‘Are We Democracy’ Project Invites Community Participation

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – July 23, 2012 – Are We Democracy, a residency program by Urban Bush Women (UBW), will be held during the week of Sept. 24 at Coker College.

Founded in 1984 by internationally renowned choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, UBW uses modern dance to bring attention to the stories and experiences of disenfranchised people. The Brooklyn-based dance company has developed a variety of workshops, institutes and residency programs to promote social justice and encourage civic engagement.

“The Urban Bush Women company has cultivated a remarkable process aimed at empowering individuals and communities,” said Nadine George-Graves, theater and dance professor at UC San Diego and author of “Urban Bush Women: Twenty Years of African American Dance Theater, Community Engagement, and Working It Out.”

“It is art speaking truth to power. It is music breaking barriers. It is dance changing the world one community at a time.  Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is an artist-activist-genius!” George-Graves added.

“UBW’s residency here will not only build community, it will encourage everyone to get involved and to have a say about their government through elections,” said Associate Professor of Dance Angela Gallo. “The fact that UBW will do so through dance is another example of the influence and power of art in community and in our lives.”

Are We Democracy is a non-partisan project that UBW put together in advance of 2012 elections to educate and engage community members – both participants and viewers – in issues related to voting rights and the election process. Participant dancers will collaborate during the workshops to identify, research and discuss the theme they will present in Hartsville.  Members of the Hartsville community, with or without formal dance training, are invited to participate in the program.

The residency will culminate in a public presentation to be performed at 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Burry Park on Cargill Way.

The performances and residency of the Urban Bush Women are funded, in part, by the H.M. and Pearl Kyle Foundation, and by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. This project also is funded in part by the Black Creek Arts Council, which receives funding from the Sonoco Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about dance at Coker College or about participating in Are We Democracy, contact Gallo at 843-383-8381 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


PHOTO:  Are We Democracy, a residency program by Urban Bush Women, begins at Coker College on Sept. 24.



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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