Heritage Works

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Heritage Works logo
Courtesy of Heritage Works

Detroit-based Heritage Works is a nonprofit organization that celebrates the beauty and humanity of African people through folklore, movement, and music. Originally known as African Dance Works, the organization was founded in December 2000 and worked to illuminate relationships between American and African traditions by focusing on dance and other related art forms. Since then, it has expanded its focus to a wider scope of cultural programming, including the traditions and the arts of Africa and the Diaspora, inspiring the name change to Heritage Works. With a new emphasis on cultural understanding, Heritage Works now encourages youth and community development through two programs known as Youth Works and Community Works. Youth Works serves youth and young adults through performance, education, and career and workforce development, while Community Works uses the power of art to provide one-time activities, such as head-wrapping workshops, to encourage community engagement and place keeping. Additionally, COVID-19 has inspired a new program within Heritage Works known as Detroit Libation. It allows community members of different backgrounds and faith traditions to come together and pour libations for Detroit citizens who have recently passed away. These web-based ceremonies build on African traditions and promote continuity, restoration, and wholeness.

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