‘Dance of Hope’ performance a cultural journey through the arts

Repeated research has consistently shown that introducing children to fine arts offers significant advantages for their overall development. Tahoe Arts Project, founded in 1987 by a coalition of parents, accomplished musicians, and educators, is at the forefront of efforts to bring performing arts and cultural enrichment to schools in the South Lake Tahoe region, spanning both California and Nevada. 

Tahoe Arts Project fills the gap in schools by providing high-quality performing arts activities. Serving over 5,000 K-12 students in eight schools across El Dorado, Douglas, and Alpine counties in Calif. and Nev., TAP also hosts public shows. The programs feature acclaimed artists from diverse genres and cultures, earning TAP national recognition as an arts-in-education leader. 

Running a nonprofit, however, is no easy feat. The total artist fees for the year reached $45,000. But for Peggy Blowney, the executive director of Tahoe Arts Project, this investment is invaluable, given her acknowledgment of the crucial role the arts play in the community.

“Our goal is to provide all these students with cultural groups but also all different genres: music, dance, theater, and even puppetry. There have been several kids in Tahoe who have gone on to study performing arts in college and have gotten their degrees. Many of them say it is because of their exposure to Tahoe Arts Projects in school,” Blowney said.

Blowney never misses a school show, and it’s the most gratifying aspect of her role.

Tahoe Arts Project’s next upcoming public show is scheduled for tonight, Friday, September 29, from 6-7:30 p.m. Dance of Hope will be performing at Duke Theatre, Lake Tahoe Community College, located at One College Drive, South Lake Tahoe. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $10, and children can attend for free when accompanied by an adult.

Dance of Hope, a youth ensemble from Uganda, is Africa’s most impactful arts education program, showcasing the transformative power of music and dance. Since 2018, they’ve toured the USA, sharing stories, songs, and dances with global communities through vibrant performances. They raise awareness of global issues and boost self-esteem through inspiring children to get involved in the arts.

Founded in 2010, Dance of Hope, led by Chinobay and Bosco Segawa, empowers children, provides education, and improves living conditions in impoverished communities. The ensemble’s candid storytelling leaves a lasting emotional impact, motivating support for arts and education. They promote unity and personal growth through music, arts, and life skills. Following their performances, Dance of Hope even goes to classrooms to provide students with an immersive experience in Ugandan culture.

Dance of Hope at South Tahoe High School in 2018.
Provided / Tahoe Arts Project

In addition to its primary responsibilities, TAP organizes a two-week summer theater program catering to children ages 6 to 14. TAP also supports a child’s attendance at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp, sponsors the Tahoe Valley Performing Arts School, and runs a three-week drumming program for students at Mt. Talac High School. Furthermore, they offer scholarships for students attending Tahoe Community College and for high school students pursuing arts-related studies in college. 

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