A group of Columbia dancers will combine talents to support arts in Africa this weekend.
The Artists For Africa dance benefit will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Friday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday at the CMFA Art Space, 914 Pulaski St. The performances will benefit Anno’s Africa, a program that brings after-school arts programs to the children of Africa’s most despondent villages.
The idea for the benefit was sparked when Columbia City Ballet dancer Cooper Rust spent her summer volunteering with Anno’s Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
“The needs are so great for the children of these areas,” Rust said. “Their lives are so focused on survival and yet, for those few hours in their lives, they become so like every other child in the world. Those in dance get to be fairy princesses and princes, those in creative writing are encouraged to express their innermost creativity, and the young artists create drawings and paintings that are amazing in their natural ability.”
This weekend’s benefit will feature dance numbers choreographed and performed by some of the area’s most accomplished artists, including Rust, Robert Michalski, Wayland Anderson, Regina Willoughby, Journey Wilkes-Davis and Anna Porter.
Tickets for Friday’s performance are $25, which includes a party and silent auction. Tickets to Sunday’s performance are $15. They can be purchased at the door or by calling (803) 467-9004.
A financial boost to service
Wells Fargo managers and team members have selected 18 Midlands non-profits to receive $1,000 grants as part of the company’s Community Partner program.
Team members in the company’s 18 banks across the Midlands selected groups that were delivering vital services. The donations were distributed at a community reception earlier this month at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
“Wells Fargo has a long proud history of community involvement and local decision-making,” said Kathy Heffley, community bank president for Wells Fargo. “The Community Partner Program is the ideal representation of that and we look forward to celebrating our communities in this way for years to come.”
Benefiting agencies include The Nurturing Center, Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation, Pawmetto Lifeline, Palmetto Place Children’s Emergency Shelter, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Boys Farm Inc., Jannie R. Jackson Women’s Center, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and S.C. Autism Society.
Rounding out the list are Gray Miltary Academy, Christian Ministry Center, Sistercare Inc., Hidden Wounds, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, YMCA of Columbia, Oliver Gospel Mission, Fairfield County First Steps and the Red Cross.