makeda kumasi

For over a decade Makeda Kumasi has been a beacon of Pan-African Arts and education for all ages in the Inland Empire, and is currently a University of California, Riverside Lecture in Dance and the Theater, Film and Digital Production departments. Makeda’s honors include California Arts Scholar, Ida Mae Holland Playwright’s Award, Top Spoken Word Artist Black Business Expo Los Angeles, Phyllis E. Williams’ Artist Grant, Southern California Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award (2020), Alliance for California Traditional Arts grantee (2017-2021). As an Edutainer, Educator, Listener, Director, Dancer, Author, Artist and Culture Bearer, Makeda’s published works include, I See Hip Hop Afrika (a picture poetry book), 12 Days in Senegal; An Artist’s Journey (a travel memoir), a Documentary Short: 12 Days in Africa an Artist’s Journey Docu-Journal, and I Know Women; Soliloquies of Feminine Comprehension which was featured as a UCR ARTSblock event in 2015. As founder and Artistic Director of the Umoja Ensemble of the Inland Empire, as well as a company member of several African performance groups, Makeda has toured nationally and internationally sharing culture through music and dance. Moreover, Makeda has been featured on stage and screen including MTV’s Starting Over, BET’s Fly Poet, and the first season of So You Think You Can Dance?, as well as several independent films and theater projects, including The Last Emancipation by Richard O. Jones, and Clickbait 2018 by Michael J. Epstein. Through WE 3 PRODUCTIONS, Makeda uses her business to produce multiple forms of art including visual, wearable, and multimedia works.