Maxwell Kofi Donkor has been teaching art to children as well as adults since he came to the US from his native Ghana in 1992. The programs he has been involved in range from teaching special needs children to university level programs and conferences. Kofi’s work has received much recognition, including a citation at the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in 1993, the 1994 “Gift of Time” award from the American Family Association, and a 1999 fellowship by the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts awarded to him as one of the three best folk and traditional artists in the state.
Kofi is a graduate of the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. His studies focused on his nation’s culture, sculpture, rural art and industry, and combined with his life-long exposure to the music and culture of his native Asante village, gave him a uniquely comprehensive grasp of traditional African daily life.
In Africa, arts is a way of life. The visual and performing arts together tell stories that are passed on from generation to generation in an unwritten account of traditional indigenous life. Polyrhythmic drumming with chants and dances celebrate birth, marriage, harvest, accompany warriors and kings, are played at funerals. Kings and Queens as well as the villagers use sculted thrones, seats, masks, and jewelery, all of which in their design incorporate traditional symbols. Traditional African clothing is both handwoven and hand printed, and is also designed with traditional symbols. The ancestral wisdom is passed from generation to generation in traditional storytelling.
As master drummer, award winning sculptor, and artist, Maxwell Kofi Donkor provides an exceptional multicultural experience to his audiences.
He presents his art with its mythology as well as historical and contemporary significance, and his hand-on activities and live demonstrations bring fun and joy to the beautiful experiences he has to share. In fact, Kofi alone with his storytelling, drumming, dance, sculputre, and pottery, creates an event, which makes its participants feel as if they themselves were in the middle of a busy remote indigenous village. Kofi’s experience as a teacher of the arts has given him a unique grasp of the subtle nuances of group interaction and his charisma and wormth pervade every appearance he makes. Whether leading a drum circle, or a hands-on sculpture class, Kofi’s life experiences, professionalism, and his joyful spirit combine to create an event extraordinary in scope which leaves its participants with a true feeling of community and connectedness.
What Kofi’s programs have to offer:
- Kofi offers multicultural programs that work very well with schools diversity programs.
- Kofi’s programs reflect all aspects of African arts – both performing arts and visual arts, which in an indigenous society are inseprable. In fact, he is a living example of indigenous African lifestyle. His life-long exposure to the music and culture of his native Asante village, gave him a uniquely comprehensive grasp of traditional African daily life.
- Having Kofi with nyou, with his hand-on activities and live demonstrations is like having a whole African village.
- Storytelling combined with drumming and chanting opens a world of wisdom of another culture. The children learn about another culture as they explore this dramatic art form.
- Art helps children communicate, it gives them a language. It allows them many forms of expression.
- Drumming teaches children not only the rhythms and songs, but also teaches them to work together. African drumming is a dialogue between the drums, and chanting involves call and response of various group members. The children also learn tempo, pitch, and enahance their listening and motor skills.
- Sculpture workshops teach children to work with different art media and teach them cooperation and problem solving. They are encouraged to draw their sculpture pieces working on them, which helps them practice fine motors skills and develop hand-eye coordination. They learn about shape, line, color, size, and location. They develop their creativity by using imagination, art tools, and art language. By creating their own sculpture pieces they learn that their own ideas have value.
- Kofi reaches non-traditional audiences by focusing on the application of art to everyday situations and the use of art-making activities to enhance the development of creative provlem-solving skills.
- Kofi reaches non-traditional audiences by focusing on the application of art to everyday situations and the use of art-making activities to enhance the development of creative problem-solving skills.
- Kofi focuses on issues of identity and literacy, which are crucial to children as they begin to form opinions of who they are and how they perceive themlselves.
Kofi is available for presentation of 1/2 hour to 2 hours in length, workshops of 3 hours to 3 days long, and also as an Artist in Residency within schools. Program prices vary depending on the type and length of the program as well as the distance travelled.
To schedule a program, email Kofi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 845-697-4174.