Intercultural Journeys seeks to promote understanding and bridge cultural divides among people of diverse faiths and cultures through the presentation of music, dance, and spoken word performances. Formed in 1998, Intercultural Journeys has held nearly 150 concerts featuring international artists such as Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Palestinian composer Simon Shaheen, jazz violinist Diane Monroe, and Chinese erhu player Jiebing Chen. In 2017, Intercultural Journeys received a Center grant to present Modupúe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project, which explores Yoruba performance practices and traditions, originating from West Africa, and their role in shaping Philadelphia’s social and cultural landscape.
Intercultural Journeys’ Modupúe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project will join community historians, artists, and spiritual and cultural practitioners in an exploration of the history and contemporary expressions of Yoruba-rooted practices and their role in shaping Philadelphia’s social and cultural landscape. Yoruba is a language, culture, spiritual practice, and artistic philosophy, with origins in Nigeria and Benin and a performance practice that includes dance, song, drumming, and storytelling. Intercultural Journeys will collaborate with the Village of Arts and Humanities, which will serve as a laboratory site for the discovery and archiving process and will help identify participants from its North Philadelphia neighborhood for a series of story circles and artist-led workshops. Select participants will also engage with visiting artists, including theater artist Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and movement artist Barak adé Soleil, during week-long residencies that will inform the vision and design of culminating events, which may take the form of processionals, storytelling events, or Yoruba song and drum circles.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.