus, Mayor Melvin Carter, who will share his story about how African cultural programming at ARTS-Us impacted his life. That’s what is meant by Sankofa, “go back and fetch it,” as African ancestors taught.

ARTS-Us will present eight outstanding community leaders, volunteers and youth awards. Congratulations to all of the ARTS-Us Sankofa Spirit of the Ancestors Celebration 2019 awardees.  They are:  

Billy Peterson, Akwaaba Volunteer Community Award

Tinaisha Abdur Razzaq, Akwaaba Volunteer Parent Award 

Cherise Ayers, Akwaaba Volunteer Educator Award

Leighanna Jackson, Tajiri Emerging Artist Award

Ithica Brown, Tajiri Emerging Artist Award

Sydney Ayers, Tajiri Emerging Artist Award

McFortune Osinachi Ibekwe, Civil Rights Research Experience Award

Mica Anders, Master Artist Award (bio)

The event takes place on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at Concordia University’s Buenger Center located at 275 Syndicate Street North, St. Paul, MN. 55104.  Mayor Melvin Carter, III is the keynote speaker that will follow a heritage presentation of music, dance and video produced by Arts-US youth.  Thank you to all the 2019 Sankofa: Spirit of the Ancestors sponsors who gave generously to support the annual celebration and awards ceremony.  Sankofa Program

Learn more about ARTS-Us at:


Media Contact:Monique Linder, Founder | OMG Media Solutions

Tel: 612.787.8705 | Email: