Thursday , February 22 2024

This Summer Camp Brings West Africa To Fresno County

The San Joaquin Valley is a melting pot. It’s home to diaspora from dozens of countries, and we celebrate that diversity with traditional festivals and performances throughout the year. One celebration that flies under the radar, however, is a summer camp in the Sierra foothills that teaches some traditional arts from West Africa. In this story, we take you to a music camp in Dunlap. Some people escape into the Sierra Nevada for serenity and silence. But every August, a few hundred campers flock to the Fresno County foothills for the freedom to be loud. This is Camp Fareta , an intensive multi-day festival dedicated to teaching West African drumming and dancing. Every corner of the camp is awash in the sounds of traditional drums, dancing feet adorned with shakers, and an instrument like a marimba called a balafon. The festival attracts dancers, drummers and artisans of all ages and ethnicities from all over the world. “Fareta is one of my favoritest camps,” says Creedance Love, an

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