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Kulu Mele E-News: June, 2018

Kulu Mele receives major support for arts education programs from Philadelphia Cultural Fund

The quality and caliber of Kulu Mele’s in-school and after-school arts education programming for children who attend Philadelphia schools in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods was recently recognized by very generous support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Two grants were approved by the Fund’s board of directors, one for $14,886 from the Fund’s Youth Arts Enrichment (YAE) program, and another for $1,200 for technical support. Arts organizations can only apply for YAE support every third year and the grants are highly competitive.

Kulu Mele previously received YAE funds when the program was launched in 2015. YAE funding will allow Kulu Mele to double its programming at Community Partnership School (CPS) in North Philadelphia, from one semester per year to two. CPS is located in one of the very poorest zip codes in the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It also is a model school where administrators, teachers and students have been a joy for Kulu Mele to collaborate with for several years.

YAE funds also will allow Kulu Mele to perform five in-school assembly performances at five different Philadelphia schools that predominantly or entirely serve students who are members of low income families. Kulu Mele’s assembly shows are entertaining, educational and interactive. The Kulu Mele performers receive a standing ovation after every assembly. 

If you would like to recommend a potentially qualifying secondary, middle or high school, please click here: by Monday, July 2, 2018 and kindly provide any contact information you may have.

Kulu Mele sincerely thanks the Philadelphia Cultural Fund for its extremely generous and very valuable support.

If you would like to receive an email version of Kulu Mele E-News in your inbox each month, including news, announcements and upcoming events, please click here: and request to be added to our E-News distribution list.

Upcoming Events

First Thursdays: Afro-Cuban dance & drumming classes for adults (16+)

Thursday, July 5

First Thursdays is Kulu Mele’s monthly series of Afro-Cuban dance and drumming classes for adults. EVERYONE age 16 and up is welcome, with or without prior dance or drumming experience. The introductory fee is just $10 at the door (cash only, exact change appreciated, no bills larger than $20). Reservations are NOT required. Classes meet the first Thursday of each month, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., at Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Av.

Malidelphia: The Music, the Magic, the Masquerade

Saturday, June 16

Beginning at 7:00 pm, Kulu Mele drummer Ira Bond will present Malidelphia: The Music, the Magic, the Masquerade, at Rittenhouse Soundworks in Germantown. Malidelphia will be an evening of Malian and African Diasporic music, dance, masks and culture. Malian food will be available for purchase. Kulu Mele artists Ama Schley, Brytiece Wallace and Cachet Ivey will perform along with Ira and others. Tickets are $20. For more information, click the link above or email

Kulu Mele dance captain to teach in Baltimore

Sunday, June 17

From 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Kulu Mele dance captain Ama Schley will lead an Afro-Cuban dance workshop at The Living Well in Baltimore, MD. Admission is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information, call 484-843-1013.

Kulu Mele at Juneteenth

Sat., June 23

Kulu Mele will perform on a float in the Juneteenth Parade, beginning at Noon on Sat., June 23, at 15th Street and JFK Blvd.; and Kulu Mele will perform again on the Amphitheater stage at Penn’s landing, at approximately 4:30 or 5:30 p.m. Both events are FREE. This gigantic annual festival attracts 25,000+ attendees every year.  It is presented by the Philadelphia Community of Leaders.

Susquehanna Folk Festival

Sunday, July 29, Kulu Mele will travel to Roundtrip Mountain Resot in Lewisberry, PA, for an 11:00 am performance at the Susquehanna Folk Festival.

Everything DANCE in Philly

Looking for dance classes? Performances? Auditions & more? is a treasure trove of resources for dancers, choreographers, students, teaching artists, teachers & dance fans in Philadelphia. also is home to The Dance Journal, an e-zine featuring articles by many of Philly’s best dance writers & critics. Browse & search for free or join to support it. Membership starts as low as $10 per year. Kulu Mele is proud to be an organizational member of

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Kulu Mele performs at Jacob's Pillow.
Highlights from Celebrating Senegal, the all-new show that Kulu Mele premiered at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, during November, 2015
Hip hop encore at Jacob's Pillow.
Omo Kulu Mele children's show, June 6, 2015
Kulu Mele performance as part of the Pope's visit to Philadelphia, September 26, 2015
Kulu Mele performance as part of the Come Together Dance Festival in Philadelphia, July, 2015
Kulu Mele dancer Tekeytha Fullwood sings as well as she dances -- check out her new music video!

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