The series kicked off with the musical history of the Blues with Gitlow – the Blues Man, and “The Spirit of Jazz” with Maurice Terrell, Native American Pow-Wow Jim Sawgrass and the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation Grady-Rayam Vocal Winners Ferrin Brown (Soprano) and Christopher Randolph (Baritone) along with The Young Performers of Tajiri Arts and African Dance Instructor Tanita Ligon. The series concluded with “A Good Character” Campaign highlighting students who have exhibited Good Citizenship Behavior from area elementary schools: Bentley, Goldsboro, Hamilton, Idyllwilde, Midway and Pinecrest.
It was a grand day at Tajiri; a well-attended celebration!
Tajiri’s goal is to teach children that the success of a city or town depends upon good character and good citizenship traits. Sanford’s history of all cultures paved the way for shaping the “City Beautiful” since the 1800s. The children must know that the blending of our lives can create the perfect rainbow. So, on Oct. 6, which is the date of Tajiri’s birthday in 1988, Congresswoman Corrine Brown signed the Good Character Awards. Brown’s representative, Roslyn Burrough, a New York City and Jacksonville Broadway and television performers, sang selections from her “Auntie Roz Children’s Network Production Company.”
Burroughs touched the hearts of the children and parents as she concluded with “Let There Be Peace On Earth and Let It Begin With Me.” Other performers for the celebration were: Allen Chapel AME Church Praise Team, God’s Anointed Hands, The Scoffield Cheerleaders and Shelton Stile of St. James AME Church.
Tajiri Arts School and Museum is a multifaceted organization comprised of three parts: 1. An afterschool performing arts and tutoring program; 2. A museum; and 3. A cultural tour. Its mission is to provide students with structured, supervised activities, that will raise their self-worth, prepare them for academic competence, equip them with tools for successful social interaction and to teach discipline, respect and individual responsibility through the performing arts, history and culture.
The 519 Pledge Drive Rock-a-Thon and Rockin’ for Heritage Preservation Fundraisers were supported by: CPH Engineers; Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church (Eatonville); Calvary Temple of Praise (Sanford); city of Sanford; Seminole County Educational Services; Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation; Orlando-Sanford International Airport; Wal-Mart Store No. 857; Hamilton Elementary School; Hopper Center; Diamond Glass Company; A Time 2 Learn Tutoring Program; Dr. and Mrs. Willie B. Sherman; Attorney Kenneth Pratt; Mr. and Mrs. Willie Dennis; Mr. and Mrs. William Ellison; and Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Whatley.
The funds from these events will scholarship 12 students to Tajiri’s afterschool program and 200 students took the “Sanford Out of the Dust: Ancestral Path to Dignity” tour.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, Tajiri will begin its 19th season with a new and improved curriculum. The Performing Arts component is a tuition-based program whose classes will provide instruction in drums, guitar, saxophone, trumpet and piano; drama through historic reenactments, ballet and African dance.
Tajiri has partnered with A Time 2 Learn Tutoring Program for free classes in reading, language arts and mathematics.
You may register online at www.tajiriarts.org or call 407-324-5907. Ask for Jami Thomas, executive director. In addition, you may contact the Founder Patricia Merritt Whatley at patwhatley@ comcast.net.