TROY — Masks line the walls upstairs, while the paintings of Tanzanian artist Ayoub Kimweli are displayed on the first floor. Rungu clubs are encased for patrons’ viewing, and the atmosphere is one of an exotic safari.
Patrons of the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center are invited to experience Africa and learn about the rich history and culture of numerous nations, including Kenya, Mali, South Africa and Tanzania on June 28.
The exhibit opened on June 5, with the special event scheduled to bring greater awareness of African culture. Troy-Hayner Exhibit Coordinator Leona Sargent said she knew that she wanted to bring an exhibit on Africa to Troy and has worked to do so.
“I think the culture is so unique and people here have so much they can learn from it,” she said. “There’s a lot of people don’t know about Africa and this exhibit is a fun way to teach them.”
The special event features the music and dancing from the group Giving Others Resources, Education and Empowerment through Drum and Dance.
Columbus-based G.O.R.E.E. follows the musical direction of Balla Sy and dance direction of Serrita Sy. Exhibit Coordinator Leona Sargent said the group focuses on West African styles of dance and will hold a drum workshop after their performance.
“They’re very interactive with the audience, and it’s hard for audience members not to get involved,” she said.
A caterer will be at the reception to provide samples of African food, as prepared by Ousmane Wade, native of the Republic of Senegal and owner of the Sene-Store in Sidney.
Patrons will also have the opportunity to create some crafts, such as a rain stick, bracelets, Massai collars and coloring sheets.
“We want to get something for everyone to be interested in, so we included coloring sheets as well,” Sargent said with a laugh.
The artifacts on display include clothing, textiles, sculptures, instruments, batiks and more. Sargent said the artifacts were donated by Dr. Lisa Alvetro of Alvetro Orthodontics; Judy Hartman; Joan Heidelberg; Dr. and Mrs. Nims; the Phillips family and David Stryker, who shared items his sister brought back from serving in the Peace Corp.
Alvetro Orthodontics sponsored the exhibit.
“We are excited to bring a little bit of Africa to the Miami Valley,” Alvetro said. “Africa has been close to my heart since the first trip in 2006.”
The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 2 and is free to the public. Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 W. Main St. in Troy.
For more information, contact the museum at (937) 339-0457 or visit them online at www.troyhayner.org.