artistic director of the watah school
how do we cultivate and nurture the artist as healer, the artist as teacher, the artist as leader, the artist as keeper of the sacred, and the artist as a whole human entity who mirrors society and helps to shape it circularly and inwardly. this is my primary motivation in life
– d’bi.young anitafrika
A Message From The Artistic Director
It is an incredible feeling to be home after living in the world for so many years. It is even more phenomenal to be creating The Watah School along with you. This dream of cultivating our very own version of Fame; remember that 80s performance show? Or Juilliard, an arts school with a serious legacy. The model is many; Edna Manley arts school in Jamaica and Toronto’s Fresh Arts Program, of which I am an alumni. The time has come to build a Black performing and visual arts training institute that can attract the phenomenally talented emerging artists we have in Canada and also set a new stage for world peoples’ growth and development as artists-healers-leaders. This is what our time needs. Ashe to all who have come before us; those who nurtured fertile soil for us to plant seeds in. We water these roots knowing that some of us will die before the first branches emerge to meet the morning sun. That is alright. Life is a cycle. Many came before and many more will come after; we continue to plant for 7 generations. In this our inaugural year, we offer you an invitation to re-define artistic education. Welcome to The Watah School.
-d’bi.young anitafrika, September 2014, The Watah School
d’bi.young anitafrika is an internationally celebrated African-Jamaican-Canadian dub-artist, arts-educator and emerging theatre director whose trans-disciplinary explorations of identity, gender, sexuality and the human experience, through her developing Pan-Africanist Caribbean-Canadian theatrical lens, have made an indelible mark upon the Canadian & global cultural landscape. Her travels have taken her to Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia, North America, Europe & the United Nations, providing her with a global lab to experiment with and expand upon her trans-disciplinary human development framework called The Sorplusi Method. d’bi is the published author of eleven plays, two collections of poetry, six dubpoetry albums and is anthologized in numerous publications worldwide. She is the recipient of the Canadian Poet of Honor accolade, two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the KM Hunter Theatre Award, the Arts Council Award, the Harold Award, the Women’s Resiliency Award and the Best Spoken Word Artist award. d’bi. is the Artistic Director of YEMOYA International Artist Residency & the program designer-facilitator of the Arts Academy of The Stephen Lewis Foundation; both rooted in the Sorplusi Method. Her latest creation is The Watah School, a non-for-profit w/holistic artist development institute in Toronto Canada, whose mission is to nurture the artist as healer, mentor and keeper of the sacred. dbi333.com