Cultural Crossing

Cultural Crossings - The Healing Circle

To begin our Cultural Crossing initiative, Sir Black, founder Ehalakasa and Sarah Gusten-Marr, founder of Gallery GM have chosen to support the Abandoned Refugees Children’s Home (ARCH). Budumburam Regugee Camp is located in the central region of Ghana. This is a cause that is important for Güsten-Marr as she was also orphaned as a baby in Liberia, but was fortunate to have been adopted by loving German parents. Her blessings have made her fully aware that if she had not had this fortune, her life could have turned out very differently.

Recently, the orphanage has fallen on hard times with the discontinuation of further funding. For Güsten-Marr, the thought of being a refugee, and one that has now been abandoned is unimaginable. It is stories like this that has encouraged Güsten-Marr and Sir Black to create the Cultural Crossings Initiative as both artists truly believe that the arts can connect people and make a difference.

Under the Cultural Crossings Initiative, Sir Black and Sarah Güsten-Marr have teamed up with Güsten-Marr’s partner Kolawole Alaile and Isaac Quaye who has worked for an NGO for 8 years to create the ‘Healing Circle’. Mr Alaile is Nigerian and Mr Quaye is of Ghanian decent. Both men are experienced drummers and together with Sir Black and Güsten-Marr have created a drumming program for the orphaned children. This Cultural Crossings initiative is a project that is supported by Ghanians, a Nigerian, and a Liberian-German working together to support a Liberian orphanage based in Ghana... Cultural Crossings at its best!

Güsten-Marr who has taught her own successful cultural dance class in the North of England has first hand experience how music and rhythm can lift the human spirit. Mr Alaile and Mr Quaye are hoping that by drumming with the children they will in time feel comfortable enough to speak about their own feelings and worries. A way of helping to release inner turmoil. Sir Black is always ready to encourage spoken word. A wonderful way of expressing ones self.

The ‘Healing Circle’ project has been designed to offer further support for the orphaned children. Every 8 weeks the children will partake in the Healing Circle run by Mr Alaile and Mr Quaye. Both men will work on community team build- ing and clean up projects with the children. Chaperoning, partaking and advising through the whole journey and teach- ing them about the welfare of the community they live in, the environment around them and most importantly cleaning up the community they live among. We are trying to eliminate the use of plastic which has become a real menace for our world communities and a deadly killer for wildlife. The goal of the Healing Circle is to encourage the children to help their community and therefore made to feel like they are a part of their community and are making a difference. At the end of each Healing Circle Mr Alaile and Mr Quaye will gather the children for a drumming class, discussion of the com- munity project and the days events.

If the project is successful and the children show responsibility and general care for the community, the children will earn 500 Ghana Cedis that will be given to their care mother for food and necessities. A small ceremony will be held with donated Yorkshire tea and biscuits. The children will have raised this money themselves and we hope will be beaming with pride and con dence.

Gallery GM is proud to be funding this project with proceeds from the sale of Güsten-Marr’s artwork and her song ‘Forgotten’. Both Sir Black and Güsten-Marr are extremely proud of their Cultural Crossings Initiative and are keen to make a difference.

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